Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Seis familias de baladas novelescas de la tradición pan-europea como clave para conocer la formación y la transmisión del género
by Nixon, Bobby Dean, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2012, 671; 3544676
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines six Iberian romances that are genetically related to ballads from the Scottish-English ballad tradition as key to understanding the formation and the transmission of the genre. It analyzes these traditional songs and the traits they share with Pan-European analogues in order to suggest routes of transmission and possible origins. Beyond a search for sources and a comparative study, it engages in a profound analysis of novelesque ballads that have international parallels. This type of universal ballad grew out of previous lyric and narrative traditions of the Middle Ages and transcends linguistic and political borders. These traditions originated in the Franco-Provenzal region and spread throughout Europe in printed texts and orally through the active transmission of wandering minstrels who performed in courts, in public spaces, and along pilgrimage routes.

Chapters 1-4 are introductory in nature and contextualize the origins of international novelesque ballads within previous genres that were transmitted by wandering minstrels and the pre-Gutenberg public who memorized them, taking into account current theory on orality and the relationships between oral and written texts. Considerations of authenticity in each text allows for the identification of editorial interventions or the influence of written or recorded ballads on the singers. The recognition that ballads are performed texts not created to be read silently but sung aloud as group entertainment with a social function leads to a greater focus on the singers' roles as tradition-bearers and proprietors of a received oral tradition. As a result, this approach analyzes the ballads in their social and historical context as texts that are unstable.

Chapters 5-10 apply the approach established in the previous chapters to six ballad families: "El caballero burlado-The Baffled Knight," "El conde Claros en hábito de fraile-Lady Maisry," "Rico franco-Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight," "Blancaniña-Clerk Saunders-Our Goodman," "Señas del esposo-The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington," and "La condesita-Young Beichan." I incorporate critique from scholars of each tradition and provide bilingual versions (original language and Spanish) of the various Pan-European analogues.

The goal of this work is to create a greater collaborative effort between scholars of the Iberian ballad tradition and those of the rest of Europe in order to advance our understanding of how each tradition formed, how the ballads crossed international borders, and what these traditions share.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martin, Adrienne L.
Commitee: Armistead, Samuel G., Pedrosa Bartolome, Jose Manuel
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature, Medieval literature, Folklore, Music
Keywords: Ballads, Minstrel, Oral transmission, Pilgrimage, Romance, Traditional music
Publication Number: 3544676
ISBN: 9781267758170
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