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Stolen SongHow the Troubadours Became French$
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Eliza Zingesser

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747571

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747571.001.0001

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Keeping Up with the French

Keeping Up with the French

Jean Renart’s Francophile Empire in the Roman de la rose

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter 2 Keeping Up with the French
Source:
Stolen Song
Author(s):
Eliza Zingesser
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501747571.003.0003

This chapter examines Jean Renart's Roman de la rose (early thirteenth century). It specifically assesses the way in which francophone lyric and other French artistic objects—the symbolic significance of which has previously been dismissed by critics—are circulated with a peculiar frenzy by the elite of the Holy Roman Empire in Rose. Renart implies that instead of taking an interest in the artistic traditions more native to the Empire—such as Minnesang (the German analog of troubadour and trouvère song)—the cultural elite of the Empire are infatuated with French cultural products. The chapter then looks at the processes through which Occitan song is assimilated into the broader francophone lyric landscape, one of which is linguistic Gallicization. This process has resulted in this text, as elsewhere in the French reception of the troubadours, in occasional moments of nonsensicality, and the chapter documents the various ways in which this nonsensicality is accounted for within the narrative. Finally, it considers the ramifications of this staging of French culture (including Gallicized Occitan) within the narrative.

Keywords:   Jean Renart, Roman de la Rose, francophone lyric, Holy Roman Empire, cultural elite, French cultural products, Occitan song, Gallicized Occitan, troubadour song, Minnesang

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