Lotharingia Lost. The end of a literary region in the later Middle Ages
10 February 2018
KANTL - Koningstraat 18 - 9000 Gent
11:00 AM - 11:20 AM
Organization / co-organization:
Lecture Frank Willaert (UAntwerp)
About the lecture (during the international conference on Literatures without Frontiers)
Frank Willaert (UAntwerp): Lotharingia Lost. The end of a literary region in the later Middle Ages
The old kingdom, and later duchy, of Lotharingia, belongs to the losing side of not only political, but also literary history. This territory, which during the reign of his eponym Lotharius II (reigned 855-869) extended from the North Sea to the Vosges and from the river Scheldt to the Rhine, ceased to exist as a distinct political entity as early as 939. But though it crumbled into a multitude of lesser territories, it lingered on for centuries as a memory and as a dream, which was even able to repeatedly mobilise political ambitions until Charles the Bold’s untimely death before Nancy on the 5th of January 1477.
Nowadays, what once was Lotharingia belongs to five independent countries, in which five official languages (French, German, Dutch, Luxemburgian and Frisian) are spoken, all of them studied in as many philologies. The construction of these 'Nationalphilologien' is, in my view, one of the main reasons why literature in medieval Lotharingia has never been studied as a whole.
In the first part of his presentation, he hopes to be able to show that it does make sense to deal with medieval vernacular literature in a Lotharingian context, bydiscussing some cases taken from religious, epical and lyrical literature from the twelfth and thirteenth century. In the second part, he will try to demonstrate that this approach becomes gradually less appropriate as soon as one starts investigating literature from c. 1300 onwards. He will also try to indicate some prevailing factors which may have played a role in the gradual decomposition of Lotharingia as a distinct literary entity.
€ 25 (a day)
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