The Death of the Troubadour

The Death of the Troubadour
The Late Medieval Resistance to the Renaissance

Gregory B. Stone

232 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1994 | ISBN 9780812232141 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512807332 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

The Death of the Troubadour offers new insight into the emergence of the autonomous "self," which has often been taken as a marker of the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. Gregory B. Stone argues that the anonymity of late medieval texts, and specifically of the troubadour song, is not a sign of naïveté but rather that of a mature, deliberate resistance to the advent of individualism. Moreover, this anonymity reveals that medieval lyric, with a melancholy knowledge of the inevitable triumph of the specific over the general, of private over public subjectivity, lurks at the heart of narrative, ready to wield a retributive violence.

Through a series of detailed readings of a colorful selection of texts which mourn "the death of the troubadour"—including old French lais, old Provençal vidas and razos, Italian novella, and Chaucer's Book of the Duchess—Stone locates various strategies of resistance to bourgeois individualism and to the emerging notion that literature is the realistic mimesis of historical fact. He offers brief narratives recounting the biographies of specifically identified troubadour poets and the events that led those individuals to compose specific verses for individual ladies. This narrative birth of the individual is, indeed, the death of the troubadour.

The Death of the Troubadour will interest students and scholars of medieval and Renaissance literature, and of literary theory.

Gregory B. Stone is Professor of French, Italian and Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University.

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