Medieval Poetics and Social Practice
Responding to the Work of Penn R. Szittya
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
This book pays tribute to the career of Penn R. Szittya, who retired from the English department at Georgetown University in 2009. The collection’s title derives from Georgetown’s Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, an institution to which Penn lent considerable support while chairing the English department. Named and...
Visual Translation in Fifteenth- Century English Manuscripts
Although the role of linguistic translation in the expansion of medieval literature and the establishment of English as a literary vernacular is well known, the role played by visual translation, the creation of manuscript images to picture and interpret verbal texts, has yet to be fully...
Barn of Unity or the Devil’s Church? Salvation and Ecclesiology in Langland and the Wycliffites
Avery Dulles, the late Roman Catholic theologian, may seem an odd starting point for a discussion of religious reformers in late- medieval England. Th e son of an American secretary of state, a Jesuit priest, a cardinal, and a frequent defender of the conservative orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II, Dulles would appear to have...
Christian Poetics and Orthodox Practice: Meaning and Implication in Six Carols by James Ryman, O.F.M.
Though rarely announced publicly, Penn Szittya’s thoughtful and progressive social attitudes have for many years found powerful if indirect expression in his teaching and his scholarship, in his chairmanship of Georgetown’s English Department, and in his founding, together with his friend and colleague Jo Ann Hoeppner Moran...
Enabled and Disabled “Myndes” in The Prick of Conscience
This essay will argue that The Prick of Conscience contributes in important ways to late- medieval discussions of human rationality and thought.1 Th e engagement of the unnamed Conscience poet with these issues might seem surprising, given how vividly and adamantly he depicts the wretchedness of the world, the inevitability...
The Idea of Public Poetry in Lydgatean Religious Verse: Authority and the Common Voice in Devotional Literature
Recent analyses of the verse and prose writings of John Lydgate have turned to Anne Middleton’s well- known idea of Ricardian “public poetry” to describe the role of the Lancastrian laureate in shaping response to social debates conducted in the public sphere.1 Public poetry, in Middleton’s formulation, is above all that which...
Nature’s Yerde and Ward: Authority and Choice in Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls
At the end of the debate in Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls, as Nature struggles to control the increasingly raucous voices, she turns to the creature she (like some noble hawking lady) holds “on hir honde”: the female eagle (“formel”).1 Throughout all the “noble dispute,” the “noise,” and the variety of “verdicts” that have...
Fabulous Women, Fables of Patronage: Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes and BL MS Additional 10304
In Chaucer and His Readers, Seth Lerer refers to Chaucer’s “fables of patronage: fictional accounts of power relationships that, in allegorical or figurative ways, tell stories of the commission and reception of literature.”1 Th e fables of patronage created by Chaucer cast a long shadow in the fifteenth century, Lerer demonstrates, as male poets, patrons,...
Dowel, the Proverbial, and the Vernacular: Some Versions of Pastoralia
The small bright feature that prompts this essay is the English dictum “do well and have well,” with which the Priest “construes” the text of the Pardon in English.1 While this moment has proved pivotal both to the ensuing formal unfolding of the poem and to the course of its critical history, I do not attempt here to traverse...
Published Works by Penn R. Szittya
Penn R. Szittya as Scholar and Teacher
Because of the wide range of Penn Szittya’s scholarship, this volume offers here a brief survey of his critical works to supplement their bibliographical listing. Readers who are familiar with his writing or teaching in one area of literary studies might learn through this survey about his role in other areas. Penn Szittya has contributed...
The Desire to Write Things Down: A Poetic Palimpsest on Certain Remarks by Penn Szittya
Th e genre of the profile has strict requirements: verisimilitude, a correspondence between internal character and exterior setting. Like a photographer, the writer must situate his subject against a purposeful background. Th is setting is meant to mark invisible dispositions, but obliquely, like signs that promise— only promise— the revelations of allegory. I think Penn would dislike...