Home » Medieval Joke Poetry: The Cantigas DEscarnho E de Mal Dizer by Benjamin Liu
Medieval Joke Poetry: The Cantigas DEscarnho E de Mal Dizer Benjamin Liu

Medieval Joke Poetry: The Cantigas DEscarnho E de Mal Dizer

Benjamin Liu

Published November 30th 2004
ISBN : 9780674016644
Paperback
192 pages
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 About the Book 

Medieval Joke Poetry examines the intersection of jokes, laughter, insults, and poetry in a collection of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century medieval Iberian songs known as the Cantigas descarnho e de mal dizer. Written in Galician-Portuguese,MoreMedieval Joke Poetry examines the intersection of jokes, laughter, insults, and poetry in a collection of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century medieval Iberian songs known as the Cantigas descarnho e de mal dizer. Written in Galician-Portuguese, these songs of mockery and insult make up a heterogeneous corpus whose witticisms are by turns funny and vicious, crudely obscene and exquisitely sophisticated, playful and deadly serious. Lius readings disentangle the complex verbal strategies of these joke-poems in order to reveal the latent cultural tensions that underlie their humor. Wordplay, double meanings, and deliberate combinations of incongruous ideas are intended to elicit laughter, even as they gesture toward the rupture of accepted cultural categories in such manifestly hybrid paradoxes as an Albardan cavaleiro (noble buffoon), a mouro cruzado (Crusader Moor), or a male dona salvage (wild woman). Liu shows how these jokes operate in such varied cultural contexts as the arts of augury and divination, pilgrimage, prostitution, interfaith sexuality, and medical malpractice.