"Ave, Ave, Ave, [Ave]: Bruder Hans and the Multilingual Poetics of Exuberance"Gastvortrag von Prof. Dr. Steven Rozenski (University of Rochester)The phenomenon of multilingualism has recently gained an increasingly important position in medieval literary studies. Building on – while moving beyond – the familiar dichotomy of Latin and vernacular, scholars have turned increasingly to the vocabulary of modern linguistics to explain the wide varieties of languages and dialects which contribute to the idiolect found within a particular medieval text. The quadrilingual poetic glossed Ave Maria prefacing Bruder Hans’s fourteenth-century Marienlieder, however, has rarely been considered in these studies. As the most intricate example of a single author using four languages (German, Latin, French, and English) in one text, and its unique use of English as a poetic language on the Continent in the Middle Ages, its status has been curiously marginal – perhaps overshadowed in the critical literature because of its extremely complex Marian devotion, or neglected because of its odd blending of the author’s Ripuarian dialect with the more conventional literary language of southern Germany. The same motifs of linguistic excess and exuberant praise of Mary, however, which govern the tightly-controlled structure of the preface, are also found throughout the body of the poem. Hans employs this poetics of exuberance to constantly attempt to exceed and escape language, even while drawing attention to its materiality. His devotion extends not only to Mary and Jesus, but also to the very letters which constitute the Ave Maria – most especially, the three-lettered greeting Ave itself.