The Idea of the Literary in Medieval England
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
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c o n t e n t s
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Chapter 1 horace’s Ars poetica in the Medieval Classroom and beyond: Chapter 5 langland’s literary Syntax, or anima as an alternative to Chapter 7 Petrarch’s Pleasures, Chaucer’s revulsions, and the aesthetics of Chapter 9 Seigneurial Poetics, or The Poacher, the Prikasour, Chapter 10 agency and the Poetics of Sensation in Gower’s Mirour de l’Omme...
i l l u s t r a t i o n s
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Figure 1 anima’s speech of self-naming. Cambridge, Trinity College, Figure 2 anima’s speech of self-naming. Oxford, Corpus Christi College, robert de lisle Psalter, london, british library, MS arundel 83 ii, Figure 5 Speculum theologiae. Table of the Seven Petitions of the Paternoster. ...
i n t r o d u c t i o n
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I n recent yeArS, scholars working in a range of periods have begun to talk about aesthetics, form, and “the literary” in reanimated ways. a new emphasis, if not a movement, has emerged, in which what counts as dis-tinctly literary form and as the very category of literature is receiving atten-tion with a focus and energy suggesting a major reorientation of a number of familiar approaches, including historicism, theory, and gender studies. Such ...
Horace’s Ars poetica in theMedieval Classroom and Beyond
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...when doeS a classic of criticism become a classic? When, under what conditions, does it manifest those supposedly abiding characteristics that make it a classic, giving it the heft of a global pronouncement? Perhaps Modern readers put horace’s Ars poetica in a category with aristotle’s Poetics, as a text that long served as an authority of evaluative standards, establishing the canon of classicism for humanist and Neoclassical critics ...
t w oLatin Composition Lessons, PiersPlowman, and the Piers Plowman Tradition*
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...“t he Piers Plowman tradition” is a widely used label for alliterative poetry which is unmistakably informed by Piers Plowman. The most prominent examples of the Piers Plowman tradition are Pierce the Plough-man’s Crede (1393–1401), Richard the Redeless (c. 1400), Mum and the Soth-segger (c. 1409), and The Crowned King (after 1415).1 Other composition in the tradition includes at least some of a-text passus 12, lines attributed ...
t h r e eLangland Translating
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This essay is meant to supplement my short discussion of langland’s transla-tions in roger ellis’s Oxford History of Literary Translation in English.1 There i raised the question why some latin quoted in Piers Plowman is translated and some not, and put forward the theory that the answer lies in the rela-tion of speaker to listener: speakers who talk down translate. Most transla-...
f o u rRicardian Poetics and Narrative Voice in The Canterbury TalesEscaping the Whirling Wicker
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I n the LAte 1980s, lee Patterson pointed to “exegetics,” the mode of criticism associated with D. W. robertson, Jr., as “the great unfinished business of Medieval Studies. . . . Unable to absorb exegetics and move on, Chaucer studies instead circles back almost compulsively to an apparently irrepressible scandal, a recursiveness that itself bespeaks a scandalous limita-tion to its own critical creativity.”1 in far less dramatic fashion, one might ...
f i v eLangland’s Literary Syntax, Or Animaas an Alternative to Latin Grammar
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This essay will examine langland’s second b-text iteration of anima as a newly constructed and deliberately hybrid tool for abstract thought—an instance in which the combination of english and latin surpasses either lan-guage alone. it begins, however, with what the augustinian canon John Mirk calls “sory laten”: latin used by and for those who have not mastered it as ...
s i xSpeculum Vitae and the Form ofPiers Plowman
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C ontrIButInG to this collection is undertaking a dangerously imitative act. i’m going to try, as “þe wakkest, i wot, and of wyt feblest,” to imi-tate something i hope our honoree would think worthy to read. This is cer-tainly a shabby substitution, in which an act of homage equally presumes to emulate what has formed, guided, and educated its perpetrator over so many years. One can only entertain such a challenge in the hope that the homage ...
s e v e nPetrarch’s Pleasures, Chaucer’s Revulsions,and the Aesthetics of Renunciation inLate-Medieval Culture
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C hArtInG the hIStory of emotions has a foundational role in medi-eval studies, but it cannot be considered a steadily developing one. This is clear from Johan huizinga’s most influential but controversial book, known to the english-speaking world since 1924 as The Waning of the Mid-dle Ages. First appearing in Dutch in 1919, Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen (lit-erally, ‘the autumn of the Middle ages’), later revised (1921) then variously ...
e i g h tChaucer’s History-Effect
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...t he PoInt of this essay is to explain a compositional device Chaucer invents in the Troilus and Criseyde. later it will argue that by this device Chaucer constituted himself as an object of investigation, but the essay’s best rationale is that the device has never been fully explained or even recognized. Chaucer stages its introduction at the beginning of book 2. approaching Criseyde on Troilus’ errand, Pandarus apologizes for interrupting the parlor ...
n i n eSeigneurial Poetics, or The Poacher,the Prikasour, The Hunt, and Its Oeuvre
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I F “the reFocuSInG of literary studies on textuality itself as central to any possible adequate literary history of the Middle ages appears to be the chief contribution that studies in medieval literature might offer to literary studies generally in the coming generation,” then we have evidently still got a lot of work to do. That sentence is from anne Middleton’s contribution to the critical anthology Redrawing the Boundaries, published in 1992.1 The ...
t e nAgency and the Poetics of Sensation inGower’s Mirour de l’Omme*
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...perhAPS the most consistent theme over the course of Gower’s writing career is his resistance to the idea of Fortune. in the Vox Clamantis and the Confessio Amantis, he repeatedly argues that the notion of Fortune is a fraud, a way of dodging responsibility; as he tells us in the Prologue to the Confessio, “man is overal / his oghne cause of wel and wo. / That we for-tune clepe so / Out of the man himself it groweth.”1 These negations enable ...
e l e v e nGenre and SourceTroilus and Criseyde*
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At the end of Troilus and Criseyde, as everybody knows, Chaucer addresses his poem as “litel myn tragedie” (5.1786). and as virtually everybody also knows—or at least thinks they know—Chaucer derived this generic term from a sentence in boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and its What other thynge bywaylen the cryinges of tragedyes but oonly the dedes of Fortune, that with an unwar strook overturneth the realmes of greet ...
t w e l v eMatter, Invisibility, InstructionThe Silence of Langland’s Study*
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Material is handled in the Middle ages, as it probably is today, in a deeply ambivalent way. Material includes a lot: the stuff of body, but also the con-tent of things as abstract as narrative—the matter of rhetorical and poetic invention. Plotinus argues, in fact, that matter literally is nothing, because anything we can say about it, or predicate of it, is really something else—...
t h i r t e e nChaucer, Orpheus, MachautVoice and Public Interiorities
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...“A voice neither universal nor personal . . . a common voice”Whatever happened to voice? Critical use of the term is often diffident, and as far from standardized as any critical term can be. Paul Zumthor’s com-ment in 1983 remains true: “it is strange that, among all the institutional-ized disciplines, there is not yet a science of voice. let us hope that one is ...
w o r k s c i t e d
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MED Middle English Dictionary. ed. hans Kurath, Sherman M. Kuhn, and robert e. lewis. 22 vols. ann arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1952–2001. On-OED The Oxford English Dictionary [electronic resource; by subscription]. 2nd ed. prepared by J. a. Simpson and e. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New PL Patrologiae cursus completus, series latina. ed. Jean-Paul Migne et al. 221 vols. ...
i n d e x
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...interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture publishes theoretically informed work in medieval literary and cultural studies. We are interested both in studies of medieval culture and in work on the continuing importance of medieval tropes and topics in contemporary Scribal Authorship and the Writing of History in Medieval EnglandFashioning Change: The Trope of Clothing in High- and Late-Medieval England...
Page Count: 392
Illustrations: 5 illustrations
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture
Series Editor Byline: Ethan Knapp