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Litanic Verse I

Origines, Iberia, Slavia et Europa Media


Edited By Witold Sadowski, Magdalena Kowalska and Magdalena Maria Kubas

The book contains comparative analyses of the development of litanic verse in European poetry, from medieval to modern times. Litanic verse is based on different syntactic devices, such as enumeration, parallelism, anaphora and epiphora. However, it is not to be seen merely as a convention of versification as the popularity of different variants of the verse in Europe reflects the religious, intellectual, social and political history of various European regions. The essays in the first volume focus on the origins of the Litany (the Near East, Greece, Byzantium, Rome), as well as the emergence of litanic verse in the Iberian languages (Castilian, Catalan, Galician, Portuguese) and Slavic and Central European literatures (Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Russian).

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“I gave night music to my heart from which deep litanies pealed”: Hungarian Poetry


In the Hungarian discourse of literary studies, there is no exact definition for the genre of litany. Only the Világirodalmi lexikon (Lexicon of World Literature) as well as the Magyar katolikus lexikon (Hungarian Catholic Lexicon) give fairly complete descriptions.1 Reading the research articles and lexicons dealing with early Hungarian literature one can learn that the genre of litany is basically defined by two characteristics: one is the repetitive, and the other is the dialogical character of the text. The present paper is also based on a definition proposed in the work Litania i poezja2 by Witold Sadowski, which deals with Polish literature, but allows one to consider the characteristics of Hungarian literature as well.

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