zaterdag 23 april 2016

Het Land van Kokanje (Luilekkerland)

"Accurata Utopiae Tabula", an "accurate map of Utopia", Johann Baptist Homann's map of Schlaraffenland published by Matthäus Seutter, Augsburg, 1730

"Cockaigne or Cockayne /kɒˈkeɪn/ is a land of plenty in medieval myth, an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease where physical comforts and pleasures are always immediately at hand and where the harshness of medieval peasant life does not exist. Specifically, in poems like The Land of Cockaigne, Cockaigne is a land of contraries, where all the restrictions of society are defied (abbots beaten by their monks), sexual liberty is open (nuns flipped over to show their bottoms), and food is plentiful (skies that rain cheeses). Writing about Cockaigne was a commonplace of Goliard verse [a group of clergy who wrote bibulous, satirical Latin poetry in the 12th and 13th centuries]. It represented both wish fulfillment and resentment at the strictures of asceticism and death." (Wikipedia, dd. 01/03/2016)
"One Latin poem of the twelfth century (Carmina Burana 222 [in de versie van Orff: '13. Ego sum abbas Cucaniensis') is spoken by an abbas Cucaniensis, an 'abbot of Cockaygne' who presides over drinking and gambling, and [contains] the descriptions of the two abbeys in Cockaygne, which invert the usual norms of religious life."(


"While the first recorded use of the name are the Latin "Cucaniensis", and the Middle English "Cokaygne", or modern-day "Cuckoo-land", one line of reasoning has the name tracing to Middle French (pays de) cocaigne"(land of) plenty," ultimately adapted or derived from a word for a small sweet cake sold to children at a fair. In Italian, the same place is called "Paese della Cuccagna";
the Flemish-Belgian equivalent is "Luilekkerland (or: lolland, land van Kokanje of het land van melk en honing). [Luilekkerland-verhalen zijn in de Lage Landen het vroegst overgeleverd in Middelnederlandse rijmteksten uit de 15e en 16e eeuw. Luilekkerland heet dan nog 'Cockaengen'. Het woord stamt uit het Oudfrans en betekent zoveel als 'het land van de honingkoeken'. De oudst bekende tekst waarin de naam voorkomt, is een Latijns lied uit de 'Carmina Burana' (begin 13e eeuw)(Wikipedia, dd. 01/03/2016)]; the German equivalent is Schlaraffenland (also known as "land of milk and honey"). In Spain an equivalent place is named Jauja, after a rich mining region of the Andes, and País de Cucaña ("fools' paradise") may also signify such a place. From Swedish dialect lubber (fat lazy fellow) comes Lubberland, popularized in the ballad An Invitation to Lubberland.
In the 1820s, the name Cockaigne came to be applied jocularly to London, as the land of Cockneys, and thus "Cockaigne", though the two are not linguistically connected otherwise. The composer Edward Elgar used the title "Cockaigne" for his concert overture and suite evoking the people of London, Cockaigne (In London Town) (1901).
The Dutch villages of Kockengen and Koekange were named after Cockaigne. The surname Cockayne also derives from the mythical land, and was originally a nickname for an idle dreamer.


Like Atlantis and El Dorado, the land of Cockaigne was a utopia, a fictional place where, in a parody of paradise, idleness and gluttony were the principal occupations. In Specimens of Early English Poets (1790), George Ellis printed a 13th-century French poem called "The Land of Cockaigne" where "the houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing"
According to Herman Pleij, Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life (2001):
"roasted pigs wander about with knives in their backs to make carving easy, where grilled geese fly directly into one's mouth, where cooked fish jump out of the water and land at one's feet. The weather is always mild, the wine flows freely, sex is readily available, and all people enjoy eternal youth."
Cockaigne was a "medieval peasant’s dream, offering relief from backbreaking labor and the daily struggle for meager food."
The Brothers Grimm collected and retold the fairy tale in Das Märchen vom Schlaraffenland (The Tale About the Land of Cockaigne)."
(Wikipedia, dd. 01/03/2016)

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