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Is the internet a medieval court?

You know, some days you've got lots of things you'd like to talk about so you do and some days there is nothing you want to talk about so you don’t. Then there are days when you’d sort of like to talk about things, but you’ve got nothing much to discuss. Finally of course there are days when you’ve got things to talk about, but you sort of don’t want to discuss them or can’t.

I’m not going to say which category I fall into here at the moment and instead will say a few things about the art of Courtly Love. Courtly love is more or less what our modern view of romance is based on and its ideas have traveled pretty well down through the ages. Here are the basics, scammed off some website or other mainly because I was too lazy to write the list myself.

1. Sexual love between men and women is something splendid, and in itself an ideal worth striving for.
2. Love ennobles both the lover and the beloved. (which sounds like particle physics to me)
3. Being an ethical and aesthetic attainment, sexual love cannot be reduced to mere libidinal impulse.
4. Love pertains to courtesy and courtship but is not necessarily related to the institution of marriage.
5. Love is an intense, passionate relationship that establishes a holy oneness between man and woman.


My quibble with this list is easily changed. Remove the gender requirement, remove the suggestion that it has to be just two people and I'm pretty happy with that list as an ideal. If not that list, then lists like that were written at a time when hot girl on girl action was almost unheard of and buttsecks was something only whispered about in corridors. Now we know all about homosexuals, bi-sexuals and poly people, along with everyone else. Sooo, with a slight adjustment, these things are fine and groovy.

Courtly Love is however much more complex than what most of us think of, in practice it became more than the ideal. What you’ve essentially got here is a sort of theater of adultery, only much of the stage management is to ensure the audience that the adultery that is going on in fact isn’t. One of the major problems is separating the reality of Courtly Love from the literary view of Courtly Love. A lot of what we know is from what people wrote at the time, and what they wrote isn't all that reliable. On one hand you’ve got lots of people sighing at each other and expressing their desires through poems and songs. On the other hand, you’ve got some hot HOT(!) medieval lovin’ going on. It would take a long time to discuss all the ins and outs (Don’t anybody say it!) of the whole courtly love phenomena, since it lasted hundreds of years.

The interesting thing is that there are tales of men falling hopelessly in love with women they’d never seen, having on descriptions of their great beauty. Then there are tales of brave men doing brave things and moving their lives to other castles for the lady loves (A much bigger deal in those days) There are even stories of women taking up the pursuit as troubadours and singing songs in praise of men who they found particularly worthy. If you’ve not seen the point already let me elaborate the connection I’m thinking of. Quite a few people have fairly passionate relationships online without ever being able to touch, although sometimes they do get the chance. It does seem to me that adopting the tenets of Courtly Love might have some benefit to the modern internet driven world. Or at the very least it gives everyone an excuse to be all flowery and write poetry to each other.

You know what? I’m cool with whatever you want to do.


Now the twelfth century writer Andreas Capellanus decided to put down a few rules and being medieval he started off with 12. I will grant that these rules do seem to be for a man who is expected to love a woman, but with just a few nounic changes you can adjust this list to suit you and your proclivities.


The Twelve Chief Rules in Love
1. Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
2. Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
3. Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
4. Thou shalt not choose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
5. Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
6. Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
7. Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of Love.
8. In giving and receiving love's solaces let modesty be ever present.
9. Thou shalt speak no evil.
10. Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
11. Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
12. In practising the solaces of love thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.



Now clearly, there are some things in there that speak some amount of sense. In fact, pretty much all those rules exist today. I will admit that I must be getting tired because I’m not exactly sure what the hell rule 12 is supposed to be telling me.* Still though, pretty much everything in there still applies today as rules of thumb.
*Fancy’s Fun Facts: The Boy gets more dyslexic as he gets more tired. It’s sort of like how The Hulk gets stronger as he gets madder, but The Boy just becomes more useless.
Well it seems that Andy, having written that blockbuster, went and wrote another big list as a sequel. I decided to have a look at that, and discovered that my need to get out the red pen came fairly soon, here is how it went down.

The Art of Courtly Love
1. Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
2. He who is not jealous cannot love.
(uhhh, no)
3. No one can be bound by a double love. The man is CRAZY! Do not listen to another thing he says! Nucking Futz!
4. It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
5. That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish.
6. Boys do not love until they reach the age of maturity.
7. When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
When I die, I expect you all to start fuckin’ right away!
8. No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
9. No one can love unless he is propelled by the persuasion of love.
10. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
11. It is not proper to love any woman whom one would be ashamed to seek to marry.
12. A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
Arguments can be made.
13. When made public love rarely endures. While I understand how things worked in the 12th century, times have changed.
14. The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
15. Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
Unless he’s got self control, or blushes or something. Lots of reasons not to go pale.
16. When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates. (Sounds like a need to go see the doctor to me)
17. A new love puts an old one to flight. Okay, this is just bullshit! Bull-fucking-shit! I would have to take the next week composing all the reasons this is crap.
18. Good character alone makes any man worthy of love. (Uummm…)
19. If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives. Oh fuck you! Start over again, no relationship is dead until everyone involved is dead.
20. A man in love is always apprehensive.
21. Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
22. Jealousy increases when one suspects his beloved.
23. He whom the thought of love vexes eats and sleeps very little.
24. Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
25. A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
Still have my own opinions thanks! I don’t need Syd or Holly or anyone else to like all the stuff I like for us all to get along.
26. Love can deny nothing to love. Nope, not true.
27. A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
28. A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
29. A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
30. A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
Even on the can?
31. Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women. (Dude knows what he’s talking about! The more the merrier! Love ‘em back too!)

Okay, so my own views jumped in there a few times. But hey, my journal, you don’t like it write your own post.

Anyway, my take on the whole thing is that friendship is fun, flirting is fun, flirting with your friends is fun and that it can either stay with a lot of sighing or it can progress forward along other lines. The thing is, the sighing and exchanging poetry is actually a lot of fun when everyone knows that it’s restricted and you can’t actually do any of the things you’re writing about.

It’s also quite fun to send people little bits of stuff, without them thinking that you’re explicitly trying to get into their pants, which was actually the point I was going to make when I started writing this post four days ago. I’ve actually quite enjoyed the idea of courtly love for sometime and have sort of gone by the rules for many years now. Thus I’m kind and flirtatious, but I do generally do these things in a sense of playful friendliness. Just because I’m sending things through the mail or paying attention doesn’t necessarily mean I’m making an attempt to seduce anyone. Of course it doesn’t mean I’m not trying to seduce anyone either, but it still shouldn’t be considered my default motivation. I just get tired of people always thinking I'm just trying to get into women's pants. I'm trying to get into your minds too damn it! I happen to be just as interested, or in some cases more interested in the thoughts of a woman than her physical being.

I started writing this some days ago, and that’s probably why I let it get this long. Also, I’m tired which means I’m very likely babbling again. In fact, having read over that last paragraph, I would say that babbling is a given. However as several girls have said I’m very cute when I babble I won’t let it bother me.

Wait a second, Fancy says she has a poll...

Poll #975388 Fancy's Poll

Is the boy, in fact, cute when he babbles?

Yes
4(36.4%)
No
0(0.0%)
Well, not as cute as you Fancy
7(63.6%)

Did the boy make any sense at all here?

Yes, of course he did!
9(81.8%)
No, but then does he ever?
0(0.0%)
Possibly, I'll want to talk to him more about it later.
2(18.2%)

Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks?

SHAFT!
10(100.0%)

Now you can ask the boy a question.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
wuglet
Apr. 29th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
I think you might like this book.
It's the standard text book I had to read for uni in my first semester. And it's actually exciting to read! :)
greyweirdo
Apr. 30th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
I think I might have a look at that. Until then I'll have to muddle around. :)
ahavah
May. 16th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
I'm not feeling very courted. :P

Well, I got your cds, so maybe a tad. :D Wish I knew who they all were, though!
greyweirdo
May. 18th, 2007 08:47 am (UTC)
The names of each artist should be in the artist slot. If not, you can right click on the file go down to properties and then click on the summary tab and get the information that way.
greyweirdo
May. 18th, 2007 08:47 am (UTC)
You could also download itunes (which is free) and see tons of informaion when you load the songs into the library.
ahavah
May. 18th, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
My computer is broken. I've been listening to them in the cd player. ;) One more reason to look forward to getting it fixed.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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