“Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016 (2): notes from roundtable + tidied fuller version of talk


This post is a follow-up to “Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016 (2016-05-09)

Text, after, culture, ecocriticism, time

Added intro: all of us on this panel—Lisa Bevevino, Hartley Miller, Darrell Estes, and myself—were talking, in one form or another, about transformation: so that’s the fil conducteur that continues here… (more…)

“Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016: (UPDATED 2018: manuscript online &) rough list of editions & translations


Bibliothèque d’agglomération de Carcassonne. Ms. 34 (anciennes cotes : n° 2703 ; n° 2176). Digitised and freely available online ℅ Occitanica.eu 

A fragmentll. 2713-20–is in the 14th-c. Catalan Vega-Aguiló Codex: Palma de Mallorca, Biblioteca de la Societat Arqueològica Lul·liana, Codex E / Biblioteca de Catalunya mss. 7-8.


François Juste Marie Raynouard’s 1812 edition of excerpts of Flamenca appear in “Notice de Flamenca, poëme provençal, manuscrit dans la Bibliothèque municipale de Carcassonne, no. 681,” Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale et autres bibliothèques vol. XIII part 2 (Paris, 1827): 80-132; and in Choix de poésies originale des troubadours (Paris, 1816-21); and in Lexique roman (Paris, 1838-44).
NOTES: extracts with French prose translations (more…)

“Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016 (1): before the climactic event, an introduction to international medievalist congress

The Old Occitan Romance of Flamenca has long been known, to Occitanists and other similarly fine noble persons of taste and distinction as A Good Thing. And fine, noble, etc.

It has been growing in repute. Part of that is its availability in four new paperback editions and translations, all in the last ten years. In Medievalist, publication, and book-historical terms this is Major.

Here’s a rough list, in chronological order, of editions and translations. (more…)

Magpies (1): on Eugene Onegin, birds of an intelligent variety, how one might distinguish these birds from other birds and from one another and why one might wish to do so, and language teaching


As promised a week ago: magpies.

I was thinking about birds back in July, partly because I had finally got around to reading Sarah Kay’s Parrots and Nightingales: Troubadour Quotations and the Development of European Poetry (2013). This reading and thinking went on hold because a family member ended up in hospital and that rather took priority. While tidying my office, I found the notes I’d taken (mostly on a train so the writing is harder than usual to decipher). They will duly be squinted at, hopefully deciphered and transcribed, and continued and rendered coherent. Wish me luck, my handwriting is bad at the best and slowest-writing of times.

So. Parrots and nightingales.

I was reminded of birds and citation while watching Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin a week or so ago (thanks to my hosts JJI and CIJ, and others in that good company). The opening scene is woven around a “saw” about heaven sending you habit instead of happiness; and that stability, solid banality, being something you settle for instead of wanting Great Exciting Things (= men, in this opera’s case) In Life. Here’s the full text: (more…)

Democratic “Flamenca”: read it online for free, and relatively cheaply in paperback

Images in the rest of this post are linked to their places of origin (online project, publisher’s website page for an edition) and open in new tabs/windows.

  • two online resources
  • four paperbacks, published between 2008 and 2015, ranging in price from €9.20 to €40.00



[Dedicated to the dedicated Valerie Michelle Wilhite.]

This post is a spin-off from an abstract I was writing for a call for papers, which I’m also sharing and redistributing immediately here below. It’s an idea for an ideal (post-book) edition of the 13th-c. Occitan Flamenca, and the post is punctuated with illuminations from Scarfolk Council*. You see, I am still being rather overcome with joy because of two things:

  • Flamenca is gaining recognition (a steady happiness since May), and
  • yesterday, my copy of Discovering Scarfolk arrived.

Some of this post is still in note/draft form, but you’ll get the gist of the idea.


The Old Talks Series: “Chat-Up Lines: The Expression of Feminine Ingenuity in some Occitan Hagiography” (Faith, Enimia, Margaret)

Here’s something I think I’ll return to this summer, encouraged by discussion with the marvellous Jennifer Edwards and through her talk yesterday (Kalamazoo session 73, Société Guilhem IX; Celebrating Occitania Then and Now: Responses across Disciplines):

“Si me non osculeris, hinc mihi cura nec ulla est”: Radegund, the Leper’s Kiss, and Holy Healing in Poitou.

Kalamazoo, now in its 50th year, is a great and wonderful thing. It, and the acholarly societies here, are part of the living fibre of American liberal arts culture. To a foreigner who’s been able to spend a little time at the institutional expression of this great educational idea/l, this scholarly liberal arts culture seems to be an essential and integral part of American culture, identity, mythical identity, and the dream. Before coming to the US for postgraduate study, I knew about this liberal arts culture more abstractly, in a mythic (mythified) and dream-like way, as the inheritor of the medieval liberal arts and a continuer of scholarly ideals that included the Renaissance Collège de France, the eighteenth-century German research institutes, and English (and other) scholarly societies of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries; I’d hesitate to say that the American liberal arts culture is the pinnacle of academia, though it’s tempting. It does a good job of sitting on shoulders of giants, perhaps with several giants as the solid foundation of a cheer-leading pyramid formation.

I missed Kalamazoo last year, for various reasons, mainly a practical work-relate one. I’ve been coming here off and on since 2004, and it’s always a joy to meet the same people, including the close academic family of international Medieval Occitan studies who welcomed me at my first Kalamazoo. I was there on my own, an academic orphan mid-dissertation, my original superviser having died a few months before. I had met few Occitanists before, never more than one at a time in any place (except Cambridge). At Kalamazoo, I walked into a room of a dozen of them. It was marvellous, as were they, and as they still are. This year’s two sessions had about thirty or so in the audience, and intersections of interest with a number of fields. In keeping with the koine nature of our language and its literary culture we’re an open, hospitable lot.

The Société Guilhem IX is one of two similar-sized international Occitanist associations, the other being the French-based AIEO. It (the former) has a fine journal, TENSO, and two sponsored sessions here at Kalamazoo every year. If any of you gentle readers are interested in medieval (and later!) Occitan, if your work touches on its literature and culture in any way, if you’ve ever even simply used the word “troubadour”: this society is for you. Join. Read and download the journal online: it’s at MUSE. And come see us at future Kalamazoos.

Here’s an old Kalamazoo talk, then, which as you see is rather rough (it was a talk, written as such). I’m putting it up here now, rough and ready and ragged as it is, because we need more medieval Occitan stuff online, in whatever shape. And because some stories should be shared and spread, and talked about. It’s often easier to talk about less finished work, it feels more malleable, clay not yet fired. We had fun yesterday with Enimia: Jennifer is the first other real live person I know who had read and (of course, like any decent person) loved Enimia’s Occitan vita. Saints Foy, Enimia, and Margaret are splendid, fabulous, hilarious. The paper that follows is about their cheeky chattiness.

The Occitan text, in the Clovis Brunel edition (still the main one, was I think the only one when writing this paper???), is freely openly available online at: archive.org.




(1) Work in progress

(2) An actual real live funded group collaborative research project thanks to the UBC TLEF: “Blended Learning: Redesigning First- and Second-Year Language Courses in French and Spanish.” (more…)