Introduction to Provencal Provencal was originally used in all the south of France, as far north as Poitou, Limousin and the Dauphin'e. Romance language descended from Latin. XIth century Earliest texts (3) survive from XIth century. La Chanson de Sainte Foy (1033) is the only one of real merit.
Xith Century Period of the early troubadours. Dominant genre lyric poetry, especially the chanson (love poetry); also important, (satire); moral and religious poetry and the parti men (debate poetry). Principal poets: Guillaume IX of Aquitaine, Marca bru, Jaufr'e Rude, Cerca mon, Bernard de Venta dour, Bertrand de Born, Ar naut Daniel and Raimbaut d'Aurenga. Wrote for a society where patronage was the rule. Poetry governed by strict conventions as regards rhyme and metre. Music very important.
Poets were usually composers as well and set their poems to music. Society destroyed by the Albigensian Crusade (first part of the thirteenth century). Many southern lords destroyed or impoverished and replaced by northern invaders. Deathblow to troubadours, many of whom fled to Aragon and Italy where troubadour poetry continued to enjoy great prestige.
Dante admired the troubadours very much. XIII th centuryXIIIth century sees poetry continue with poets like Pei re Cardinal and there are some surviving poems, which show that there was an epic tradition (Darrel et Beton), and a romance tradition (Jaufr'e and Flamen ca). Xith century Poetry becomes conventional with few outstanding poets, but real efforts to preserve the traditions and language. 1323 foundation of the Consistory del Gai Saber. The Jeux Flora ux at Toulouse where prizes were awarded to the best poets. Religious poetry flourished (La Vida de Sant Ono rat) and there was some epic poetry (Ronsasvals).
Some theatre and prose especially religious (Balaam et Josafat), but also secular (Melusino, Chronique de Montpellier). Xxth century period of decline in quality and quantity. Some theatre (les myst " eyes and al pins), some prose (Chronique des Comes de Fix et seigneurs du Be arn by Michel Bern is 1445). Period when Provencal writers are turning towards French for political and prestigious reasons. Xith century Despite the 'edit de Villars-Cotter ets (1539) enforcing the use of French in official documents, a period of some revival.
Particularly in Gascony where the efforts of the na varese Kings to maintain their independence meant some of Gascon. Per de Garros (1565) wrote Psaumes for Jeanne d'Albret. Guillaume du Bart as (also wrote in French) and Auger Gaillard (Lou Banquet 1583 republished three times) both use Gascon. In Provence Louis Bell aud (1543-88) and Pierre Paul poets of some merit with many followers. XVII th centuryGoudelin (1589-1649) outstanding poet of Toulouse life. Several Gascon writers continue the tradition of defending their language.
Many followers of Goudelin. Francois de Cort " eye, seigneur de Parades (1586-1667) very popular Age nais dramatist. Considerable output of varied quality in Provence but Nicholas Sabo ly (1614-75) at Avignon had great success with his Noels and later influenced Mistral and Roumanille. XVIII th century Tradition of worker poets who wrote about their everyday lives. Much satirical and light-hearted poetry. Most important Toussaint Gros (Marseille 1698-1748) whose Pouesios Provencal os (1734) very influential.
L'abb'e Favre (1723-83) whose satirical Lou siege de Cadaroussa is very representative in showing some French influence but still very clearly southern in style and language. Theatre quite important. Jean de Cab annes from Aix, Etienne P' from Toulouse etc, show the importance of the theatre in the south. Xxth and XX centuries Those who prepared the way for the F': philologists, historians and supporters of patois, romantics etc. Succession of dialect writers, of whom the most important is Jasmin from Agen (1798-1864).
Widely recognised (Sainte-Beuve, Louis Philippe, Napol " eon III) but was never an ally of Mistral. Also Victor Gel (1806-85) from Marseilles, a nostalgic poet who also did not get on with Mistral, and above all Roumanille. Lively atmosphere of festivals and theatre. 1854 foundation of F' (Mistral, Roumanille, Aubanel, Mathieu, Brunet, Tav an and Gi " era).
Only the first three are important poets. Success due in large part to Mistral's Mir'e io (1859) instantly recognised as a chef d'oeuvre, followed by other poetic narrative and lyric poetry. Roumanille above all a prose writer. Aubanel also an important lyric poet. Many other writers in Provencal in second half of century and first part of XXth. See Rostaing et Jouveau, Pr " ec is de litt " erasure provencal e, (849-09 ROS) for the list which is by no means complete.
Relatively few women writers of merit. Much of the work is poetry, but in the XXth century increasing amounts of prose of quality (d'Arbaud, Bayle, Bourdon) Provencal hampered by attitude of government, by quarrels between the different dialects and recently by quarrels between politicized and the more conservative. Still a lively literature (many writers in Toulouse and small publishing houses across the SW), but now increasingly the language of the elderly, remote districts and politicians or intellectuals.