Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Between Sequence and 'Sirventes': Aspects of Parody in the Troubadour Lyric

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Between Sequence and 'Sirventes': Aspects of Parody in the Troubadour Lyric

Article excerpt

Catherine Leglu, Between Sequence and 'Sirventes': Aspects of Parody in the Troubadour Lyric, Legenda/Research Monographs in French Studies 8 (Oxford: EHRC, 2000). 160 pp. ISBN 1-900755-44-0. L14.50.

Catherine Leglu proposes here to explore a restricted corpus of troubadour songs in order to raise questions about the nature of parody in general and its particular manifestations in the troubadour sirventes, an often neglected genre whose considerable interest Leglu's work, here and elsewhere, commendably highlights. Emerging from her study arc some brilliant readings of individual texts, as well as invaluable exposition of liturgical and other ecclesiastical material relevant to troubadour compositions.

Leglu begins by discussing evidence for clerical parody, from the relationship between tropes and versus of the Aquitanian corpus and early troubadour vers to Peire de Corbiac's Thezaur which makes an explicit link between church singing and vernacular material. She follows this with a discussion of theoretical approaches to parody of the sacred, demonstrating that the latter is not necessarily subversive but may be received as licensed comment or a reinforcement of the authority possessed by its model. She demonstrates convincingly that parodic effect in both ecclesiastical and troubadour material depends on context, which may involve the intention of the reciter as much as that of the author. …

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