Erotic Dawn-songs of the Middle Ages
Voicing the Lyric LadyeBook - 1996
The alba, or dawn-song, takes its name from the hour at which it is sung. Appearing in southern France around the middle of the twelfth century, the genre presents the parting plaints of adulterous lovers. Such erotically charged songs blend the lyricism, dramatic power, and poignancy implicit in the lovers' plight. The alba is the only genre in an emerging vernacular lyric corpus whose focus is reciprocal romantic love. Gale Sigal reexamines the role of the female voice as it is commonly viewed in the history of Western lyric. Among lyric ladies, the alba lady plays a vital role: she dramatizes the female love experience in her own voice. The traditional image of the silenced and repressed lady of the canso (the "canonical lyric genre") is overturned by the alba lady's forceful presence and eloquent voice. That voice cries out for a hearing, while the canso lady's is still. Erotic Dawn-Songs redirects our attention to this lyric lady, who for the first time assumes her rightful place at the critical center of a lyric continuum in which an array of women are presented from varying points of view. In the process this book crosses a number of disciplinary borders, including comparative literature, social and literary history, women's studies, and medieval studies.
Publisher: Gainesville : University Press of Florida, ©1996
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 241 pages)