In reading about the troubadours, the critics mention how the great scholar of the troubadour phenomenon understood everything about the poetry except what it was about!
It took Moshe Lazar to bust open the prim world of scholarship and let the love light in.
Another scholar, Guillet, wrote a brief note that took the grand man on, too. I’m learning about scholarship as much as I’m learning about troubadour poetry.
I’ll write more about this as I read on.
Reading the introduction and beginning the section on origins, I see how modern the approach is in this 1995 collection of essays, each one crafted as an introduction to and summary of a major element in troubadour studies. The role of oral poetry, of orality as opposed to literacy, in all cultures is taken into account. It would seem reasonable to imagine scholars in this field would be totally absorbed by the Western tradition of literary and historical thought, but, no, these scholars seem very aware of universal human traits in all the realm of troubadour poetry: metrics, song, composition, patronage, topics, love, social class, elites, language & translation, imagery, etc. Very impressive.