Academic journal article Medium Aevum

From the Resende Songbook

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

From the Resende Songbook

Article excerpt

Stephen Reckert, From the Resende Songbook (London: Dept of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1998). 108 pp. ISBN 0-904188-46-9. L9.00.

The affable, rotund personality of Garcia de Resende, Portuguese historian, poet, courtier, and civil servant, is curiously reflected in the content and dimensions of his Cancioneiro geral, an anthology of verse composed between 1449 and 1516, the year of its printing. Although the motive for Resende's compilation was sound - to encourage his compatriots back into poetic training so that they could adequately celebrate the heroic deeds of discovery and conquest - his indulgent acceptance of all contributions resulted in a vast inventory in which the ephemeral and the frivolous are over-represented. Stephen Reckert, who shares with Resende the latter's critical good humour and generosity, but thankfully not his lack of discrimination, is an exemplary guide to the poets worth meeting in the Cancioneiro, admittedly a tiny proportion of the original 370.

In part I, Reckert explores the determining factors of late medieval court life on a subservient if sophisticated community, largely oblivious to the new worlds opening up overseas. He shows, however, that the dictates of etiquette, the entertainment strategy of verse, song, and dance, and the lingering inheritance of the cantigas de amor and de escarnio e mal-dizer did not stifle all individuality. …

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.