Margot Fassler. Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris.

Fuller, Sarah

Fassler mounts a persuasive case that this genre of "gothic song" deserves attention for what it can reveal about a religious community and their implementation of new sacred song within their liturgy to further their doctrines, self-images, and religious purposes. Her study is written with fervor, a fervor arising from the excitement of discovery, as well as-I would judge-from admiration at the skill and ingenuity with which the Victorines appear to have encoded their beliefs and values in communal song. Her controlling metaphor is that of a central place with a central creative personality who set forth the first principles of the new rhythmic rhymed sequence. This will seem attractive and highly plausible to many readers. Others will worry over the rationale for regarding most late sequences as Parisian in origin or over the attributions of intent to the Victorine community.



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Columbia University
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October 16, 2015