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Marianne Sandels
”Känn bara inte, vackre vän, någon rädsla …”

Sandels, Marianne
”Känn bara inte, vackre vän, någon rädsla … ” Kvinnans ”röst” i lyriken på de romanska språken, 1100–1350. [”Fair friend, do not fear… ” The woman’s ”voice” in Romance-language lyric poetry, 1100–1350.]
Uppsala: Almaviva, 2005. (Almaviva-bok. 5.) 256 pages. Illustrated. Monograph. ISBN 91-974047-4-8. ISSN 1650-5751.

During the period 1100-1350 troubadour poetry and related lyric poetry were composed in four Romance languages: Occitan, French, Italian and Galician-Portuguese. The women troubadours, trobairitz, who wrote in Occitan form an outstanding group, whereas female authorship in the other three languages is not documented to the same extent. Recent scholarship is now contesting previous male attribution of anonymous texts, especially in the field of French-language poems.

However, during the same period numerous poems were composed in the female ”voice”, where the person speaking is a girl or a woman but the author is an identified man – or anonymous. This kind of poetry in the female voice was well-known and appreciated, especially in the Iberian peninsula where it was even considered a genre of its own, cantiga de amigo, as opposed to cantiga de amor, which was in the male voice.

"Känn bara inte, vackre vän, någon rädsla …"

The present study gives an overview of the four language groups, each with different traditions but clearly related to each other within the European mainstream culture. A wide selection of poems have been translated into Swedish and form the background for the discussions on authorship, intertextuality, characteristics, literary quality and present research. Special consideration is given to past and present scholarship relating to female attribution of medieval poetry.

As a great number of texts are anonymous and the overwhelming majority of those written by women are from the Occitan group, any discussion of quality or characteristics in terms of male versus female authorship is hazardous. However, certain observations and comparisons clarify viewpoints which may prove useful and pave the way for further research. – The book features about 20 illustrations related to the cultural life of the period 1100–1350.

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