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REVERDIE (French, "re-greening" with possible pun on reverie): A Old French of poetry popular in the 1300s, in which the poetic speaker meets a conventional woman of great beauty--and often with supernatural power--who personifies the spring season, sexual fecundity, and verdant nature. In later ballads, a conventional encounter with the god of Love became another component of the genre. The lyrics of the reverdie were often set to music, and they may have functioned as dance-songs (Shipley 478). Typically, the poem or song would consist of five or six stanzas without a refrain, with a structure similar to a (Cuddon 792).
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In preliterate societies oral literature was widely shared; it saturated the society and was as much a part of living as food, clothing, shelter, or religion. In barbaric societies, the minstrel might be a courtier of the king or chieftain, and the poet who composed liturgies might be a priest. But the oral performance itself was accessible to the whole community. As society evolved its various social layers, or classes, an elite literature began to be distinguishable from the folk literature of the people. With the invention of writing this separation was accelerated until finally literature was being experienced individually by the elite (reading a book), while folklore and folk song were experienced orally and more or less collectively by the illiterate common people.
Sharp eyed readers will note that a large part of this synthesis is adapted from the Zakarian group's previously reported total synthesis of racemic maoecrystal V from back in 2013, and in fact it reuses the same intramolecular Diels–Alder key step to construct the fused furanobicyclo[2.2.2]octane ring system:
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Lyric poetry never gets far from its origins, except that some of its finest examples Medieval Latin, Provençal, Middle High German, Middle French, Renaissance which today are only read, were actually written to be sung. In the twentieth century, however, popular songs of great literary merit have become increasingly common for example, the songs of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in German, of Georges Brassens and Anne Sylvestre in French, and of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. It is interesting to note that, in periods when the culture values artificiality, the lyric becomes stereotyped. Then, after a while, the poets revolt and, usually turning to folk origins, restore to lyric poetry at least the appearance of naturalness and spontaneity.
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There is a surprising variety of oral literature among surviving preliterate peoples, and, as the written word emerges in history, the indications are that the important literary genres all existed at the beginning of civilized societies: heroic epic; songs in praise of priests and kings; stories of mystery and the supernatural; love lyrics; personal songs (the result of intense meditation); love stories; tales of adventure and heroism (of common peoples, as distinct from the heroic epics of the upper classes); satire (which was dreaded by barbaric chieftains); satirical combats (in which two poets or two personifications abused one another and praised themselves); ballads and folktales of tragedy and murder; folk stories, such as the tale of the clever boy who performs impossible tasks, outwits all his adversaries, and usually wins the hand of the kings daughter; animal fables like those attributed to Aesop (the special delight of Black Africa and Indian America); riddles, proverbs, and philosophical observations; hymns, incantations, and mysterious songs of priests; and finally actual mythology stories of the origin of the world and the human race, of the great dead, and of the gods and demigods.
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The forms of satire are as manifold as those of literature itself from those of the mock epic to the biting epigram. A great many social and political novels of today would have been regarded as satire by the ancients. Many of the great works of all time are satires, but in each case they have risen far above their immediate satirical objectives. The sixteenth-century medieval satire on civilization, the of Rabelais, grew under the hand of its author into a great archetypal myth of the lust for life. Cervantess often called the greatest work of prose fiction in the West, is superficially a satire of the sentimental romance of knightly adventure. But, again, it is an archetypal myth, telling the adventures of the soul of man of the individual in the long struggle with what is called the human condition. by Murasaki Shikibu has sometimes been considered by obtuse critics as no more than a satire on the sexual promiscuity of the Heian court. In fact, it is a profoundly philosophical, religious, and mystical novel.