- An Update to “Et aysi trobaretz de las suas chansos”: Occitan Manuscripts Online
Occitan literature, philology, textual criticism, troubadours, digital humanities, medieval manuscripts, songbooks, chansonniers online, manuscripts online
Since publication in Tenso 31 (2016) of “‘Et aysi trobaretz de las suas chansos’: Occitan Manuscripts Online,” the website <https://trobaretz.wordpress.com>, which contains descriptions and links to 120 Old Occitan manuscripts online, has received a total of 1,727 visitors who have registered 4,712 views online from forty-one different countries.1 Of this total, 3,040 views have come from Italy (64.5%), 647 from the USA (13.7%), 236 from France (5%), 233 from Spain (4.9%), and 129 from the UK (2.7%), statistics that give a sense of where interest in the manuscripts lies.
However, since the time of publication, fifty-two new manuscripts have been digitized and made available to the general public, and four that were included in the original publication have been, to the best of my knowledge, taken down. In the newest version of the site, I now have listed a total of 168 Old Occitan manuscripts available online, with partial descriptions (and references to relevant bibliographies with more complete entries), and live links to each resource on the holding library’s website. As before, my methodology has been simple (Wells 69–74): I have followed Clovis Brunel’s Bibliographie des manuscrits littéraires en ancien provençal, supplemented with Jean-Baptiste Camp’s Les Manuscrits occitans à la Bibliothèque nationale de France, to constitute my list. Of the 376 manuscripts indicated by Brunel, 158 are now available online, making close to half (42%) of Brunel’s repertory available online. 75% of Riquer’s list of “los cancioneros más utilizados” (12) assigned a capital letter can now be consulted online (24 of 32 total).
While compiling this updated list of Occitan manuscripts online, I began to notice a discrepancy in Brunel’s criteria for inclusion that can only be addressed in part here (Brunel xi–xiii). [End Page 71] This inconsistency has to do with what constitutes a “literary Occitan” manuscript. For example, Brunel includes manuscripts that have Occitan citations, such as item 160 of the updated website, which contains Guillaume de Dole, but he does not include the three manuscripts of Dante’s De vulgari eloquentia found in Berlin, Grenoble, and Milan, even though they contain troubadour citations. Whether it was because he did not consider the Italian poet’s Latin treatise as “literary” or that he contested the “Occitan” nature of the work, I cannot say. However, items 48 and 146 on the updated site now include links to digitizations of manuscripts containing Dante’s treatise on vernacular literature. In my future research, I will begin including more manuscripts such as these. Further questions arise: should manuscripts of Guillelmus de Aragonia’s De nobilitate animi, a work which has troubadour quotations translated into Latin, be included? What about digitizations of Ramon Muntaner’s Catalan Crònica, which contains the well-known Sermó composed in Occitan? I will be able to address these and other questions in future additions to the website. For the time being, only the two manuscripts of Dante’s De vulgari—Grenoble (item 48) and Milan (item 146)—with their Occitan citations, have found their way onto the list.
While four manuscripts listed in the 2016 publication have seemingly gone missing,2 I hope that my addition of a table of contents and a fresh new look to the website will tide users over while I continue to hunt down the now-missing volumes. I [End Page 72] would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have contacted me to inform me of new manuscripts published online. I hope that readers of Tenso and users of the site will continue to alert me to new Occitan manuscripts online so I can add them to the website (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would like to thank in particular Miriam Cabré, Katie Chapman, Christopher Davis, Marisa Galvez, Sarah Kay, Kathryn Klingebiel, William D. Paden, Wendy Pfeffer, and Eliza Zingesser for their feedback and/or suggestions for the site. Their interest...