Academic journal article Medium Aevum

L'Espace Lyrique Méditerranéen Au Moyen ÂGe: Nouvelles Approches

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

L'Espace Lyrique Méditerranéen Au Moyen ÂGe: Nouvelles Approches

Article excerpt

L'Espace lyrique méditerranéen au Moyen Âge: Nouvelles approches, ed. Dominique Billy, Francois Clement, and Annie Combes, Interlangues: Litteratures (Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2006). 301 pp. ISBN 2-85816-811-3. euro18.00.

This is an interesting volume whose novel, and interdisciplinary, approach will surely introduce any readers, however conversant they are with the medieval lyric, to poets they do not know in societies with which they are not familiar. The editors' introduction stresses this: the focus will be deliberately heterodox, open to the 'trois grandes civilisations, hebrai'que, chretienne et musulmane' (p. 9) whose vitality shaped the countries bordering the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, and which were the site of voyage and exchange. Thus, for instance, the Catalan troubadour Cerveri de Girona borrowed verse-forms from the GalicianPortuguese trovadores (Dominique Billy); thus Raimbaut de Vaqueiras went to seek his fortune in Italy (Gerard Gouiran); thus an Arab poet from Granada made his way to Mali and Timbuctoo (Francois Clement); and thus some seventy Arab words filter into the langue d'oc and thence into French and other Romance languages (Peter Ricketts). What is fascinating also, and beyond the reader's simple amazement at these more obvious exchanges, is the richness of the poetic cultures that flourished around the Mediterranean between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries: Abdellatif Ghouirgate, for instance, explores an Arab lovetriangle propelled by poems in medieval Cordoba; Arie Schippers introduces two twelfth-century Jewish poets who flourished and wrote 'troubadour' poetry in Hebrew in Muslim Spain; and Cynthia Robinson explores Sufi mystic poetry in Muslim Andalusia. …

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