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Genres of Old Provençal poetry in the Works of Italian Troubadours: Reception and Interpretation

Saprykina Ol'ga Aleksandrovna

Doctor of Philology

Professor at the Department of Iberian Romance Linguistics, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, Moscow, Leninskie Gory str., 1, p. 51

olgasaprykina@mail.ru
Shkolnikova Ol'ga Yurievna

Doctor of Philology

Professor at the Department of Romance Linguistics, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, Moscow, Leninskie Gory str., 1, p. 51

chkolnikova@icloud.com

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.11.69129

EDN:

OMBMHU

Received:

21-11-2023


Published:

28-11-2023


Abstract: This article is devoted to the study of the development of Old Provençal poetry in Italy in the 12th-13th centuries. Using specific examples from the work of early Italian troubadours (Peire de la Caravana, Peire de la Mula, Sordello, Lanfranco Cigala, etc.), the authors examine in detail such aspects of the topic as the reception and interpretation of the tradition of Old Provençal poetry. Of all the genres of poetry in the works of Italian troubadours, the most developed are the political and social ones sirventes and tenso, which should be seen as an intensification of the participation of poets in the social and political life of Italy. All this can be studied by reflection in poetic creativity of the 12th-century and 13th-century Italian troubadours. In this regard, the authors of the article pay special attention to poetic works belonging to these two genres. The relevance of this study lies in a comprehensive linguistic, literary and historical approach to the consideration of the issue. The use of such an integrated approach allows to identify the main trends in the development of Provençal poetry, reasons associated with the historical context, as well as linguistic diversification associated with the choice of a particular genre. The authors come to the conclusion that the repertoire of poetic genres and the choice of language in which poetry is created changes depending on the dynamics of social and cultural conditions. The large number of sirvent and tenson is an important observation, indicating the presence of a social cultural context and space in which such political and satirical works and impromptu debates on a variety of topics were in demand. These genres will receive their further development in the history of Italian literature.


Keywords:

Old Provençal poetry, Occitan, Italy, Italian troubadours, Sicilian School, sirventes, tenso, reception, interpretation, medieval poetry

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The object of this study is the Old Versailles poetry in Italy in the XII-XIII centuries. The subject of the work is the reception and interpretation of the tradition of Old Versailles poetry in the works of Italian troubadours of the epoch and at subsequent stages of the development of Italian literature. The research material was the texts of the poetic works of the Italian troubadours of the XIIXIII centuries, among which such authors as Peyre de la Cavarana, Peyre de la Mula, Sordello, Lanfranco Chigala can be singled out.

The relevance of this work lies in a comprehensive linguistic, literary and historical approach to the consideration of the issue, which made it possible to identify the main trends in the development of Provencal poetry against the background of the historical context, as well as to analyze the linguistic diversification associated with the choice of a certain genre.

The exodus of the Provencal troubadours to the Northern Italian land was associated with the tragic events of the Albigensian Crusades and fell at the turn of the XII and XIII centuries. In the north of Italy, the Provencal poets found shelter and conditions for continuing their work at the courts of noble lords, the largest literary centers were formed at the courts of the Counts of Savoy, the Marquises of Montferrat (it is known that Raimbaut de Vaqueiras was a close friend of Marquis Boniface I), Marquises d'Este, Marquises of Malaspina (Marquis Alberto di Malaspina himself was one of the first Italian troubadours who wrote in Occitan).

Having found its niche in the feudal courts of northern Italy, Occitan poetry gradually manifested itself in the works of local Italian troubadours and flourished powerfully on new soil, having existed there for about a century and a half. "The end of the Proven?al lyrics in southern Italy," wrote J. Bertoni, strongly marked by the death of Robert of Anjou in 1343. An anonymous lament written for the death of this famous Angevin, a man of high aspirations and the head, so to speak, of the Guelph party, is, one might say, the last voice of Provencal poetry in Italy." [3, p. 32]

Occitan poets brought to Italy a system of genres that had already developed by the 80s of the XII century by splitting up a single genre of vers in content and formal terms. Researchers distinguish three groups of genres of Old-Versailles poetry.

Genres with primacy of content: canso, a song dedicated to love; sirvente, a song full of anger, containing reproaches, sarcastic attacks, moralizing motives, "service song" [2, p. 31]; crying (plagno), a kind of sirventa, with motives of mourning a patron, friend or beloved; alba the song of the morning parting; pasturel a kind of kansona, a narrative song about the meeting of a knight and a shepherdess.

Genres of dialogical nature: tensona (tenso) free discussion; partimen (partimen) dispute with predetermined conditions and roles.

Rhythmic genres: dance; ballad; descort; estampida; rotruenga, etc. [4].

It should be noted that almost all of these genres are adopted from the Provencal poets of Italian origin, writing in the Provencal language. However, the "political" and "social" genres are developing most actively in Italy: sirvents and tensons, which indicates that poets are included in the Italian context and take an active part in the turbulent socio-political life of their now Italian seniors, reflect the events taking place in Italy in their work and try to influence them with the help of the same poetry. The political situation in Italy at that time provided rich material for the flourishing of "political" poetry. Speaking about the changing socio-cultural climate in Provence itself, T.B. Alisova wrote, "In place of joy and gayeza come ira, enoi, tristor. ... Such a form as sirvent comes to the fore" [1, p. 43]. We see the same phenomenon in the poetry of the Italian troubadours, although the circumstances here were not as tragic as in the South of France.

Thus, first of all, poetry in the Provencal language carried out a social function in Italy, and to such an extent that the poetic material of Provencal poetry can be used to study the history of Italy recently a book by Paolo Di Luca, Francesco Saverio Annunziata and Marco Grimaldi "L'Italia dei trovatori: per un nuovo repertorio delle was published in Italy poesie occitane relative alla storia d'Italia".

Let's look at some examples from the work of the first Italian troubadours.

One of the very first Italian troubadours, Peire de la Cavarana (or Caravan), is the author of the only surviving famous sirventa "D'un serventes faire", in which he calls on Northern Italian cities to fight against Frederick II and the German dynasty. It should be noted that the new social context for Provencal poetry is not a feudal struggle, but a communal movement. There are two dates of this poem. In 1236, Frederick II entered Lombardy with an army to restore imperial rights, and the municipal autonomy of the cities of Lombardy was threatened. The tornado of Sirventa Kavarana sounds like a call to the people's liberation resistance "Lombards, take care not to become worse than slaves if you do not show firmness" (hereafter translated by the authors):

Lombart, be. us gardaz

Que ia non siaz

Peier qe compraz,

Si ferm non estaz [3, p. 206].

The second dating relates the creation of Sirventa to 1195/96, marked by the southern campaign of Henry VI and the suppression of the uprising of the nobility in Apulia and Sicily. The author mentions the Puglian nobility who suffered from repression, warning the Lombard cities against such a fate: "Remember the brave barons from Puglia, they have nothing left but houses. Take care that this does not happen to you."

De Pulla us sovegna

Dels valenz baros,

Quil non an que pregna,

For de lor maisos:

Gardaz no ndevegna

Autretel de vos [3, p. 206].

The first dating is also supported by the fact that in 1195 the treaty of Lombard cities united in the League of Lombardy since 1167 against foreign invaders was renewed in the Burg of San Donnino. The same cities are mentioned in the sirvent of Kavarana: ""May God preserve Lombardy, Bologna and Milan, and the neighboring cities of Brescia, Mantua, so that no one of them becomes a slave, and the good brand of Treviso."

Deus gart Lombardia,

Boloign e Milans

E lor compaignia,

Brexa e Mantoans,

Cus dels sers non sia,

E ls bos Marquesans [3, p. 206].

The genre of sirventa, apparently, occupied an important place in the work of Peire de la Mule, also one of the early Italian troubadours, who worked at the court of the macrograve of Savona, Ottone del Carretto. One of his three surviving works is the sirventa "Ia de razon No.m cal mentre'en pantais" ("It would be unwise to be upset"). This is a social-oriented sirventa criticizing the "young and rich": "It would be unwise to get upset when I want to write a sirventa or two, because rich youth, about which anger is born, leads me to this idea, having fallen so low."

Ja de razon no .m cal mentr en pantais

Qan ben vuoill far un sirventes o dos;

Qe.ill ric ioven per cui malvestatz nais

M'o enseignon, que son cazut d'aut ios [3, p. 249].

Sordello's biography (1200/20 1269/70) captured the adventurous and eventful life of a troubadour descended from a noble Mantuan family. He asceticized at the court of Count Ricciardo di San Bonifaccio, then the Counts of Provence and Charles I of Anjou, leaving Italy for a long time, then participated in the campaign of Charles I against Manfred of Sicily and received land from him in Abruzzo.

His literary legacy includes sirvents addressed to the South French feudal lords Raymond Berengary IV, Count of Provence, Raymond VII of Toulouse, Jaime I of Aragon. The most famous is "The Lament for Blakatz" (1236). Mourning his patron, the poet offers to share the heart of this valiant lord and give it to different rulers who lack the courage (cor/coratge) for various political and social acts. "I want to mourn Mr. Blakats with this simple sound, with a sad and sad heart, and I have the right to do so, because in his person I have lost a patron and a good friend, because all worthy qualities are lost with his death. So deadly is the damage that I have no hope that they will ever be able to return, even in a different guise: let them take out his heart and let him be eaten by the barons who live without heart/courage. After that, they will have it."

Planher vuelh en Blancatz en aquest leugier so

Ab cor trist e marrit, et ai en be razo,

Quen luy ai mescabat senhor et amic bo,

E quar tug layp valent en sa mort perdut so.

Tant es mortals lo dans, quieu non ai sospeisso

Que ia mais si revenha sen aital guiza no:

Quom li traga lo cor, e que.n manio.l baro

Que vivon descorat, pueys auran de cor pro [3, p. 285].

Socio-political genres occupy an important place in the work of Lanfranco Chigala (1235-1257), a Genoese nobleman, judge and writer. Among the 32 works that have survived from his work are four religious kansons, three sirvents, two crusade songs, one lament and nine tensons with other troubadours. In his poems, he discusses issues related to the Crusades, heresy, papal authority, harmony in the Christian world.One of the most famous poems of Chigala sirventa-invective "Estier mon grat mi fan dir vilanatge" ("Against my will they force me to say abominations") is against Marquis Boniface II of Montferrat, who at different periods sided with different parties. Chigala reproaches him precisely for his unscrupulousness, "and I consider him the son or brother of the wind his intentions and desires change so easily."

Anz crei qel fon fils o fraire de ven,

Tan cambia leu son cor e son talen [3, p. 359]

Very popular among the Provencal troubadours was also the genre of tensons a discussion of an issue in which two poets participated. Such a discussion was positioned as an improvisation, but the perfection of the forms and the perfect coincidence in the sound of the parts make researchers assume that these were pre-prepared texts. Numerous tensons belong to the pen of Sordello and Lanfranco Chigala. They are also in the arsenal of Simon Dorio, Bonifacio Calvo, Scotto, Raimondo Gugliemo and other Italian troubadours. All these tensons are written in the Old Versailles language. The large number of tensons indicates the presence of a social cultural space in which such "improvised" debates on a variety of topics were in demand from political and philosophical to jokingly courtly.

As for the future fate of the Old Versailles poetic genres in Italy, the situation was as follows. In the 1230s, a school of Sicilian poetry was formed in Sicily at the court of Frederick II, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor as part of his cultural projects. Researchers recognize that the origins of Sicilian poetry should be sought in the poetry of Provence. Of course, they were familiar with Provencal poetry at the Sicilian court. For example, Frederick II was married by his first marriage to Constance of Aragon, the daughter of Alfonso II, the famous patron of the troubadours. However, it is known that there were no Provencals at the court of Frederick II and then Manfred. Therefore, obviously, the influence was carried out not through personal communication, as it happened in the north of Italy, but by book, collections of Provencal poetry, the so-called "thick anthologies" circulated.

Frederick, however, did not cultivate Provencal poetry, but supported Italian (Sicilian) poetry. Maybe it wasn't an accident. Frederick fought with the church for independence in politics and culture, for the development of which he did a lot, opened a number of educational institutions both the university in Naples and the School of Medicine in Salerno. And when the poetic school was formed, with all its focus on Provencal poetry, a strict selection of genres was made only the love song passed into Sicilian poetry, the other genres were rejected, and, first of all, the sirventa with political and satirical themes, with mentions of specific persons, invectives and correlation with topical events.

The Provencal language itself, despite its status as an international poetic language, was too strongly associated with feudal struggle, while Frederick intended to build a new type of state. Thus, a certain type of diglossia appears during this period. Political and social topics did not disappear from intellectual discussion, but began to be discussed in Latin, which was also perfectly mastered by poets of the Sicilian school, educated people and statesmen.

Thus, Percival Doria is a Genoese aristocrat from a noble Ghibelline family, a statesman and military figure of the Roman Empire of the German nation and the Sicilian Kingdom, a confidant of King Manfred, who took a direct part in all the political events of his time, created his works in both Provencal and Italian (Sicilian), he was both a troubadour and a Sicilian, depending on the desired genre, he wrote political sirvents in Occitan, and love cansons in Sicilian. For example, the sirventa "Felon cor ai enic" ("I hardened my heart") is made in the spirit of Bertrand de Born, the poet sings of spring and the opportunity to start fighting under the magnificent King Manfredi.

As for the genre of tensons, this genre was also perceived by the Sicilians (for example, the joint tensons of Jacopo Mostacci, Pietro della Vigna and Giacomo da Lentini), and found further continuation in Italian poetry, for example, the jokingly abusive tensons that Dante exchanged with his friend Forese Donati are known.

Thus, speaking about the existence of Old Versailles poetry in Italy of the XIIXIII centuries, it can be noted that the repertoire of poetic genres and the choice of the language in which poetry is created varies depending on the dynamics of social and cultural conditions.

References
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The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The object of the peer-reviewed study is Old Versailles poetry in Italy in the XII-XIII centuries. As the author notes, "the subject of the work is the reception and interpretation of the tradition of Old Versailles poetry in the works of the Italian troubadours of the era and at subsequent stages of the development of Italian literature." The research material was the texts of poetic works by Italian troubadours of the XIIXIII centuries, among which such authors as Peyre de la Cavarana, Peyre de la Mula, Sordello, Lanfranco Chigala can be especially distinguished. It is worth noting that this number of authors is classically verified, however, it is not so frequent in the format of scientific research. It is worth agreeing that "the relevance of the work lies in a comprehensive linguistic, literary and historical approach to the consideration of the issue, which made it possible to identify the main trends in the development of Provencal poetry against the background of the historical context, as well as to analyze the linguistic diversification associated with the choice of a certain genre." The very nature of the "genre" in literary theory has not been fully deciphered so far. Genre is a special type of world image construction, a special type of text construction, a special model for recreating artistic realities. In my opinion, the research material can be productively used in the framework of studying literary theory, the history of foreign literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The style of the reviewed work correlates with the scientific type. For example, this is manifested in the following fragments: "genres with a primacy of content: canzone (canso), a song dedicated to love; sirventa (sirvente), a song full of anger, containing reproaches, sarcastic attacks, moralizing motives, "service song"; crying (plagno), a kind of sirventa, with motives of mourning the patron, a friend or lover; alba the song of the morning parting; pastourelle a kind of cansona, a narrative song about the meeting of a knight and a shepherdess," etc. Marking the significance of "Provencal poetry" is indicated argumentatively: "thus, first of all, poetry in the Provencal language carried out a social function in Italy, and to such an extent that the poetic The material of Provencal poetry can be used to study the history of Italy recently a book by Paolo Di Luca, Francesco Saverio Annunziata and Marco Grimaldi "L'Italia dei trovatori: per un nuovo repertorio delle poesie occitane relative alla storia d'Italia" was published in Italy. The work is distinguished by informative information: "one of the very first Italian troubadours, Peyre de la Cavarana (or Caravan), is the author of the only surviving famous sirventa "D'un serventes faire", in which he calls on Northern Italian cities to fight against Frederick II and the German dynasty. It should be noted that the new social context for Provencal poetry is not the struggle of feudal lords, but a communal movement. There are two dates for this poem. In 1236, Frederick II entered Lombardy with an army to restore imperial rights, and the municipal autonomy of the cities of Lombardy was threatened. The tornado of Sirventa Kavarana sounds like a call to the people's liberation resistance "Lombards, take care not to become worse than slaves if you do not show firmness" (hereafter translated by the authors)..." etc. The examples that are introduced into the text are quite illustrative. The methodological level of the study corresponds to the current principles of analysis. I think that the topic of the article has been disclosed, the goal has been achieved. In the final, the author comes to the following conclusions: "the Provencal language itself, despite its status as an international poetic language, was too strongly associated with feudal struggle, while Frederick intended to build a new type of state. Thus, a certain type of diglossia appears during this period. Political and social topics did not disappear from intellectual discussion, but began to be discussed in Latin, which was also perfectly mastered by the poets of the Sicilian school, educated people and statesmen."Speaking about the existence of Old Versailles poetry in Italy of the XIIXIII centuries, it can be noted that the repertoire of poetic genres and the choice of language in which it is created poetry changes depending on the dynamics of social and cultural conditions." I think it would not hurt to expand the bibliographic list to include research in recent years. The prospectus is needed for a more voluminous picture of the role of "Old Versailles poetry" in the history of literature / art. The actual requirements of the publication are taken into account, as such, the edit is unnecessary. With this in mind, I would like to state: the article "Genres of Old Versailles poetry in the works of Italian troubadours: reception and interpretation" can be recommended for publication in the journal "Litera" after making minor additions.
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