Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Synopsis

Albrecht Classen, University Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona and carrier of the Bundesverdienstkreuz, has taught a popular course for almost fifteen years: Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages.

Excerpt

Love, marriage, and infinite types of transgressions have always represented the most attractive and most complex issues in world literature, whether we focus on eras, caritas, or agape. Love is intimately connected with passion, mysticism, violence and aggression, marriage, adultery, family, and death. This also applies to medieval literature at least since the twelfth century when first the Occitan troubadours, then in subsequent decades the French trouvères, the Middle High German Minnesänger, and finally the Italian poets of the dolce stil nuovo discovered the enormous potential of erotic discourse for a wide range of social, intellectual, emotive, religious, and cultural purposes. By contrast, when early medieval poets and writers of the seventh through eleventh centuries employed the term 'love,' they tended to imply a moral, ethical, and social phenomenon only, intimately connected with friendship, which in turn contributed to the development of virtues. Consequendy, the schools of the early Middle Ages considered the

I would like to express my gratitude to Karen K. Jambeck and Elizabeth
C. Zegura for reading this introduction and offering helpful suggestions. Dr.
Leslie MacCoull provided valuable corrections and suggestions in the final
stage of copy-editing, for which I owe her my deep gratitude.

See, for example, In Pursuit of Perfection: Courtly Love in Medieval Literature,
ed. Joan M. Ferrante, George D. Economou, et al. (Port Washington, NY, and
London: Kennikat Press, 1975); Rüdiger Schnell, Causa amoris: Liebeskonzeption
und Liebesdarstellung in der mittelalterlicben Literatur, Bibliotheca Germanica 27
(Bern: Francke, 1985); Alain Vaillant, L 'amour-fiction: discours amoureux etpoétique
du roman à l'époque moderne, Essais et savoir (Saint-Denis: Presses Universitaires
de Vincennes, 2002).

See the by now classical, though highly neo-romantic, study by Denis de
Rougemont, Passion and Society, trans. Montgomery Belgion, rev. and
augmented ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1956; orig. 1939).

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.