Origins of Romance: The Andalusian Origins of the European Romance
Dr. Metin Bosnak.
For the first time people wrote extensively about love; courtly love, fine love, adulterous love, the love of the troubadours, and they went a long way into things. The troubadours for example were people who wrote about 'tremendous', 'inaccessible' love and respect for the lady. For the first time the lady is elevated to the level of the man and this is the most important thing in the culture and is perhaps the most symbolic thing about the cultural effervescence of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The effects of this love were not purely emotional and physical; it improved a man in every way. By developing the idea that a noble could not be a perfect knight unless he loved a woman the Cathar troubadours laid the foundation of courtly chivalry. Women were bound to enjoy a more elevated position in society. Although she could not fight herself, she could make a man a better warrior. The women of Occitania were accorded a great deal more respect than was common, and in this way did there exist an ideological, courtly, and chivalric kind of feminism.
The joyous love songs of the troubadours were often heard during Cathars worship but that one may have influenced the other is only a matter of speculation.
"The name troubadour itself (Provencal, trobador) has been traced with reasonable assurance from the Arabic root TRB (Ta-Ra B = 'music, song'), plus -ador, the usual Spanish agential suffix (as, for instance, in conquist-ador); so that Ta Ra B-ador would have meant originally simply 'song- or music-maker'. The troubadours resembled Arab singer, not only in sentiment and character, but also in the very forms of their minstrelsy. Certain titles which these Provencal singers gave to their songs are but translation from Arabic titles.
Dr. Metin Bosnak (Turkey)
American Studies English
Dr. Metin Bosnak was born in Yozgat, Turkey, in 1965 where he had his early schooling. He has published a collection of poetry in English and Turkish in 1987, Behind My Shadow , and scholarly articles on various aspects of Comparative Literature and American Studies. He is interested in all areas and genres of comparative literature, Greek and Roman literature, literary criticism and theory from Aristotle to the present, a comparative analysis of French and Turkish Literature, the interrelations between literature and cinema, the interrelations between literature and philosophy, medieval and Andalusian literature and philosophy, Women’s Studies, American Studies.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)