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Title: The Cantilena as a reading experience
Authors: Micallef, Bernard
Keywords: Caxaro, Pietru, c.1400-1485. Cantilena -- Criticism and interpretation
Maltese poetry -- History and criticism
Maltese poetry -- 15th century
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of Maltese
Citation: Micallef, B. (2014). The Cantilena as a reading experience. Journal of Maltese Studies, 28, 1-27.
Abstract: Emerging as a legible text from the comparative obscurity of its fifteenth-century world, Peter Caxaro's Cantilena has understandably inspired primary interest in its medieval origins. The cultural and social climate of its historical era, the medieval medium in which it is written, and its author's personal circumstances n1ark out an irresistible field for scholarly research. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the greater part of Cantilena studies have dwelt on Caxaro's genealogy and public roles, on potential real-life motives behind his intricately wrought allegories of hopeless despair and regained fortitude, and on the vernacular idiom showcased in his poem. These predominantly biographical and philologica I approaches have left little room for reviewing the poem as a reading experience. Consequently, the performative aspect of the work has often been assigned a secondary status to the scholarly endeavour to put together an historical picture of the author's life and times.
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