Institut Ramon LLull

Waiting for Ausiàs March: Catalan Poetry at the Turn of the Fourteenth Century

Language.  LONDON, 30/04/2021

Dr. Anna Alberni (Universitat de Barcelona)

Tuesday, 4 May, 5pm

Online seminar

Medieval Catalan poetry was born under the sign of the troubadour canso, which began its dissemination throughout the territories of southern France, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula during the second half of the 12th century and has since enjoyed an overwhelming influence on Western literature and culture up to the present day. The very evolution of the manuscript tradition leads us towards a symbiotic reading of the troubadours and 14th- and 15th-century Catalan poets. The combined corpus of both has been transmitted via the same manuscript sources, the chansonniers; it is written in a language that combines Occitan and Catalan features, and follows stylistic and thematic patterns that would be maintained without much variation for over two centuries. This state of affairs changes with Ausiàs March and the poets of his generation, who transform the troubadour legacy by grafting on new discursive elements alien to the code of courtly love. Without severing the thread of literary tradition, March’s unique poetic voice projects this new discourse towards modernity and is prevalent in both manuscripts and printed works until the second half of the 16th century.

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