'A bona trobairis' Hoofse chansons van vrouwelijke troubadours in het twaalfde- en dertiende-eeuwse zuiden van Frankrijk


  • Hannie van Horen Verhoosel


The trobairitz, usually high-ranking noble women who were known as domna, are the female poets of courtly lyric. They can be regarded as the female counterparts of the troubadours, the lyric singers and poets of courtly love, a culture that flourished in the courts of southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Their work fits almost completely into the socio-poetic code of the male troubadour love lyric. The writing of a courtly chanson caused a double-edged problem for the trobairitz: in the first place they must make their mark in a male dominated genre, and they must also adapt the courtly code of that genre, bound as it was by strict formality and inflexible rules, to their own situation. This meant they must replace the man as the active and articulate lover, and manoeuvre him into the passive role of the ‘beloved’. The central question of this article deals with the breaching of the traditional courtly code and its consequences for the gender identity of the trobairitz, for their chosen perspective and the manner in which this breach acquired shape in the formal vocabulary of courtly lyric.