Welcome to the first of the “context” posts. Some of them (like the next six) will be a collection and collage of my attempts to talk about Old Occitan literature and literary culture elsewhere; but, like here, in public and intended for anyone. I also write about matters Occitan, Medieval, and Medievalist, amongst other things, on my main blog; some of that is also versions of longer publications.
I’ll start with some background information that’s not by me but from Wikipedia, as it is free and open and a good starting-point for contextualising Enimia:
- Old Occitan
- Occitan literature
- Old Occitan poetry > troubadours
- Medieval European romance literature
- saints’ lives > hagiography
An elegant introduction to Occitan, written for an open audience, can be found in Frances Freeman Paden and William D. Paden’s Troubadour Poems from the South of France (Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2007). Here are some excepts (pp. 1-2, 3, 6-7, 8-9):
This site also has a selective bibliography to provide free open fully accessible resources for further adventures in Old Occitan: manuscripts, transcriptions and editions, language (dictionaries and grammar), criticism, literary history, historical and cultural studies, and some classic introductory books (in many libraries and available through inter-library loan).
The next group of “context” posts are Twitter public writing on, around, and about Old Occitan. Twitter is a place, and tweets are a form of writing, that encourage an openness that’s also careful and considerate of your audience (it should be anyway, and often is), compassionate, and creates and maintains communities. The fixed short form of a tweet concentrates its content, which is communicatively good and poetically enriching. But the ability to continue tweets into a thread—recollecting poetic composition organised in groups of lines and in stanzas—and for it to be a conversation, as well as being shared with and read by others, has the potential to go further, to turn twittering into collective work, including all manner of research collaborations. For example: #MedievalTwitter.
I’ll add notes on translation choices and on any work in progress that has left a temporary multiple-choice translation or a conundrum in the “paratext” area. Any other commentary specifically on Enimia will be there too.
Please do bear with me, and bear in mind that this is a first version of a translation. I may change the form and format along the way, and would certainly expect to do so with next versions. Blogging platforms like this present one are useful as you can change their structure and format along the way.