Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5265
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  • Title: Rolan, de ceu ke m'avez/ Parti dirai mon samblant: The Feminine Voice in the Old French "Jeu-Parti"
  • Source: Neophilologus 83, 4 (October 1999): Pages 497 - 516.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Courtly Love Debate, Literary Genre Jeux- Partis, Literary Genre Literature- Verse Love in Literature Sexuality in Literature Women Authors Women Trouveres
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 13
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  • Abstract: What occurs when the normally silent lady of trouvère song -- the woman spoken about or spoken to in courtly lyric verse -- assumes a voice, that is, initiates a dialogue, responds, argues, contradicts, questions, and judges? Grounded on a computer concordance of eleven jeux-partis in which one or both partners are women I map in these exchanges paradigms of social interaction that differ markedly from the inherited patterns displayed in courtly trouvère song. A concern for agency, coupled with a need to enhance their reputation, marks most of the female participants in jeux-partis. Female speakers elect not to take the persona of the powerless, suppliant lover -- typical of both the courtly trobairitz canso and the popularizing Old French chanson de femme -- or to play the role of the cold, tyrannical lady. Instead, these feminine voices confidently assert their rights to the act of prayer and sexual pleasure, sometimes without regard for courtly constraints. The expression of female desire is presumed to go counter to the courtly code, whereas outspoken sensuality and active, independent female characters are prevalent in the non-courtly register. It appears that open expressions of sensuality were also possible in the jeu-parti. [Reproduced from the publisher's website: http://www.springerlink.com]
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  • Year of Publication: 1999.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00282677
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