Reading nowadays is usually a lonely and silent experience. However, in the case of poetry, and especially of latin poetry, only out loud reading perfectly reveals the beauty of the rhythm that can be considered its very soul, and towards which are tending all metrical constraints around its composition. Unlike now, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’ people had numerous occasions to listen to (neo-)latin poetry recitations : in the classroom, but also among friends or family, in the literary academies, at court, during private or public celebrations, and, of course, on the stage. A musical accompaniment could be provided, and one may wonder if the poems weren’t sung in some occasions. Anyway, in the area of polyphonic singing, a particular vein of motets offers musical settings on metrical neo-latin poems by contemporary humanists. Neo-latin poetry could therefore, at this time, be discovered by the ear and in a group situation. The announced study day aims to explore this particular aspect of neo-latin poetry, questioning about what the ‘loud’ and ‘collective’ dimensions involved for the various protagonists :
- from the author’s point of view : can some writing strategies be traced in function of the expected performance and public ?
- from the composer’s point of view (if any) : how were the various textual components (content, metre…) taken into account ?
- from the performer’s point of view (reader, reciter, singer, actor) : what were the practical conditions and modalities of the performance (occasion, place and time, elocution, body language, musical accompaniment…) ?
- from the audience’s point of view : who composed the audience ? to what extent was it able to understand the message of the poem in latin ? did it have some back-up at its disposal (programme, complete text, translation, summary…) ?
Please send a 300-word abstract before 15 April 2009 to the following e-mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers (20 minutes) may consider any aspect of the theme, but should be restricted to metrical neo-latin poetry. Period : 16th and 17th centuries. Geographical area : Europe.
The study day languages will be : French, Dutch, English and Italian (depending on the attendees).
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