The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation

By W. T. H. Jackson; Joan M. Ferrante et al. | Go to book overview

5
The Medieval Pastourelle
As a Satirical Genre

THE INEVITABLE ASSOCIATION of the word "pastourelle" with scenes of country life and the innocent pleasures of the dance has not been without its effect on the criticism of the pastourelle as a literary genre. Even a critic such as Jeanroy, 1 who clearly recognizes the essentially aristocratic nature of the genre, is reluctant to give up altogether the idea of an origin in folk-poetry and the rustic dance. The present study proposes to deal only incidentally with the question of the origin of the pastourelle. Much more interesting for the study of the courtly lyric in general is the development of the pastourelle type as a poem stressing the social inequalities of contemporary society and making use of these inequalities to produce a type of realistic love poem which should act as a counterblast to the more idealistic poetry of the troubadours and Minnesinger. The satirical element develops gradually but its method is basically simple. It held up to ridicule the knight who was prepared to consort with the members of a despised class to gratify sensual desires and whose love passages are therefore as far from the spiritual ecstasies of the writers of the courtly lyric as it is possible to imagine. The study of the extant examples of the pastourelle which follows lays stress on those aspects which may be regarded as satirical. That there were other elements cannot be doubted but, as the following analysis will show, there can be little doubt of the satirical intent of the vast majority of the poems.

The development of the genre has been studied in some detail in several works, of which the most recent is that by Piguet. 2 Brinkmann, both in Entstehungsgeschichte des Minnesangs and in Lateinische Liebesdichtung desMittelalters

-66-

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The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Publications xiii
  • One Courtly Love 1
  • I - The De Amore of Andreas Capellanus and the Practice of Love at Court 3
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Faith Unfaithful--The German Reaction to Courtly Love 14
  • Notes 33
  • Two - Lyric 35
  • 3 - Contrast Imagery in the Poems of Friedrich Von Hausen 37
  • Note 48
  • 4 - Persona and Audience in Two Medieval Love-Lyrics 49
  • Note 65
  • 5 - The Medieval Pastourelle as a Satirical Genre 66
  • Notes 79
  • 6 - The Politics of a Poet: The Archipoeta as Revealed by His Imagery 81
  • Notes 101
  • Three - Epic and Drama 103
  • 7 - The Epic Center as Structural Determinant in Medieval Narrative Poetry 105
  • Note 124
  • 8 - Time and Space in the Ludus De Antichristo 125
  • Notes 142
  • Pyrgopolinices Converted: The Boasting Soldier in Medieval German Literature 144
  • Notes 153
  • Four - Allegory and Romance 155
  • 10 - Allegory and Allegorization 157
  • Note 171
  • II - The Nature of Romance 172
  • Notes 182
  • 12 - Problems of Communication in the Romances of Chrétien De Troyes 185
  • Note 196
  • 13 - The Arthuricity of Marie De France 197
  • Notes 217
  • 14 - The Progress of Parzival and the Trees of Virtue and Vice 218
  • Notes 225
  • 15 - The Literary Views of Gottfried Von Strassburg 226
  • Notes 246
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