Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Troubador* (for Troubadour*)

Since never again I'd be happy
nor would I know happiness, without you;
I'd take
such a way
that I'd never be seen by men again;
that day
I'll die,
brave lady, in which I lose you.

--translated excerpt from Kalenda maya by troubadour Raimbaut de Vaqueyras
The troubadours, lyric poets from southern France, northern Italy, and northern Spain, flourished from the late 11th to late 13th centuries. These poets often held a knightly rank, and wrote about courtly love, at times setting their poetry to music appropriated from sacred songs or local dance melodies.

The troubadours had a massive social influence and even occasionally partook in politics, being highly favoured by the courts and given freedom of speech. In this way they could be seen as the ancestors of 1960s troubadours, folk singers such as Bob Dylan.

The word troubadour comes from the Occitanian trobar, which means “to find” or “to invent”. It’s your job as a cataloguer to find the typo troubador* in your catalogue, and avoid inventing new errors.

Troubador* is a typo of high probability on the Ballard list, but not all of the hits returned are errors: the company Troubador Publishing, based in London, England spells its name without the second u.

Leanne Olson

(Troubadour image from artfiles.art.com)

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