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This study outlines the history and anatomy of the European apology tradition from the sixth century BCE to 1500 for the first time. The study examines the vernacular and Latin tales, lyrics, epics, and prose compositions of Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Spanish, and Welsh authors. Three different strands of the apology tradition can be proposed. The first and most pervasive strand features apologies to pagan deities and-later-to God. The second most important strand contains literary apologies made to an earthly audience, usually of women. A third strand occurs more rarely and contains apologies for varying literary offenses that are directed to a more general audience. The medieval theory of language privileges an imitation of the Christian master narrative and a hierarchical medieval view of authorship. These notions express a medieval philosophical concern about language and its role, and therefore the role of the author, in cosmic history. Despite the fact that women apologize for different purposes and reasons, their examples illustrate, on yet another level, the antifeminist subtext inherent in the entire apology tradition. Overall, the apology tradition characterized by interauctoriality, intertextuality, and intratextuality, enables self-critical authors to refer not only backward but also-primarily-forward, making the medieval apology a progressive strategy that engenders new literature. This study would be relevant to all medievalists, especially those interested in literature and the history of ideas.
Incorporating several kinds of scholarship on medieval authorship, the essays examine interrelated questions raised by the relationship between an author and a reader, the relationships between authors and their antecedents, and the ways in which authorship interacts with the physical presentation of texts in books.
This book explores womena (TM)s experiences of pilgrimage in Latin Christendom between 1300 and 1500 C.E. Later medieval authors harbored grave doubts about womena (TM)s mobility; literary images of mobile women commonly accused them of lust, pride, greed, and deceit. Yet real women commonly engaged in pilgrimage in a variety of forms, both physical and spiritual, voluntary and compulsory, and to locations nearby and distant. Acting within both practical and social constraints, such women helped to construct more positive interpretations of their desire to travel and of their experiences as pilgrims. Regardless of how their travel was interpreted, those women who succeeded in becoming pilgrims offer us a rare glimpse of ordinary women taking on extraordinary religious and social authority.
"Why are the most famous examples of early modern women's writing professions of inadequacy, apology, and self-denigration? Why have we so frequently read these pronouncements as straightforward autobiographical assertions? Early Modern Women's Writing and the Rhetoric of Modesty revisits the classic, even clichéd trope of the woman writer's humility, rereading this familiar pose of abjection through the lenses of early modern rhetorical practice, protocols of early modern printed publication, and debates in contemporary feminist theory. In the process, the book provides provocative new readings of five now-prominent women writers Anne Askew, Katharine Parr, Mary Sidney Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer and Anne Bradstreet revealing the surprisingly assertive and ambitious subtexts of their conventional expressions of modesty. These readings challenge long-held assumptions of early modern women's authorial self-fashioning and examine the ways in which the figure of the woman writer and the category of gender continue to hold crucial, determining and fetishized positions in our prevailing models of literary history."--Back cover.
The Public Self and the Social Author in Late Medieval England
Author: Sebastian Sobecki
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Literary Criticism
Reassess medieval literature and the relationship between writers and power in England by arguing that major works commissioned by or written for a succession of Lancastrians--Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Prince Edward--reveal that John Gower, Thomas Hoccleve, John Lydgate, and John Fortescue were not propagandists.
This book examines the scholarly construction of Geoffrey Chaucer in different historical eras, and challenges long-standing assumptions to enhance the theoretical dialogue on Chaucer's historical reception.
Maqāmāt and Frametale Narratives in Medieval Spain
Author: David Wacks
Drawing on current critical theory, Framing Iberia relocates the Castilian classics El Conde Lucanor and El Libro de buen amor within a medieval Iberian literary tradition that includes works in Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and Romance. Winner of the 2009 La corónica International Book Award for scholarship in Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
This book was first published in 2011. The Virgin Mary was one of the most powerful images of the Middle Ages, central to people's experience of Christianity. During the Reformation, however, many images of the Virgin were destroyed, as Protestantism rejected the way the medieval Church over-valued and sexualized Mary. Although increasingly marginalized in Protestant thought and practice, her traces and surprising transformations continued to haunt early modern England. Combining historical analysis and contemporary theory, including issues raised by psychoanalysis and feminist theology, Gary Waller examines the literature, theology and popular culture associated with Mary in the transition between late medieval and early modern England. He contrasts a variety of pre-Reformation texts and events, including popular mariology, poetry, tales, drama, pilgrimage and the emerging 'New Learning', with later sixteenth-century ruins, songs, ballads, Petrarchan poetry, the works of Shakespeare and other texts where the Virgin's presence or influence, sometimes surprisingly, can be found.
Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century
Author: Fiona Griffiths
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
In The Garden of Delights, Fiona J. Griffiths offers the first major study of the Hortus deliciarum, a magnificently illuminated manuscript of theology, biblical history, and canon law written both by and explicitly for women at the end of the twelfth century. In so doing she provides a brilliantly persuasive new reading of female monastic culture. Through careful analysis of the contents, structure, and organization of the Hortus, Griffiths argues for women's profound engagement with the spiritual and intellectual vitality of the period on a level previously thought unimaginable, overturning the assumption that women were largely excluded from the "renaissance" and "reform" of this period. As a work of scholarship that drew from a wide range of sources, both monastic and scholastic, the Hortus provides a witness to the richness of women's reading practices within the cloister, demonstrating that it was possible, even late into the twelfth century, for communities of religious women to pursue an educational program that rivaled that available to men. At the same time, the manuscript's reformist agenda reveals how women engaged the pressing spiritual questions of the day, even going so far as to criticize priests and other churchmen who fell short of their reformist ideals. Through her wide-ranging examination of the texts and images of the Hortus, their sources, composition, and function, Griffiths offers an integrated understanding of the whole manuscript, one which highlights women's Latin learning and orthodox spirituality. The Garden of Delights contributes to some of the most urgent questions concerning medieval religious women, the interplay of gender, spirituality, and intellectual engagement, to discussions concerning women scribes and writers, women readers, female authorship and authority, and the visual culture of female communities. It will be of interest to art historians, scholars of women's and gender studies, historians of medieval religion, education, and theology, and literary scholars studying questions of female authorship and models of women's reading.
The Latin-English bilingual volume presents the text of The Chronicle of the Czechs by Cosmas of Prague. Cosmas was born around 1045, educated in Liège, upon his return to Bohemia, he got married as well as became a priest. In 1086 he was appointed prebendary, a senior member of clergy in Prague. He completed the first book of the Chronicle in 1119, starting with the creation of the world and the earliest deeds of the Czechs up to Saint Adalbert. In the second and third books Cosmas presents the preceding century in the history of Bohemia, and succeeds in reporting about events up to 1125, the year when he died. The English translation was done by Petra Mutlova and Martyn Rady with the cooperation of Libor Švanda. The introduction and the explanatory notes were written by Jan Hasil with the cooperation of Irene van Rensvoude.
This electronic version has been made available under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) open access license. This book traces affinities between digital and medieval media, exploring how reading functioned as a nexus for concerns about increasing literacy, audiences’ agency, literary culture and media formats from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. Drawing on a wide range of texts, from well-known poems of Chaucer and Lydgate to wall texts, banqueting poems and devotional works written by and for women, Participatory reading argues that making readers work offered writers ways to shape their reputations and the futures of their productions. At the same time, the interactive reading practices they promoted enabled audiences to contribute to – and contest – writers’ burgeoning authority, making books and reading work for everyone.
In a culture as steeped in communal, scripted acts of prayer as Chaucer's England, a written prayer asks not only to be read, but to be inhabited: its "I" marks a space that readers are invited to occupy. This book examines the implications of accepting that invitation when reading Chaucer's poetry. Both in his often-overlooked pious writings and in his ambitious, innovative pagan narratives, the "I" of prayer provides readers with a subject-position that can be at once devotional and literary - a stance before a deity and a stance in relation to a poem. Chaucer uses this uniquely open, participatory "I" to implicate readers in his poetry and to guide their work of reading. In examining Christian and pagan prayers alongside each other, Chaucer's Prayers cuts across an assumed division between the "religious" and "secular" writings within Chaucer's corpus. Rather, it emphasizes continuities and approaches prayer as part of Chaucer's broader experimentation with literary voice. It also places Chaucer in his devotional context and foregrounds how pious practices intersect with and shape his poetic practices. These insights challenge a received view of Chaucer as an essentially secular poet and shed new light on his poetry's relationship to religion. MEGAN MURTON is Assistant Professor of English at The Catholic University of America.
Drawing from early modern plays and treatises on the precepts and practices of the acting process, this study shows how the early modern Spanish actress subscribed to various somatic practices in an effort to prepare for a role. It provides today's reader not only another perspective to the performance aspect of early modern plays, but also a better understanding of how the woman of the theater succeeded in a highly scrutinized profession. Elizabeth Marie Cruz Petersen examines examples of comedias from playwrights such as Lope de Vega, Luis Vélez de Guevara, Tirso de Molina, and Ana Caro, historical documents, and treatises to demonstrate that the women of the stage transformed their bodies and their social and cultural environment in order to succeed in early modern Spanish theater. Women's Somatic Training in Early Modern Spanish Theater is the first full-length, in-depth study of women actors in seventeenth-century Spain. Unique in the field of comedia studies, it approaches the topic from a performance perspective, using somaesthetics as a tool to explain how an artist's lived experiences and emotions unite in the interpretation of art, reconfiguring her "self" via the transformation of habit.
This book contains a diverse collection of essays on the notion of “Free Speech” in classical antiquity. The essays examine such concepts as “freedom of speech,” “self-expression,” and “censorship,” in ancient Greek and Roman culture from historical, philosophical, and literary perspectives.
Chaucer's Agents draws on medieval and modern theories of agency to provide fresh readings of the major Chaucerian texts. Collectively, those readings aim to illuminate Chaucer's responses to two greta problems of agency: the degree to which human beings and forces qualify as agents, and the equal reference of "agent" to initiators and instruments. Each chapter surveys medieval conceptions of the agency in question-- allegorical Realities, intelligent animals, pagan gods, women, and the author--and then follows that kind of agent through representative Chaucerian texts. Readers have long recognized Chaucer's interest in questions of causation; Van Dyke shows that his answers to those questions shape, even constitute, his narratives. --Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
The Narrative and Theological Unity of 'Rerum vulgarium fragmenta'
Author: Thomas E. Peterson
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Literary Criticism
"Building on recent Petrarch scholarship and broader studies of medieval poetics, poetic narrativity and biblical intertextuality, this study argues that Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta is an ordered and coherent work unified by narrative and theological structures. The author begins with the premise that the multiple voices of the Petrarchan figure (or subject) call for a reading informed by historical and autobiographical considerations. Within such a reading, the internal chronology of the work coincides with a temporal framework provided by Petrarch's Latin prose and poetry. Drawing on this material, he argues that Petrarch's derivations from early poets in the Italian vernacular, his Augustineanism and his humanism are manifest in the Fragmenta and contribute to its narrative and theological unity."--