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as defined in Roman emotional involvement. law HUMANITIES 181 were moreexwith infancy and infamous ,...,.-,....,,.........~..... of childhood terms in his corCatholic church when the execution of the husband's will prC)mlpted his female T'ol~ h1iTOC. to present a at the Court of Lnancery two wills as well as the UbjjSrteaas~~'~OY'~'vo~ and would have .........''''''''rla.rl Michael Sheehan. In he aa:l111ltte(l, as COIltnbu1tor :su~~ge:stsI II trained them alL' Marcia. lennel:n .....'I-"'''.._Ll., editor. 'Prions en Chantant': Devotional Trouveres Unlversll:v of Toronto Press 1997. x, 340. This commentary and edition of trouvere devotional songs is a WE~IO)mle UOJlIc..:i:lltlUnSmCe little attention has been to the music of this now. The author has limited her ..........> .... J.J.'-",~"" her two sources, in which are ,",'-~/"".l. .... ~,-,,-< from the main corpus. Some of the (Y~t'I"\£li"""'In-C listed for MS v are incorrect. 182 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 Gathering 2 should be folios 9-16; gathering 3, folios 17-24; gathering 13, folios 97-104; gathering 14, folios 105-12 (all of these quaternions); gathering 15, folios 113-19 (a folio and a ternion); gathering 16, folios 120-31 (a sesternion); her gatherings 17 and 18 are actually three binions, folios 132-35,136-39,140-43; and the final gathering should be folios 144-55 (two folios and a quinternion). In chapter 2, Epstein considers the various circles associated with the devotional songs, from the general populace to the clergy. Chapter 3 contains a discussion of the texts and the centrality they accord to the Virgin Mary, followed by a fivefold categorization of the songs' themes. While the devotional songs oftensupport official thirteenthcentury Catholic doctrine, they more often express a personal spirituality which uses various poetic images such as flora and fauna to illustrate the roles of Mary. Chapter 4 begins a discussion of the music by offering four formal categories which are related to the poetic types, followed by remarks on tonality. Then begins a defence of the author's rhythmic interpretation based on.text scansion. Since this is a topic that has preoccupied scholarship for nearly two centuries, it is surprising that hardly any of the voluminous secondary literature is cited, all the more so since Epstein's own interpretation depends so much on it. Most of her transcriptions are in duple metre and resemble those proposed by Hugo Riematm, who was also the first scholar to emphasize text scansion as the means of producing modern editions of vernacular monophonic repertoires; and Epstein's principle of the final or penultimate poetic accent receiving a downbeat was the cornerstone of Johann-Baptist Beck's 'modal theory.' Her chapter on music concludes with a few suggested performance techniques. The book's second and largest section edits both text and music of the sixty-one songs. The author emphasizes that this is an edition mainly for performers rather than scholars, a confUSing point, since the book's first part assumes a certain knowledge of medieval history and musical notation. For each song, the full Old French text is given with an accompanying English translation, followed py two musical transcriptions, one diplomatic and the other a rhythmic interpretation. Readers will be most grateful for Epstein's textual edition, which presents many of these poems in translation for the first time. But her musical renditions are open to question. The diplomatic transcription cannot be called such, for it reproduces only note shapes, altering the original clef, line layout, and script style. As for the author's rhythmic transcriptions, her own stated principle of a line's final or penultimate syllable receiving the strong beat is not always observed, and despite her earlier refutation of the use of modal rhythms, she applies them in numbers 23a, 35a, and 41a. The latter two are apparently inspired by manuscript v's admittedly inconsistent use of mensural shapes; v's clearest instance in this respect is not followed (number 44), yet can be easily transcribed predominantlyinrhythmic mode 2, beginning as follows: HUMANITIES 183 I*~ 2 J I JJ J I tJ d 81 J *II 8 Ro-se cui no - is ne ge Ie e. The author has nonetheless worked out her own original musical solutions based on a sotmd knowledge of the poetry, and these are a refreshing departure from the drab stemless notes widely used nowadays. If understood simply as 'musically plausible choices' intended primarily for performers, these transcriptions, together with Epstein's excellent poetic studYJ will serve as a useful startingpoint for both performers and scholars in the exploration of the trouvere devotional repertoire. (JOHN HAINES) Joanne Findon. A Woman's Words: Emer and Female Speech in the Ulster Cycle University of Toronto Press 1997. xiv, 212. $35.00 Joanne Findon's concise study of the speech attributed to one woman in four prose sagas of the medieval Irish Ulster Cycle is welcome as a literary study in an area which, with a few honourable exceptions, has been better served by students of language and myth than by literary critics. While Findon draws extensively on such 'vertical' readings in her analysis, her own examination of the texts and the women characters they present employs horizontal reading strategies developed through critical theory and feminist theory, and already applied in other areas of medieval women's studies. Erner is the wife of Cli Chulainn, the Irish Achilles, who is the central character of the prose epic Tain B6 Cuailnge, and also appears in the satellite tales considered here. Findon contends that the words attributed to her and to other women are much more than a ventriloquistic voicing ofpatriarchal discourse; they are speech acts, she argues, ways of doing things with words, as J.L. Austin famously proposed in 1962. By methodical analysis of the words spoken by Emer and other women in these four tales, and by placing them in the contexts she has so authoritatively delineated in her introduction, Fmdon demonstrates that far from being an untamed force of nature, constituted in opposition to culture, Erner in the fictions of the Ulster Cycle represents the most civilized values ofthe imagined society in which she lives. In the first two stories studied, The Wooing of Erner and Bricriu's Feast, Erner's language conforms to the contours of heroic life, enhances the honour of her hero husband and confirms his status; in the third and fourth, however, The Death ofAife's Only Son and The Wasting Sickness ofea ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 181-183
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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