Andreas and the Ambiguity of Courtly Love

Paolo Cherchi

© 1994

A resolution to the vexed problem whether a troubadour's love is erotic or spiritual is offered by Paolo Cherchi through a new reading of Andreas Capellanus' De Amore (written around 1186-1196). He suggests that Andreas, using a rhetorical strategy that creates ambiguity, condemns courtly love because its claim that passion generates virtue is untenable and deceitful. Although Andreas grasped the core of the courtly love 'system,' namely, the relation between passion and ethics, he failed to consider the notion of mezura, that courtly virtue through which troubadours transformed nature into culture, and erotic passion into social discourse.

Cherchi offers an innovative interpretation and a close reading of selected poems. He traces the history of Provençal lyric poetry, highlighting some of the significant personalities and movements.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 194 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP000074

  • PUBLISHED NOV 1994

    From: $57.00

    Regular Price: $76.00

    ISBN 9780802005779
  • PUBLISHED NOV 1994

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

Quick Overview

Cherchi offers an innovative interpretation and a close reading of selected poems. He traces the history of Provençal lyric poetry, highlighting some of the significant personalities and movements.

Andreas and the Ambiguity of Courtly Love

Paolo Cherchi

© 1994

A resolution to the vexed problem whether a troubadour's love is erotic or spiritual is offered by Paolo Cherchi through a new reading of Andreas Capellanus' De Amore (written around 1186-1196). He suggests that Andreas, using a rhetorical strategy that creates ambiguity, condemns courtly love because its claim that passion generates virtue is untenable and deceitful. Although Andreas grasped the core of the courtly love 'system,' namely, the relation between passion and ethics, he failed to consider the notion of mezura, that courtly virtue through which troubadours transformed nature into culture, and erotic passion into social discourse.

Cherchi offers an innovative interpretation and a close reading of selected poems. He traces the history of Provençal lyric poetry, highlighting some of the significant personalities and movements.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 194 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    'In its suggestion that the paradox that so pervades courtly love is as much a social as a literary phenomenon, Paolo Cherchi's book offers an extremely interesting argument that is well worth the reading.'


    Sarah Spence
    Speculum
  • Author Information

    Paolo Cherchi is a member of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Chicago.