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Oswald Von Wolkenstein's Multilingual Songs In European Context: Theory And Practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)350-367
Number of pages18
JournalGerman Life and Letters
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

King's Authors

Abstract

This article considers Oswald von Wolkenstein's two multilingual songs, ‘Do fraig Amors’ and ‘Bog dep’mi was tustu da’, in the light of a longer European tradition of polyglossia in which poets contemplated the pan-European nature of lyrical culture. Comparison is drawn with the thirteenth-century poets Raimbaut de Vaqueiras and Dante, whose important activity in multilingual poetry clearly foreshadows Oswald's intellectual engagement with the specificity of individual languages and their applicability to writing courtly love lyric. Close examination of Oswald's manuscript transmission, however, shows a clearer awareness of the practical concerns affecting polyglot lyric – principally incomprehension and scribes deforming ‘foreign’ languages. The Austrian poet emerges as a thoughtful and sometimes ludic participant in a European intellectual preoccupation, whose contribution outstrips earlier and more acclaimed Romance actors.

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