Hybrid Discourse and Performance in the Old French Pastourelle

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When the pastourelle appears in French in the late twelfth century, some forty years after Marcabru's pioneering "L'autrier jost una sebissa," it is distinguished from its Occitan predecessors1 by two discursive features that have both made its typological classification a delicate issue2 and assured its longevity. The French pastourelle was first of all a pioneer in the mixing of social registers. Its characteristic confrontation between aristocratic narrator and shepherdess intersects both thematically and temporally with Andreas Capellanus's De amore3 and the two reflect, as Michel Zink has argued,4 preoccupations which were peculiar to France. Indeed, the pastorela did not acquire, or seek to imitate, its French counterpart's passion for staging socially transgressive amorous encounters. As the following examples illustrate, the social disparity between the two protagonists is a cornerstone of the pastourelle .
Original languageAmerican English
JournalFrench Forum
StatePublished - 2002


  • Arts and Humanities
  • French and Francophone Language and Literature

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