L'amore nell'immaginario tardo-medioevale europeo e nella Cina Ming-Qing
1 - La società (feudale-premoderna; burocratico-commerciale). • 2 - La sfera religioso-filosofica. L'interiorizzazione del sentimento d'amore. • 3 - Nobiltà d'animo. • 4 – la donna. • 5 - Il corpo. Lussuria, talento, topos dell'amore-morte e della sofferenza angosciosa in amore. L'eternità dell'amore. • 6- La problematica esistenziale. Solitudine, memoria, maladie de pensée, idealizzazione della natura. • 7 - La forza della natura e la sua dimensione sociale. La novella e gli scenari narrativi del tema amoroso. Varietà di focalizzazioni e prospettive. • 8 – Culto dell’amore
1 - La società feudale-premoderna: dai centri feudali più vivaci ai comuni Il servizio d'amore: prodezza , cortesia e nobiltà, omaggio ed avventura burocratico-commerciale: Il culto del qing, distinzione, nuova moralità • .
the last period of Ming dynasty, Chinese society experienced great economic and social developments especially in the area of South-Eastern China, owing to a series of internal and international factors. Spread of commercialisation, the acceleration of money and goods circulation, and the increasing social mobility, in concomitance with the decadence of the bureaucratic system and the relaxation of political control, influenced positively the intellectual life. In this period, the golden age of fiction, among the new trends, several writers contributed to the success of an entertainment literature, where human sentiments and love were the main themes
2 - La sfera religioso-filosofica. • Europa: Platonismo (anima-corpo e mito dell’amore a) unità divisa, b) sublimazione) L'interiorizzazione del sentimento d'amore. Nobiltà d'animo. “profanation” occurred in the language of passion, consisting in a contamination between the mystic-religious language and erotic language. Dalla donna angelo alla donna salvifica. • Cina: Religious elements in the new concepts of love: a) overcoming death, b) rituals, c) association with destiny. • Neo-Confucianism and ladder of values and social hierarchy. Crisis and challenge: the statement of the poet Xie Ximeng謝希孟, a disciple of the famous Neo-Confucian thinker Lu Xiangshan 陸象山(1139-1193), to his master, was rediscovered and reappraised: "The marvellous and splendid energy of the universe is always concentrated in the woman and not in man“天地英靈之氣，不鍾于男人而鍾于婦人。。。. • .
The writer Qu You瞿佑 (1341-1427) extols deep love as a supernatural and eternal passion ("a predetermined pact", yinyuan zhi qi因緣之契, that transcends reincarnation [《剪灯新话》翠翠传]), Tang Xianzu had his characters in love die and be reborn. Following the example of Tang Xianzu, other authors, such as Wu Bing [吳炳] (?-1646) in the "Girl in the Painting" (Huazhongren 畵中人), make use of the personification of an image and the resurrection of the beloved. On magic in painting, see also Qingshi, Qinghua, 9:254-56, 266 and Lzzy, 1:14-17 (1:4-5). In Liancheng, a story by Pu Songling, both the main characters die because they cannot satisfy their desire to be husband and wife; and non only does Qiao Sheng refuse to return to life without his companion but, emulating the supreme heroism of filial piety, he cuts a piece of flesh from his breast in order to save his beloved’s life.
Overcoming death • The boundary between life and death is overcome in the conception of the “predetermined match” in subsequent generations. Also here we note how the distance and the various problems that emerge between the lovers trigger that alchemical process that mythicizes the relationship: and so, through the onset of love-sickness, the passion of the couple is transformed into a feeling that transcends the boundary between life and death. For example, in the story “The Intendant Zhao and the Beautiful Xinu” (Pajq 25), the hero falls in love with a courtesan, who takes him in and supports him financially the whole time he is preparing his exams. He passes his exams in the end, but is nominated as intendant in a remote region. Not being able to marry his beloved nor take her with him, he sets off alone with the intention of returning to her as soon as possible. But time passes and the distance only aggravates their love-sickness: both become melancholy (namen [納悶]), fall into a state of unconsciousness (huanghuanghuhu [恍恍惚惚]), and ultimately die. “This is truly a love relationship in life and death - says Zhao – “today I die for her, but even after death I shall not forget her”. And Xinu soon joins him in death: “They are not mad words” – she replies to her sister who is attempting to calm her down when, in the delirium of love, she says she wants to meet her lover - “just an instant and we will be able to embrace”.[Pajq 25:439-41] • For Ling Mengchu true passionate love can lead to illness and death, although it transcendsthe very limits of existence: “It is seen how in human life only love is not extinguished by death”.[Pajq 23:403]; however in literary production, it is indicative of the focus : passionate love is a kind of metaphysical emotion of which one becomes aware and that can overturn the laws of nature.
the idea that love can transcend death itself, is not a Ming innovation, although also in this case the phenomenon seems to have been amplified. Examples are the girl who dies of love-sickness, but her spirit travels abroad in search of her lover until she finally succeeds in being reunited with him; sometimes the soul of the deceased person enters another body, that of a dead person or a person in a trance. Another frequent miracle is a double trunked catalpa tree (the “Tree of Reciprocal Love” xiangsishu 相思樹，Lianli shu 連理樹).grows out of the graves of the obstacled lovers, and the branches and roots from the two trunks are joined; a pair of birds come to nest among its leafage and birds are none other than the spirits of the two lovers.
rituals • the young He worshipped his beloved on a tablet of the kind used for ancestor worship; by day he ate in front of it, by night he placed it beside his pillow, and went to bed only after having called her name thrice. And the transcending of the boundary between life and death is found also in the dogged ritual: He, failing to convince the members of his family to ask for the girl’s hand in marriage, “in despair, worshipped Shunniang as a wife on a tablet of the kind used for ancestors. By day, he ate in front of the tablet; by night he placed it beside his pillow, and he went to bed only after having called her name twice”[ Qingshi, 7:187-88] • the student in love with the young Xiao Dianyun, paints her portrait in order to "worship her like Guanyin of the moon reflected in the water", burning incense on the altar. Similar phenomena are reported on the female side: The third wife of the poet Wu Ren (17th cent.), Qian Yi, had an altar constructed in her garden where, with offerings and sacrifices, she worshipped Du Liniang and Liu Mengmei, the two romantic heroes of the “Peony Pavilion”.
3 - Nobiltà d'animo • also the image of the ideal man changes: what distinguishes him is his taste, elegance, the world of his emotions: he is a fengliu 風流,not only non conformist, but also a man that cultivates his own passions and inclinations, free from the influence of social conventions or career ambitions. He is the ideal of the passionate man who devotes himself sincerely and loyally to the woman, The new “hero” stands out for his gentleness and noble soul, comparable to that of the “cuore cortese”. which are richer qualities than those of the traditional acceptance of fengliu: the new hero arouses the interest of the opposite sex because he is passionate, attentive to female problems, gentle and kind; he often displays strong female traits in his character and appearance (meiren [美人]), like Baoyu 寶玉. The ideal of the bangchen 幫襯[Jsty, 32:486. Pajq 25, Xshy 16, Ekpajq 4], “pleasantness, charm”, and of the shiqu de ren [識趣的人], “sensitive person”, or of the qingzhong [情重], "passionate man" of the late Ming period. Furthermore this nobility of nature is not restricted to the man of letters and the high-born aristocrat but is latent in every man, regardless of his origins and profession. We find sensitive and passionate lovers even among merchants, craftsmen and courtesans. On the other hand, the passion of Buddhist and Taoist monks and nuns is mainly negative, lascivious and unhealthy, and they are obviously not considered to have a right to a sentimental and sexual life of their own (for example Pajq 26).
4 – la donna. • Divinizzazione della donna. Dalla donna angelo alla donna salvifica.
The new imagined woman • The reappraisal of emotions accompanied the change in female image and roles in the literary field: so in the “Peony Pavilion” a heroine like Du Liniang is found to emerge more than the male hero, Liu Mengmei, or else Sanqiao'er more than her husband Jiang Xingge, and Jin Yunu compared with her husband Mo Ji, (Gjxs, 1 and 27). Heroines display an image of a woman that is different from the conventional one – passive and subordinated – and their power and capacity for self-determination not only extended beyond the roles available to ordinary women, but also those of males • women, having a masculine and tyrannical nature; formidable and violent: the reversal of the traditional relationship between the two metaphysical poles yin and yang, and above all the exchange of roles regarding the public career and domestic life of several male and female characters in several Ming and Qing stories. • Daiyu, one type of beauty is characterised by a physical wasting that makes it more ethereal and spiritual. This aspect on the one hand reflects depth of feeling and love-sickness and on the other is a response to aesthetic and sentimental needs which are not completely new • The superiority of the female figure does not necessarily correspond to any feminist type of claim or to any substantial improvement in the condition of women, but is rather the fruit of the author’s mental processing. It differs also from the courtly veneration of woman in the sense of domina
5 - Il corpo. Lussuria, talento, topos dell'amore-morte e della sofferenza angosciosa in amore. L'eternità dell'amore. • Love wins death (other theme with religious aspect)…
6- La problematica esistenziale. • In the literary field, the theme of obstacles standing in the way of love is common to all literatures, beginning with the Greek myth Cupid and Psyche, to keep the tension of the narrative discourse, and increase the desire level. • Solitudine, memoria, maladie de pensée, idealizzazione della natura. Divinizzazione della donna. Creazione di modelli poetici: dolce stil novo, il petrarchismo. • 相思病. And theme 別和
In Europe the theme of love-sickness, the ægritudo amoris, represented an extremely important topos ever since the Hippocratic medical doctrine of the humours was taken up by Greek tragedians and philosophers, giving rise to an extremely rich literary tradition that, beginning with the pathos of Phaedra in Eurypides, was gradually enriched with Arabic-Persian and mediaeval mysticism, and, through courtly and stilnovista poetry, lasted right down to its romantic apotheosis (cf. for example A.R. Nykl, Hispano-Arabic Poetry and Its Relations with the Old Provençal Troubadours, Bartimore, 1946; H. Corbin, En Islam iranien, Paris, 1972 and J. Vadet, L’Esprit courtois en Orient, Paris, 1968). • In medieval Latin the term cogitatio was used to express the imagination and its fantastic expression, often in the context of so-called love-sickness; in Roman de la Rose (v. 4348) love is defined as "maladie de pensée", disease of the mind.
In China passion both is liquidated as a purely pathological phenomenon and gets literary sublimation; although in a much more limited way we find exempla in the character of the student Zhang (cycle of Yingying and of the Xiyouji) and in Daiyu (and other Hongloumeng characters). Although not new, the actual cult of passionate love and feelings develop in the Yuan literature and theatre and thus the late Ming period novel, which borrows from but also reappraise the previous tradition. For example, in a number of stories the mood of the character, who is overwhelmed by passion, surfaces dramatically as a result of including the song "A Nocturnal Promenade in the Palace", in which "love-sickness", xiangsibing, is described: • Of the four hundred and four ailments a man can catch, • "love-sickness" is the worst to have to put up with: • no pain in the heart, • but the body is wasted by a spell. • Moonlight and flowers bring suffering; • Dusk is the most feared time; • it is then that the heart-rending begins; • then, you feel it in constant agitation.[Gjxs, 33:491]
This feeling is often confused with homesickness (sixiang [相思]) or the emotion aroused by a happy memory, as embodied in “reminiscences” (yi [憶]), in the regret for an “ancient image”, in the contemplation of ruins. The poetic tradition focused on this genre, and in particular on the theme of “thinking about someone” or “the desire for someone” is quite ancient, dating back at least to the Han era. ( yuefu樂府ballads). In the title of the ninth story in Qingpingshan tang清平山堂, the expression fengyue xiangsi風月相思 may be translated as “love nostalgia” or even “amorous obsession” • He thought back to the appearance of the beautiful girl, whom he was unable to forget even for an instant. ... in his heart he felt sorely tormented and, having no cause to see her again, he unceasingly went back to her in his mind. ... For days and days in the grips of love sickness, he slowly began to feel weary, and finally could neither sleep nor eat; after he more than two months passed, he suddenly fell ill”.[Qingpingshan tang, 20:249 ] • This passage is extremely interesting both from the psychological and the linguistic points of view. It describes in fact the process of “crystallization” of the feeling of love through the action of the memory and the imagination, which are presented by the expressions “nostalgia-love sickness” (xiangsi), “to remember” (xiang想), “bring back to mind” (zhuiyi [追憶]), corresponding to increasingly depressive moods (canqie [慘切]) leading to loss of appetite, sleeplessness (fei qin wang can [廢寢忘餐]) and idleness. Finally, the general conditions of the patient deteriorate also physically, his body wastes away (jue si zhi leishou [覺四肢羸瘦]), and he becomes a true invalid (yanyan cheng bing [懨懨成病]).
HLM In the paradoxical condition of misunderstandings and the inadequacy of the expression of feelings, the dilemma between true and false, real and non-existent, common sense and imagination, • love, which approaches love-sickness associated with melancholy as in a number of western mediaeval treatises, can be realized only in the utopian world of illusion (the world of illusions is a great empty space, the Garden of the Wide Vision大觀園, dreams夢) • to the extent to which it makes an aesthetic experience of pure emotion possible. • In the wake of the tradition of the love between a man and an immortal fairy, seduction by a divinity becomes charged with the ambiguity of the satisfaction of desire and at the same time awareness of its illusory nature. The term "illusion" thus takes on a very complex meaning, which differs from the one commonly attributed to it. This is because after the distinction normally made between reality and illusion, allegory and truth, is no longer made, it becomes the place where beauty and ideal love are celebrated, but in which also the sadness due to awareness of the inevitable decline of all things is present.
8 - La forza della natura e la sua dimensione sociale. La novella e gli scenari narrativi del tema amoroso. Varietà di focalizzazioni e prospettive. • In Ming literature an increasing number of writings appeared in which the woman’s beauty and poetic ability became the object of admiration and contemplation, like a jewel or a flower. The cult of flowers, as well as the ideal of withdrawal from the corruption of the world may be interpreted as the sublimation of the attraction of female beauty mingled with the contemplation of nature. “attraction for perfumes and jade’s tenderness” lianxiangxiyu憐香惜玉
La sfera della natura • La tematica amorosa si adatta molto opportunamente ad essere inquadrata nel contesto naturale in varie forme. La cultura medioevale ad esempio privilegia il ricorso al mondo fisico per richiamare - per comparazione, similitudine, analogia - alcune caratteristiche del corpo femminile nella sua illuminante presenza agli occhi estatici dell'innamorato( G. Guinizzelli, " Io voglio del ver la mia donna laudare" ).Più compiutamente la tradizione medioevale francese elabora vere e proprie allegorie che si rifanno al temadell'innamoramento e della conquista amorosa ( ilRoman de la rosee ilFiorepseudo dantesco ) simboleggianti la scoperta da parte dell'autore-protagonista di un bel bocciolo di rosa < la giovane donna > che deve essere colto in una mattina di primavera. Il topos del giardino in sé chiuso e protetto a custodia del tesoro amoroso darà vita nel corso della produzione letteraria ed artistica ad infinite variazioni, che prendono comunque le mosse dalla duplice valenza fascinosa e misteriosa del mondo naturale, spazio aperto all'investigazione ed alla ricerca umana, minaccioso e protettivo nello stesso tempo, proprio come il corpo femminile, allettante e contemporaneamente pericoloso da violare.La natura diviene poi - fuori da ogni riferimento simbolico - lo spazio privilegiato per la meditazione solitaria e la riflessione dell'io poetico, che si interroga sul senso dell'esistenza ( F. Petrarca "Solo e pensoso i più deserti campi",). La vita umana, preda dello scorrere del tempo, si confronta naturalmente con i cicli vitali della natura e solo momentaneamente sembra cogliere la consonanza tra i ritmi esistenziali e quelli del mondo fisico. La stagione primaverile ( che richiama rinascita, rigenerazione, animazione sensitiva degli esseri, maggior pienezza di linfe vitali e di luce nelle cose...) diviene il momento privilegiato in cui inquadrare la presenza femminile, metaforizzando il sentimento d'amore ricordato ed evocato emblematicamente. L'esempio più tipico di ricostruzione dell'atmosfera magica primaverile che, accanto alla presenza beatificante della donna, ripropone il tripudio delle forse di natura è la canzone di F. Petrarca "Chiare e fresche, dolci acque". Nella composizione si fa strada un altro topos legato al successivo petrarchismo: la divinizzazione della figura femminile che finisce per assumere fattezze sovrumane assorbita com'é dalla pregnanza del paesaggio. Sul topos della rigenerazione primaverile appare anche interessante il sonetto "Zefiro torna ed il bel tempo rimena", che richiama il contrasto drammatico tra stati d'animo mesti ed angosciati ed il quadro di una natura in piena rinascita.
6 – cult of love • In the atmosphere created by the MDT牡丹亭, around the tragic life of a lover of this drama, the young concubine Xiaoqing 小青(1595-1612), a number of legends arose which actually show the degree of popularity attained by the heroine Du Liniang杜麗娘, and her influential role of “mediation”. Xiaoqing, before dying of sorrow after having been banished from her husband’s house because of his first wife’s jealousy, is said to have emulated Liniang, making a portrait of her and celebrating sacrifices before it. Not only did her tomb become a place of pilgrimage but numerous biographies were written about her and her idealised figure became an object of worship and veneration. She was a faithful follower of the legend of Liniang, who, originally a character in a play with a happy ending ultimately gained an autonomy and reality of her own, and thus the force of attraction of an ideal model. However, side by side with this legend Xiaoqing herself had more or less unwittingly created another one about her own person: the new legend with its tragic ending and the expectations of a still unaccomplished future redemption was practically complementary to the legend of Liniang. It created an alter ego that was dominated by sorrow both for the injustice suffered and the faithfulness and love demonstrated. • Qian Qianyi 銭謙益(1582-1664), with the autonomy of poetry being claimed as the authentic expression of the emotions and extolling the primacy of passionate love and the attraction of female charm (haose [好色]), of hate and sorrow (yuanbei [怨悲]); these feelings – claimed Qian – not only should not be held responsible for causing confusion and harm to the human soul, but should be considered as equivalent to moral values themselves insofar as they were the source of all motivation as well as of poetic art itself
In Europe the cult of the passion between Eloise and Abelard is rooted in a series of cultural trends such as the legend of Isolde as extolled in poetry and Breton narrative, the neo-Platonic philosophic tradition and the master-disciple relationship. This cult was made famous by artists of the temper of Villon, Lamartine and Rousseau. Likewise, in China the dual legend of Liniang-Xiaoqing grew through a series of works inspired on it. • In China, there was in fact the old intepretative trend regarding love poetry, which played ambiguously on the allegory it projected on the suffering of the dead or abandoned lover by the heroic loyalty of the persecuted functionary. The ambiguity lay in the fact that the poetry could be interpreted either as actual amorous effusions or as a political metaphor. Indeed the theme of the abandoned concubine or wife had often been used, initially in poetry but later also in narrative, as a literary device to allow the writer to vent his feelings, a lyrical expression that would otherwise not have befitted the dignity of the man. By means of this rhetorical conventional similar to the concepts of “self-allegorization” (jituo [寄托]) and “projection” (zikuang [自況]), the author was instead allowed to describe his own frustrations, express his own mood directly through the reference to another character, and the suffering of the individual author acquired a significance that transcended his particular condition. On the basis of these cultural precedents an entire literature developed that, on the one hand, satisfied the tastes and desires of the albeit small circles of cultivated women who found a point of reference in these characters in which they could acknowledge their own frustrations and hopes; on the other, it corresponded to the existential crisis of many literati of the time, who were also able to sublimate their disappointment, dissatisfaction and ambition.
L’ amor cortese • Omaggio del cavaliere
La concezione dell’amore nei poeti latini e greci si fonda sulla parità dell’uomo e della donna nel rapporto amoroso, sulla reciproca passione e realizzazione del desiderio. Gli elementi che caratterizzano l’amor cortese sono più complessi:1. il culto della donna è impareggiabile e in certi casi divino (degno di venerazione)(Cappellano: “the source of all good” (causa/origo bonorum), thus linking up also with the chivalrous conception of woman’s dominion over man and the idealization of male’s desires) • 2. Posizione di inferiorità dell’uomo rispetto alla donna amata. L’amante presta il suo omaggio alla donna e resta in umile adorazione di fronte a lei = “servizio d’amore”.3. L’amore è perpetuamenteinappagato. C’è l’elemento platonico, ma non si tratta di un amore solo spirituale, platonico, ma presenta spesso accese note sensuali: il possesso della donna è quasi irraggiungibile, perché in questo modo si sviluppa una coltivazione del desiderio4. Ambivalenza dell’amore che genera : A) sofferenza, tormento perpetuo, B) : gioia, pienezza vitale. 5. L’elemento platonico si manifesta nel sentire l’amore come esperienza che ingentilisce l’animo: amare è un esercizio di perfezionamento interiore ad esempio Andrea Cappellanoamore è “fonte e origine di ogni cosa buona” , “cortesia”: solo chi è cortese può amare “finemente”, ma a sua volta l’”amor fino” rende cortesi.6. L’amore è una passione esclusiva dinanzi a cui tutto si svaluta (Love finds its justification in good, but at the same time is also a source of good: “Probity only makes people worthy of love” Cappellano 2:358, Probitas sola quemque dignum facit amore) • 7 . Superiorità dell’amore sulle convenzioni sociali e sulla stessa morale religiosa: Amore adultero fuori dal vincolo coniugale. Si teorizza persino che nel matrimonio non può esistere amor “fino”. Il carattere adultero dell’amore esige il segreto, che tuteli l’onore della donna.
…… e la morale • La chiesa condanna l’amore cortese, come fonte di peccato e perdizione. L’amante sente questo antagonismo e ne prova un senso di colpa. • In Cina la scuola di Wang Yangming viene considerata eterodossa. Il c.d Culto del Qing è una tendenza prevalentemente letteraria, anche se trova una base nella scuola Yangming. Non esiste una contrapposizione fra questo culto e l’ortodossia
in Feng Menglong, in the Foreword to one of his collections, Gujin xiaoshuo, pointed out that the audience, move by the storytellers’ words, experiences all kinds of emotion, from joy to sorrow, from surprise to courage, more intensely than when reading the Confucian classics: “Even though they are recited daily, the "Classic of Filial Piety" and the "Dialogues" cannot move with the same vivacity and profoundness as these stories. Alas! What would happen if the principles did not reach the common man?” • In his first comment on the “History of Love”, Feng Menglong was to reiterate his conception of the moral foundations underlying true feelings: chastity (zhen ) paradoxically becomes the virtue of concubines and courtesans, as their faithfulness was an indisputable proof of their sincerity of their love (zhenqing ), which could not be obscured by other reasons, as in the case of the legitimate wife: true sentiments are those that last in time without losing their force.[Qingshi, 1:30-31] Anticipating several thinkers of the Qing era, such as Dai Zhen and Yan Yuan, he not only considers moral principles (daoli [道理]) insufficient for the development of the sage, but identifies the emotions themselves as the force behind the principle:
“All acts of loyalty, of filial piety, of chastity and heroism, if performed solely on the basis of moral principles, are necessarily forced and without spontaneity; but if they are performed under the stimulus of one’s genuine sentiments, they are necessarily sincere and vivid. In the case of husband and wife relations, which are the closest [among the basic relations], the man and the woman who have no sentiments cannot be respectively a good husband or a chaste wife. Vulgar Confucians only understand principle as a model that restrains emotions. How can they ignore that on the contrary it is emotions that maintain and preserve principles?”
In his foreword to the Qingshi, Feng claims that it is thanks to the love-passion (qing) that the myriads of things and beings in the universe reproduce, that its presence brings closer those that are distant, and that its absence turns even those who are close into strangers, and that lastly it is comparable to a thread running through all the things in the universe, like a piece of string threaded through a collection of coins. This last point, together with several examples given in the same foreword, seems to indicate that the term qing was understood in a meaning very similar to that of ren, the virtue of humaneness, in the Neo-Confucian conception, as it implied an attitude of receptiveness to all beings, as well as self-respect and compassion for the misfortunes of others. It is however distinct from it as it is addressed mainly to the relations between men and women, insofar as, like Li Zhi, it refers mainly to the process of production and reproduction of the universe.[Qingshi, 1:30-1, 18:557] What Feng Menglong, like the majority of writers, was condemning was excess, the fact of allowing oneself to be overwhelmed by the passions, while desire and emotions were mainly accepted as natural and their repression likely to lead to illness or, by reaction, to licentiousness and dissoluteness. • Is the appeal to traditional and Confucian values thus merely an artifice to avoid the severe criticism of moralists and the censor? Or are these writers interpreting this morality in order to encourage its spread among the people through the channels of literature and theatre?
ROMANZO CORTESE-CAVALLERESCO Gli autori di romanzi cortesi sono chierici colti, grandi signori. Sono scritti in lingua d’oil. Nato nel nord Francia, il romanzo cortese è tratto da leggende bretoni. Ricordiamo su tutti Chrétien de Troyes e le varie versioni delromanzo di Tristano ed Isotta • nel romanzo l’amore ha un ruolo preponderante, importanza centrale dei personaggi femminili. • Il romanzo è privo di riferimenti storici e tratta materie leggendarie e fiabesche. Riferimenti al patrimonio folklorico delle antiche popolazioni celtiche della Francia e dell'Inghilterra ( leggende bretoni ). Attorno al mitico ré Artù ( Arthur vissuto nel VI sec. d.C. ) si riuniscono su un piede di parità attorno alla "tavola rotonda" Lancillotto, Galvano, Ivano, Perceval. • Nel romanzo domina l'elemento meraviglioso, fiabesco, fantastico e avventuroso ( leggende celtiche precristiane) • Nel romanzo dominano tendenze centrifughe:i cavalieri partono a caso in cerca di avventure per provare a se stessi, il loro valore, la loro forza nell’esercizio delle armi, adoperandosi nella liberazione di giovani donne in pericolo; il romanzo ha una struttura aperta, le avventure si possono susseguire fino all’infinito intrecciandosi tra di loro
Il romanzo cortese non si rivolge più ad un pubblico legato ad una casta guerriera ( come quello che aveva apprezzato le canzoni di gesta, ma ad un nuovo pubblico più raffinato seppur ancora di estrazione nobiliare. La finalità del genere letterario è il diletto e l'intrattenimento all'interno della corte.Altre composizioni letterarie legate all'ideale cortese dell'amore sono quelle dei trovatori checompongono le loro poesie in lingua d'oc ed agiscono nella Francia meridionale ( lirica provenzale ). Tristano e Isotta
Il dolce stil novo • Tra Bologna e Firenze si elabora una nuova forma poetica che si ricollega ad una raffinata cultura di tipo intellettualistico e filosofico: il Dolce stil novo. Il ragionamento filosofico, ricollegato alla Scolastica, sfrutta la tematica amorosa per una complessa rielaborazione di pensiero che viene teorizzata da Guinizzelli nella canzone manifesto del movimento Al cor gentil rempaira sempre amore. Caratteristiche del nuovo contesto culturale sono:- l'attenzione per una nuova classe sociale lontana dall'antica nobiltà di sangue e di stirpe, che si riconosce in nuovi valori culturali e artistici, che attraversano cerchie ristrette di amici intellettuali, filosofi e poeti. ( come Guinizzelli,.. Cavalcanti, Lapo Gianni, Dante )- l'identificazione della vera nobiltà con la gentilezza d'animo di uomini colti e raffinati, capaci di vivere il sentimento d'amore solo nell'interiorità del suo approfondimento ( anche sul piano concettuale. ).- l'apertura alle suggestioni della cultura religiosa del medioevale che permea la vita del comune. Il simbolismo della donna angelo < destinato a trasformarsi in topos letterario > indica il sottile rapporto che esiste tra la suggestione della bellezza femminile ed il tentativo di spiritualizzare l'amore. La bellezza viene interpretato come eccezionalità di un carattere quasi divino, che si manifesta quasi indirettamente agli uomini ( saluto, incedere tra gli sguardi attoniti...). Solo coloro che mostrano un' alta sensibilità ( cor gentile ) sono capaci di intendere il senso di quest'esperienza ed intraprendere il cammino di interioreperfezionamento. • Con Dante Alighieri si precisa la valenza religiosa di questa nuova sensibilità e la Vita Nova prepara alla definitiva evoluzione della figura della donna-angelo nell'altro topos della donna salvifica. ( Divina Commedia ).
Tematica amorosa e contesto • l'ambientefeudale e la cultura filosofica e religiosa del comune sono alla base delle convergenze semantiche, a partire dal romanzo cortese e dalla poesia trobadorica, linguistiche ed ideative, dell’esperienza cortese e urbana post-cortese. • L’ambiente urbano e rurale del centro economico chiave del Jiangnan, l’ambiente letterario con il xiaoshuo, gli strati della gentry e dei mercanti, le scuole di Wang Yangming, che rendono possibile il “culto del Qing 情”.
Le rielaborazioni - analizziamo i testi, dal romanzo cortese fino al Dolce Stil Novo, al Petrarca ed al Boccaccio, possiamo individuare alcuni temi dell’immaginario • Essendo gli autori uomini, la figura della donna diviene oggetto, nell'immaginario medioevale, di numerose rielaborazioni immaginarie: immagini di carattere simbolico ( donna angelo ), riflessioni ( senso del tempo, rapporto vita-morte, amore come bellezza e vitalità naturale ) sui codicisocio-culturali ( cortesia, nobiltà... ), sublimazioni religiose (la donna salvifica )..
La sfera delle armi, l'ambito religioso e filosofico. • I primi tre ambiti di riferimento tematici ( sfera delle armi, sfera religiosa e filosofica, sfera del corpo ) fanno riferimento ad alcuni modelli topici di rappresentazione del tema amoroso e della figura femminile nel passaggio dall'alto al basso medioevo. Dalla teorizzazione dell'amor cortese, operata soprattutto dal romanzo bretone in chiave narrativa e dalla poesia trobadorica in chiave poetica, vengono elaborate nuove interpretazioni della tematica passando all'area italiana soprattutto con il Dolce stil novo. Esso elabora in un discorso fortemente idealizzante e spiritualizzante - di matrice filosofico-religiosa - il concetto di donna-angelo in funzione salvifica (Dante ).
Concerning love, in the late Medieval Europe the Troubadours elaborated the concept of courtly love, transferring religious values to mundane love, which was extolled above morality and institutions. Such ideal of course was elitarian, and related to an aristocratic society; for most of population “there was no sense of domestic privacy, and interpersonal relations within the conjugal unit, both between husband and wives and between parents and children were necessarily fairly remote”. This cult however was moreover carried on by the Romantic movement, with the great transformations reflecting the historical experiences of European culture
Le teorie d'amore • Le teorie d'amore sono state esaminate a partire da tre testi emblematici e molto noti, seppur dalle finalità abbastanza diverse: il De Amoredi André Le Chapelain, la canzone manifesto dello stilnovismo di G.Guinizzelli "Al cor genti rempaira sempre amore" e la canzone dottrinaria di G.Cavalcanti "Donna me prega".- • Il codice d'amore cortese di André Le Chapelain molto letto e tradotto nel Medioevo è l'elaborazione teorica della cultura cortese, nata nelle corti Provenza e allargatasi alla Francia del nord, alla Catalogna, alla Sicilia fino ad influenzare la poesia d'amore toscana della seconda metà del XIII secolo. Andrea, cappellano di Marie de Champagne nella seconda metà del XII secolo compose in latino il trattato De Amore in tre libri codifica i rituali e le norme del corteggiamento cavalleresco affiancandoli ai rimedi d'amore. L'opera fu condannata dalla Chiesa per la sua impostazione, che esponeva i modi e le dinamiche di un amore adultero, estraneo al vincolo matrimoniale. Concetto centrale del trattato è che la disposizione ad amare costituice un indice di elevatezza dei costumi e quindi della nobiltà del singolo. Il concetto sarà elaborato dal dolce stil novo. • .
A new morality for love behaviourAndré Le Chapelain - De Amore (Liber de arte honeste amandi et reprobatione inhonesti amoris, (1185))
André Le Chapelain’s De amore(Liber de arte honeste amandi et reprobatione inhonesti amoris) (1185) Feng Menglong’s Qingshi leilüe 情史類略 (1630) • consists of an anthology of tales and stories, most of which are short and borrowed largely from previous collections, biographies and historical works. It is not actually a treatise in the modern meaning, and indeed can be considered a composition similar to “miscellanies of fiction and anecdote” (biji xiaoshuo 筆記小說). Thanks to the encyclopaedic structure of the work, it nevertheless presents a kind of “documentation” of the representation in the imaginaire collectif (collective imagination) of the reactions, actions and manifestations related to love in its various forms. It not only offers the reader a classificatory model and thus a semantic framework for the term qing, but also the full range of the many different attitudes to this concept at the time, and above all the ideology of the movement of the cult of feelings. • It codifies the whole doctrine of courtly love, and spans practically all the elements of the cult. It represents an attempt to reconcile the pagan spirit of the model of Ovid’s ars amatoria with the needs of Christian morality, at the same time superseding mediaeval misogynist literature. The author appeals to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, at the same time drawing extensively on traditional Latin, Arabic and courtly literature. He makes use of various different traditional literary forms - dialogue, teaching by precept, casuistry, the metaphor of the journey to the underworld and the chivalrous novel
General comparison • In order to extol the value of love, Le Chapelain contrasts it with social rules and institutions, while the editor of Qingshi reconcile it with marriage and society.They manifest the great difference concerning a contrast between individual-inner forum-sincerity and society-outer forum-formality, in western civilization, and the harmony between man and society in Chinese culture.
André Le Chapelain sets out to write a theoretical and practical treatise on love, using various classical and mediaeval literary and rhetorical forms. The first of his three books comprises a theoretical section on love, on those who are subject to it, on the ways in which it manifests itself and on conquest, as well as a section containing examples in the form of a dialogue between the courter and the woman of different conditions. • The second volume, which has the same structure as the first, starts off with a theoretical elaboration of the maintenance of love, its decline and its end. It then goes on to present a practical case history of stories and anecdotes before concluding with the ‘commandments of Love’. This passion appears in all its power and ubiquity, and the practical tips suggested include stratagems for seduction and techniques for avoiding errors and deception. The love treated is often of the adulterine kind, although maintained at a level of a sophisticated interplay of desire and flattery: “What is love if not a boundless and lustful desire for furtive and concealed embraces?” (Quid enim aliud est amor nisi immoderata et furtivi et latentis amplexus concubiscibiliter percipiendi ambitio?1:166). • And yet this entire lay and ‘pagan’ conception is ultimately overthrown and retracted through the reprobation of love, Reprobatio amoris, in book three, in which it is the religious and moral concerns which prevail: here every crime is traced back from love, and its negative effects on spiritual as well as mundane life is stressed with a misogynist attitude. For instance, not only in fact love is dangerous for marriage (Amor enim inique matrimonia frangit …[3:382], and is blamed as the origin of every kind of crimes (nullius criminis notatur excessus, qui ex ipso non sequatur amore [3:376]), but is considered menacing even reputation and prestige in this world (Amor enim non solum facit homines coelesti hereditate privari sed etiam huius saeculi penitus subducit honores [3:378]) • The contradiction between the first two parts and the third one is clearly the mirror of the two different ideologies that the author accepts with detachment, keeping them independent and separated: Christian orthodoxy and aristocratic worldliness. Love may be an adventure, play, divertissement and seduction under the subtle and psychological perspective of the young nobles of Southern Europe, but, sub specie aeternitatis, is just an illusory temptation, dangerous even for mundane life
Feng Menglong in most of the comments appearing at the end of the various chapters, refers to himself as "the Historian of the passion of love says" (Qingshi shi yue 情史氏曰). He thus sees himself as the continuer of Sima Qian, becoming part of the prestigious Chinese historiographical tradition; the language he uses is the literary Chinese. • In the 24 chapters, further subdivided into numerous subsections, of which the Qingshi is composed, we find various categories : qing includes the various forms of sexual love, but also cases of emotional attachment which can exceed and transcend sexuality: heterosexual love, qing'ai情愛, and homosexual love, qingwai情外;affection or attachment involving even non humans, such as spirits and ghosts (qingling情靈"Miracles of love", qingyi情疑"dubious loves", qinggui情鬼"Love of ghosts", qingyao情妖"Extraordinary loves").Several chapters display examples concerning the circumstances and conditions that accompany the birth or expression of this feeling: in this case we speak of predestination or affinity (qingyuan情緣), clandestine or illicit affair (qingsi情私), unpleasant (qinghan情憾), illusory (qinghuan情幻), requited relation(qingbao情報), or else of the metamorphoses produced by love (qinghua 情化).The writer identifies also the stages, such as the ever-burgeoning buds of love (qingya情芽), or the consequences, such as the degenerations (qinghui 情穢), the dangers (qinglei情累), or else certain attitudes, for instance, chastity (qingzhen 情貞).The work is filled with examples of how the sages, moralists, officials, philosophers, generals and even monks and hermits were unable to avoid having passions (wei mian you qing未免有情).
Natural phenomenon Love is an innate passion that feeds on the sight and constant thought of the person of the other sex, with whom one desires above all to have sexual intercourse and, in such intimacy, concordantly to realize all its precepts. Passion “proceeds from the sole thought that the mind conceives from the sight […] the more you think of that woman, the more you burn with love” (ex sola cogitatione, quam concipit animus ex eo, quod vidit, passio illa procedit [...] quotiens de ipsa cogitat totiens eius magis ardescet amore, 1:6-8). Or ….”love is an innate passion that arises from the sight and immoderate thought for a person of the other sex” (amor est passio quaedam innata procedens ex visione et immoderata cogitatione formae alterius sexus, 1:4). • The two works share above all a fundamentally positive attitude towards this sentiment, viewed as a manifestation of nature; its vital force in Feng Menglong is expressed in the metaphor of the budding of a plant, ya芽, to which chapter 15 is dedicated (qingya), and in the cosmic concept of “vitality”, shengyi生意 (ren zhi shengyi 人之生意 ).It is also stated that it is wrong any wish to eliminate love, as well it would be to say that plants do not need to have sprouted (…草木可不必芽, 15:467). See the sentence “Any time vitality stirs, plants begin to sprout: and love is vitality in man. Thus, who is able to stop its sprouting? Even sages like King Wen and Confucius were endowed with love ...” 草木之生意動而爲芽, 情亦人之生意也. 誰能不芽者? 文王 孔子之聖也而情Qingshi, Qingya, 15:467 • through qing-emotion, things and beings in the universe reproduce;無情不生一切物。。。生生而不滅[ “All beings originate from love, and end for love. 23:793萬物生于情, 死於情.
dual creative and destructive potential; • while it is indeed true that, thanks to it, the myriads of things and beings in the universe continuously reproduce (无情不生一切物。。。生生而不滅。Qingshi, Preface), and it is compared with a thread linking up all things in the universe, like a piece of string threaded through a set of coins: 萬物如散錢, 一情爲線索 Qingshi, Preface) it is also deemed to be the cause of great misfortune (Love is like water: one should be cautious and control it. If it overflows cannot be stopped, and even if it is vast like rivers and seas, must have the humiliation of channels and ditches … who is extraordinarily lustful must face extraordinary calamities 情猶水也,慎而防之,過溢不上/止,則雖江海之洪,必有溝澮之辱矣。。。夫有奇淫者必有奇禍。Qingshi, 17:536-7); See comments to chapters 6 and 7 that warn the reader to be careful of dangers which may come from passions: “death and disasters 有死亡滅絕之事(6:181), or “Outside, other people may be damaged, while inside, oneself may be injured; at least a life may be destroyed, but a kingdom may be also overthrown.” Wang yi qiang ren, lai yi zei ji, xiao ze juanming, da er qingguo 往以戕人﹐來以賊己﹐小則捐命﹐大而傾國(7:195).
Cultivation of desire • this feeling is not limited to pure sexual pleasure; the obvious aim of the sublimation of the instincts is not their containment but rather the elevation of the libido to a state of refined eroticism, to which only a privileged minority can aspire. His final aim is the cult of desire : “… mulieris, in qua facilem petitae rei concessionem cognoveris, amorem tibi non expedit postulare.” and “.. naturaliter sicut equus et mulus ad Veneris opera promoventur, quemadmodum impetus eis naturae demonstrat” (It is better not to look for the love of a woman when you know it is easily offered … [Peasants] just follow their instincts like horses and mules) 1:270-272 (Capellanus 1992, pp. 17-18, 116-22)
公欲，常情，欲推 • Traditional Chinese society did not stop short at the mere formulation of moral obligations and prohibitions and traditional Chinese, but instead reiterated the priority of each man’s vital needs and succeeded in acknowledging the fundamental importance of personal stimulus in every activity. What we do not find instead is the absolute exaltation of desire as such - going as far as the modern provocative identification of man with the desiring machine -, a desire that is indeed always limited to, or rather, identified with needs and necessity: but needs are different from desires, even though they may be induced and acquired, precisely because the former are quantifiable and limited, while the latter are not; to reduce desire to a need means identifying happiness with the satisfaction of material needs, limiting it to certain well-defined goods and ignoring the function of imagination on which desire feeds.
True morality (new ethic and justification of love) • inner morality is the primary virtue of man, society and the universe: “the son will have love towards his father, and the subject will have love towards his lord” (子有情於父,臣有情於君Qingshi, Preface). Here we can see how qing情corresponds respectively to the two cardinal virtues of xiao 孝 and xin 信. A "true" love is identified, which is likened to a thread joining up all things in the universe which, in many respects, brings the moral requisites of Confucian virtue into line with those of Buddhist compassion (佛之慈悲, 仙之設度, 神祗之坊德濟物, 無適非情19:631); “In matters concerning loyalty, filial piety, chastity and heroism, the behaviour of people who act according to moral principles only is necessarily forced. The behaviour of those who act according to their sentiments and love is necessarily sincere. In the relation between husband and wife, which is the most intimate relation, if husband is lacking in love, he cannot be a good husband. If wife is lacking in love, she cannot be a virtuous wife. Vulgar Confucians know only how principles restrain passions, but who does know how sentiments are the support of principles?.”自來忠孝節烈之事, 從道理上做者必勉强. 從至情上出者必真切. 夫婦其最近者也. 無情之夫必不能爲義夫, 無情之婦必不能爲節婦. 世儒但知理爲情之範,處孰知情爲理之維呼!Qingshi, Qingzhen 1:30) • “If one was without love, how could he experience and understand the feelings of human beings? - the comment on Knightliness (情俠) chapter notes - The feelings and social relations of those who are not against human sentiments are really very deep. [...] If love is not effective, the sense of justice and righteousness is not encouraged, and our behaviour will not be extraordinary.” 己若無情, 何以能體人之情? 其不拂人情者, 真其人情至深者耳... 情不至, 義不激, 事不奇.Qingshi, 4:132 ) • “love begins with the male-female relation” and then “flows abundantly to the king-subject, father-son, elder-younger brothers, and friends relationships”: 情始於男女... 流注於君臣, 父子兄弟, 朋友之間, 而注然有余乎Qingshi, Second Preface).
nobilitas • For André Le Chapelain (in the first two volumes of his treatise) love bears morality within itself insofar as it is identified with the virtues, and in particular, with honesty (morum probitas) and noblemindedness (nobilitas). This comparison introduces an element of innovation in the history of the representation of this passion. As in the conception of the Dolce Stil Novo, the style of a group of 13th-14th-century Italian poets, love is gentleness and noblemindedness, generosity and selflessness. Nobility is no longer a mark of birth but denotes a particular inner refinement: “love confers beauty upon the coarse and ignorant, and ennobles even the humblest...”: • (1:12 “amor horridum et incultum omni facit formositate pollere, infimos natu etiam morum novit nobilitate ditare… quam mira res est amor, qui tantis facit hominem fulgere virtutibus tantisque docet quemlibet bonis moribus abundare”: love makes beautiful what is ugly and unadorned, love enriches those of humble origin with honesty and noble-mindedness … Oh, what a splendid thing is love! It illuminates man with so many virtues and endowes him with so many sound morals) • the “cult” that he celebrates is supplied by a refined code that cultivates and regulates the erotic desire, and has to be nourished by all the rhetoric and the ‘courtly’ allegorical baggage that dresses “profane love” up in the symbology of “sacred love”. The new social ethics calls for “honesty of mores”, “noblemindedness”, dedication, generosity, courage, in order to achieve nobility of the spirit; but, conversely, it is the sentiment that allows the soul to be refined and made gentle. • It therefore transcends all social hierarchies. It is impossible to attain this privileged state of mind only when material conditions such as constant overwork or poverty are a hindrance, as in the case of peasants (and it would be of no advantage, adds the author cynically, to train them in the art of loving, as this would reduce their productiveness): • « L’amour “fine” – writes Duby – pratiquée dans l’honestas, fut présentée en effet comme l’un des privilèges du cortois. Le vilain était exclus du jeu. ».
Transcendent and universal • a transcendent dimension, common to all human beings, spirits, gods and all other beings, even inanimate things;it is taken as the measure of all things, because love is the basic rule which is common to all beings: 万物生於情, 死於情. 人, 千万物中处一焉. 将以能言, 能衣冠, 揖讓, 遂为之长. 其实觉性与物不异. . . 生在而情往焉. 故人而无情, 虽曰生人, 吾直谓之死矣. “All beings originate from love, and end for love. Man is considered the first among the myriad of things, because he is able to talk, to clothe himself and to perform all good manners and rites, then he is superior to all of them. However, as matter of fact, human nature is not different from other beings. ... Wherever there is life, there is love. Therefore, I would frankly say that people without love, although they are called living persons, are dead.” (23:793) • “It is wrong” claims Feng Menglong, “for anyone to believe that only sages do not indulge in passions (qing), while no one knows that true sages never abandon them” 人知惟聖賢不溺情, 不知惟真聖賢不遠於情Qingshi, 15:455