By Peter Brown
A significant other to Medieval English Literature and tradition, c.1350-c.1500 demanding situations readers to imagine past a narrowly outlined canon and traditional disciplinary barriers.
A ground-breaking number of newly-commissioned essays on medieval literature and culture.
- Encourages scholars to imagine past a narrowly outlined canon and standard disciplinary boundaries.
- Reflects the erosion of the normal, inflexible boundary among medieval and early glossy literature.
- Stresses the significance of creating contexts for analyzing literature.
- Explores the level to which medieval literature is in discussion with different cultural items, together with the literature of alternative nations, manuscripts and religion.
- Includes shut readings of frequently-studied texts, together with texts through Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain poet, and Hoccleve.
- Confronts the various controversies that workout scholars of medieval literature, akin to these attached with literary conception, love, and chivalry and war.
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Additional info for A Companion To Medieval English Literature And Culture
R. H. du Boulay and Michael J. Bennett, accounts which, rather than stressing social deference, focus on the importance of personal ambition and of individual social mobility, both within and between the different classes and ranks of society (du Boulay 1970: 79; Bennett 1983: 247). Underlying much of the social mobility of the late medieval period was the high mortality resulting from regular outbreaks of epidemic disease. 25 million or less. Negative replacement rates for the population as a whole meant that places on the higher rungs of the social ladder were now waiting to be ﬁlled.
I will close this digest by addressing the theory governing approaches to two current issues at the edge of traditional literary work: violence (which is inextricably associated with power) and the Other, as psychoanalysts term the ego’s apprehension of difference from itself. The violence that maintained the social order is frequent in medieval texts, sometimes overt, sometimes simply threatened. Corinne Saunders’s Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England stands at what the author calls ‘the convergence of two streams of scholarly discourse’, the one situating itself at the critical distance of ‘a historian of mentalités’ seeking to inscribe acts of rape and abduction in the speciﬁc ‘cultural, literary, and imaginative contexts’ of medieval England; the other deﬁning itself in the strict terms of current gender theory, responding to rape as the act that ‘epitomizes all that is most fundamental and offensive in the power relationships of the sexes, in the social construction of gender differences, in the ferocious ideologies of hegemony and power’ (Saunders 2001: 1–2).
In the book’s opening essay A. C. Spearing argues that Ricardian poetry displays no ‘unifying vision’ and that the works even of Chaucer, Langland and Gower ‘record a struggle to ﬁnd ways of saying things for which their culture provided no ready formulations or artistic forms’ (in Minnis, Morse and Turville-Petre 1997: 22). The book’s editors emphasize the incongruity of seeking unity in individual voices by Critical Approaches 17 juxtaposing more formalist examinations of prominent individual writers with more generalizing chapters that encourage us to think about the kinds of values and cultural conditions that deﬁne a common literary or historical moment.
A Companion To Medieval English Literature And Culture by Peter Brown