The Cort d'Amor is a unique late twelfth-century allegorical romance in Occitan which predates the Roman de la Rose by some 50 years. A variety of lyric and narrative genres are fused together in this gem of poetic brilliance and philosophical playfulness. In a long-overdue new edition, Matthew Bardell highlights the work's intertextuality with Andreas Capellanus' De Amore to show how the Occitan work presents a dialogue between gendered approaches to love whilst parodying the exegetical tradition. It juxtaposes exquisite lyric passages with some of the standard Ovidian teaching on love and undermines the reader's attempts to distinguish between the two. This edition, with a facing English translation, makes an important contribution to the study of medieval allegory and courtly love in general, as well as to the dissemination of Ovid in the Middle Ages and the narrative transformations of Old French and Occitan lyric.
Matthew Bardell recently completed his doctoral thesis at Clare College, Cambridge, and is now working on his second book, on early medieval allegory.
‘Makes an important contribution to the study of medieval allegory and courtly love in general, as well as of the dissemination of Ovid in the Middle Ages. The narrative itself raises interesting questions concerning the relationship between literature in Occitan, Old French and Latin.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XXXIX, 2003, 470
‘L'édition d'un texte relativement négligé est toujours la bienvenue, surtout lorsque celles qui l'ont précédée ne sont pas satisfaisantes. Il va de soi qui toute publication constituera un progrès et peut mener à la résolution des difficultés qui restent. Tel est le cas de La Cort d'Amor.’ — Peter Ricketts, Revue des Langues Romanes CVII/1, 2003, 211-27
‘This is an effective, accessible, and enlightening version of an often neglected and sadly misunderstood poem. It will undoubtedly lead specialists to consider further the dialogue between northern French and Occitan-speaking literary circles of the late twelfth century. It also shows the extent to which allegorical narratives prior to the Roman de la rose were exploring similar questions and problems.’ — Catherine Léglu, Speculum October 2004, 1028-30
‘As well as having a thought-provoking introduction, Bardell's edition comes with a carefully delineated statement of editorial principles ... let us hope that critics will indeed make the Cort d'Amor their own thanks to this admirable edition.’ — Francesca Nicholson, Modern Language Review 99.3, 2004, 772 (full text online)
‘Bardell's edition is the first reliable and complete one of the poem ... in highlighting the importance of the poem Bardell has opened the way for further study, particularly in the history and use of vernacular allegory and in the attitudes that the text propounds.’ — Leslie C. Brook, Medium Aevum LXXIII.i, 2004, 154-5
‘Zusammenfassend kann man sagen: solide Neuausgabe, die als Basis für den Cort d'Amor gelten kann und die Editionen von Constant und Jones ersetzt; gute literarische Einleitung; eine vertiefte sprachliche Analyse steht aber noch aus.’ — Max Pfister, Zeitschrift für romanische Sprache Bd. 120, Heft 3, 2004, 564-8
‘[Bardell's] reading of the allegory is sensitive and convincing. This challenging text has waited too long for a reliable edition. Bardell has advanced our understanding appreciably, but manifold uncertainties remain.’ — William D. Paden, French Studies 59.2, 2005, 225-26
Bardell, Matthew (ed.), La Cort d'Amor: A Critical Edition, Research Monographs in French Studies, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2002)
First footnote reference:35La Cort d'Amor: A Critical Edition, ed. by Matthew Bardell, Research Monographs in French Studies, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2002), p. 21.