Session 822: Literature and Music in Monastic Contexts: Eugippius, Abelard, and Altmann of St Florian
Tuesday 11 July 2006, 16.30-18.00
|Andrew Cain, Department of Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder
|From Song to Silence: The Grieving Process in Abelard's Dolorum Solatium
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Latin, Music, Religious Life
|The Sublimation (and Sometimes, Annihilation) of Gesture and Emotion in the Passio Floriani of Altmann of St Florian
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Latin, Rhetoric
Abstract paper -a: This paper will examine the literary achievements of Abbot Eugippius of Lucullanum. This paper will focus mainly on his Excerpta Augustini, the milieu in which it was compiled, and how it fitted into the wider literary culture of 6th-century Italy.
Abstract paper -b: Presented to Heloise during her tenure at the Paraclete, Peter Abelard's planctus of the 1130s bear the composer's personal stamp. Unlike Abelard's hymns for Heloise, his planctus lack clear liturgical purpose. Rather, many believe they respond to the couple's failed love affair. Based on 2 Samuel, the planctus Dolorum solatium transforms Biblical inspiration into a song of human emotion, embodying grief within a creative frame. Employing poetic-musical interpretation, I reveal Abelard's planctus as a dynamic, psychological process, rather than static artifact, inevitably ending in silence. Further, I suggest gendered meanings for Abelard's adoption of the typically feminine lament genre.
Abstract paper -c: The Passio beati Floriani martiris, a poem of about 450 verses composed by Altmann (c. 1150 - c. 1222), provost of the famous Austrian monastery of St Florian, is based on a Carolingian prose passio. Altmann, well known in his own time for his voluminous metrical paraphrases of ecclesiastical law, makes use of this earlier text in an interesting way: on the one hand he rather over-intensifies the emotions of its protagonists, while on the other he sublimates them by dissolving them into a patchwork of biblical quotations and allusions which make the poem, even at its most climactic, hard to read and sometimes nearly unintelligible. The opposition of emotionality to scholarship, one of the crucial points of every literature (in Latin literature one could go back as far as Catullus to observe similar, although less fatal, difficulties), can clearly be demonstrated by means of this poem.