Multilingualism and Mother Tongue in Medieval French, Occitan, and Catalan Narratives

Paperback | May 28, 2010

byCatherine E. Léglu

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The Occitan literary tradition of the later Middle Ages is a marginal and hybrid phenomenon, caught between the preeminence of French courtly romance and the emergence of Catalan literary prose. In this book, Catherine Léglu brings together, for the first time in English, prose and verse texts that are composed in Occitan, French, and Catalan-sometimes in a mixture of two of these languages. This book challenges the centrality of "canonical" texts and draws attention to the marginal, the complex, and the hybrid. It explores the varied ways in which literary works in the vernacular composed between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries narrate multilingualism and its apparent opponent, the mother tongue. Léglu argues that the mother tongue remains a fantasy, condemned to alienation from linguistic practices that were, by definition, multilingual. As most of the texts studied in this book are works of courtly literature, these linguistic encounters are often narrated indirectly, through literary motifs of love, rape, incest, disguise, and travel.

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The Occitan literary tradition of the later Middle Ages is a marginal and hybrid phenomenon, caught between the preeminence of French courtly romance and the emergence of Catalan literary prose. In this book, Catherine Léglu brings together, for the first time in English, prose and verse texts that are composed in Occitan, French, and ...

Catherine E. Léglu is Reader in French Studies at the University of Reading. She is the author of Between Sequence and Sirventes: Aspects of Parody in the Troubadour Lyric (2000).
Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9.02 × 6.01 × 0.59 inPublished:May 28, 2010Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271036737

ISBN - 13:9780271036731

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part 1: Myths of Multilingualism

1. Babel in Girart de Roussillon

2. Tongues of Fire in Guilhem de la Barra

3. Acquiring the (M)other Tongue in Avignon and Toulouse

Part 2: Language Politics

4. Translation Scandals

5. Languages and Borders in Three Novas

6. Monolingualism and Endogamy: French Examples

Part 3: The Monolangue

7. The Multilingual Paris and Vienne

8. Pierre de Provence et La Belle Maguelonne

9. Travels in the Monolangue

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Occitan specialist Catherine Léglu has hit her stride with this original and timely study. Nuanced analysis, theoretically informed argument, and bold readings of narrative images combine to restore the marginal and the hybrid to the center of Romance studies in this fascinating journey through the crisscrossing pathways of late medieval Romance vernacularity.”

—Sarah Kay, Princeton University