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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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(p.204) Epilogue
Stolen Song
Eliza Zingesser
Cornell University Press

This epilogue argues that, on the basis of French songbooks alone, there would not be sufficient grounds to conceptualize such a thing as “troubadour song.” With only francophone songbooks to use as sources, there would be only a cluster of (mostly) anonymous lyric, in which one would have to include the Occitanizing corpus alongside the songs known from elsewhere to have been composed by the troubadours. People would then see troubadour song not as a distinct repertoire in a foreign language but instead as one subset of francophone lyric. This appropriation is diametrically opposed to the reception of troubadour song elsewhere in Europe. In Italy, individual troubadours were memorialized through brief biographies or vidas. In Catalonia, Occitan was the subject of numerous grammatical treatises for would-be composers. Thus, while elsewhere in Europe troubadour song was represented as a prestigious model to be emulated, in francophone territories it was instead actively transformed to bring it closer to French, rendering it invisible. Remapped to the boundary between France and Occitania, anonymized, and linguistically Gallicized, troubadour lyric became legible as francophone, culturally and linguistically, in most francophone narratives and songbooks.

Keywords:   French songbooks, troubadour song, francophone songbooks, Occitanizing song, troubadours, francophone lyric, Occitan song, Occitania, France

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