Work in progress: “Flamenca”, fakery, artifice, and Troubadour poetry

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The following piece has suffered its annual review and tweaking:


Related to tweakage in ONE above, started rereading and will do so many times more, backwards and forwards, inside and out, attentively and in unbespectacled close-up and in distant unbespectacled fuzzy haze (it’s all part of the Process, darling), plus what other people have written about them etc. … the following:

  • Bernart Marti, D’entier vers far ieu non pes

Which I read several times this evening, the poem is getting from the “hang on, there’s a thing there” to the “it’s all going ‘hmmm’ with a steady humming throughout” stage, after which there are other stages but we won’t get into them yet. It’s humming and I’m haw-ing, we’ve only got to there so far.

  • Peire d’Alvernhe

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Related to the two previous items via reconsidering (this, too, happens about once every year or two) trobar clus, trobar leu, trobar ric. Especially clus.

  • Guiraut de Bornelh : hello again, we haven’t hung out for way too long. I’ve missed you, even though, like They all say, you’re a dry old wind-bag. Though that alba still freaking rocks…
  • —, “S’es chantars ben entendutz”
  • Lombarda’s tenso with Bernart Arnaut.
    On which see inter alia the excellent Beth Poe’s excellent essay in Shaping Courtliness in Medieval France: Essays in Honor of Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner, 2013.

In the works: feministing trobar clus. I’m not guaranteeing that there will be magpies but this does dovetail with items (1) and (4) in the last work in progress post from a fortnight or so ago.

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  • Bernart de Ventadorn

I am marvelling, as one does and as one does over and over again, at the sheer sass of Bernart de Ventadorn. How does the cheeky bastard get away with murder and smooth-talk his way into association with sincerity? He’s practically eponymous with sincerity.

He’s clearly, to any sane hetero-cis-female reader with her wits about her, a completely insincere manipulative but oh so very seductive and attractive Bastard. The kind that younger hetero-cis-females who might like to think of themselves as “complex” fall for when going through The Bastard Complex. This may be a compulsory developmental stage, somewhere around about ages 15-30 and hopefully doesn’t last more than a couple of years or so before one can move on to Dark Moody Gits, the Liz Phair Stage, PJ Harvey, AFP, Collecting, and other Stations Of The Amorous Cross.

Mind you that’s probably why Bernart de Ventadorn is so beloved by literary history and criticism—including the major repository and transmission that is anthologies—much of which is by hetero-cis-men and much by misogynists, in which group I include unthinking non-feminists who sin by omission and negligence. Bernart is their ideal man, wish-fulfillment incarnate for wishful thinkers.

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  • Sincerity and seduction

This is a return to much older pre-dissertation work, around Special Field time (so that would be fall 2002) and goes off in several directions.

One Direction appeared in the dissertation (ch. 4 on Archimbaut) and in other work on rehabilitating villains because they were honest, sincere, good, and true: angry mad men who were the medieval literary kin of some kinds of modern online trolls. (The band was formed later and is unrelated to any of these things.) Passion, pathos, and a frisson of danger through the risk of violence. Appeals to readers’ compassionate “save him from himself” Marian / maternal instincts.
Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.46.06 PMA second direction appeared somewhat in the dissertation (ch. 2 on Guillem, also a link to the previous item via Faus Samblant in the Roman de la Rose) and I’m thinking about it again, in relation to magpies and magpie-ing: sincerity, the liar paradox, and artifice; fakery; theft and mockery and/as disrespect for property and propriety.
Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.45.11 PMA third (really an offshoot of the second) is on sincerity, fakery, fiction, fragments, and forgery; and meta-fictioneering at work in Flamenca, thinking here about Bernart Marti and vers frag / frach.

So: you can look forward at some point to a post or article or something with a title that makes some dreadful pun on frigging, fragging, and who knows maybe fracking to frach to fresc if you’re really lucky.
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  • trobar clus, trobar leu, pretz e valor

On audience, transmission, the point of writing, and the public domain; subjectivity, criticism, judgement, and value; True Nobility of Soul; and probably some ranting and raving about the state of commodified higher education and corporatified educators, otium and human dignity, and High Hopes doubtless expressed in lofty tones about avoiding the end of civilisation and descent into post-apocalyptic dystopian hell.

Thanks to Facebook today for getting me thinking about “quality” as another key term here.


on translation


I’ve started translating Enimia.

Experimental paragraphs and baby steps, but there’s now officially a DRAFT in existence.

No, this is not about enemies or enemas although those words might be why this is not a more popular well-known saint.

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