There are now so many good blogs devoted to covering aspects of medievalism, from the scholarly to the popular and everything in between, that it’s not always easy for a hapless insomniac to make his mark. That’s why I’m inordinately pleased to be the first to report a crucial piece of quasi-medieval news: General Hospital has just kicked off a storyline about courtly love.
No, really! Someone on YouTube has compiled the relevant clips from the June 30 episode, wherein garrulous geek Damian “The Jackal” Spinelli proposes new rules for his relationship with Maxie Jones. Spinelli has long adored the woman he calls “Maximista,” but only recently has she loved him back. Spinelli and Maxie have already had sex—twice, according to Wikipedia—but the dramatic and chivalrous Spinelli wants to woo his true love properly, even if Maxie ain’t exactly qualified to book passage with St. Ursula, if you know what I mean:
Maximista shall remain the queen of The Jackal’s heart, and to honor her luminous beauty and transcendent presence, I will demonstrate my pure and epic devotion through the time-honored tradition of courtly love.
Spinelli, you’re so amazing. You’ve actually come up with something I’ve never done. So what is this “courtly love,” and who gets to go first?
Watch the five-minute video and you’ll see Spinelli explain (not always accurately) the up side of courtly love, after which Maxie’s step-cousin Robin explains the down side.
If the frustrated English majors who write the other soaps decide to follow suit, we may have a genuine trend on our hands. The troublemakers on One Life to Live might stop stealing each other’s babies and generate real drama by debating notions of inheritance and lordship in The Mabinogion, while Days of Our Lives supercop Bo Brady could very well shelve his investigations of mafia feuds to focus instead on a groundbreaking new theory about the date and composition of Beowulf. Should all this and more come to pass, “Quid Plura?” will be ready to keep you informed—if not with great sentence, then at least with some full measure of solaas.