HARVARD STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Cover: Medieval Joke Poetry: The Cantigas d’Escarnho e de Mal Dizer, from Harvard University PressCover: Medieval Joke Poetry in HARDCOVER

Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature 50

Medieval Joke Poetry

The Cantigas d’Escarnho e de Mal Dizer

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674016637

Publication Date: 11/30/2004

Short

Related Subjects

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 d’escarnho 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. Benjamin Liu’s 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.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket, In Mrs. Tully’s Room: A Childcare Portrait by Vivian Gussin Paley, Harvard University Press

Remembering Vivian Gussin Paley

Renowned educator and author Vivian Gussin Paley died recently. Her former editor at Harvard University Press, Elizabeth Knoll, looks back on her life and work, which emphasized storytelling as an important tool in children’s learning. Vivian Gussin Paley was a small, gray-haired schoolteacher

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.