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The Book and the Magic of Reading in the Middle Ages

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The computer revolution is upon us. The future of books and of reading are debated. Will there be books in the next millennium? Will we still be reading? As uncertain as the answers to these questions might be, as clear is the message about the value of the book expressed by medieval writers. The contributors to the volume The Book and the Magic of Reading in the Middle Ages explore the significance of the written document as the key icon of a whole era. Both philosophers and artists, both poets and clerics ...

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The Book and the Magic of Reading in the Middle Ages

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Overview

The computer revolution is upon us. The future of books and of reading are debated. Will there be books in the next millennium? Will we still be reading? As uncertain as the answers to these questions might be, as clear is the message about the value of the book expressed by medieval writers. The contributors to the volume The Book and the Magic of Reading in the Middle Ages explore the significance of the written document as the key icon of a whole era. Both philosophers and artists, both poets and clerics wholeheartedly subscribed to the notion that reading and writing represented essential epistemological tools for spiritual, political, religious, and philosophical quests. To gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of the medieval book, the contributors to this volume examine pertinent statements by medieval philosophers and French, German, English, Spanish, and Italian poets.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781138799035
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/4/2014
  • Pages: 343

Table of Contents

Introduction
Varying Degrees of Light: Bonaventure and the Medieval Book of Nature 3
Reading That Transforms: Virgil's Hero Reborn in Twelfth Century Vernacular Representations 21
Reading and the Book: Frame and Story in the Old French Dolopathos 35
The Book and the Power of Reading in Medieval High German Literature: Mystery, Enlightenment, Spirituality, and Love 61
Book Metaphors in the Textual Community of the Ancrene Wisse 99
The Language of the Text: Authorship and Textuality in Pearl, The Divine Comedy, and Piers Plowman 123
Building Christian Narrative: The Rhetoric of Knowledge, Revelation, and Interpretation in Libro de Apolonio 149
Chaucer's Literate Characters Reading Their Texts: Interpreting Infinite Regression, or the Narcissus Syndrome 171
Story, Picture, and Reading in Wynkyn de Worde's Vitas Patrum 219
Reading the Virgin Reader 253
Maria Legens - Maria Legere: St. Mary as an Ideal Reader and St. Mary as a Textbook 277
Select Bibliography 295
The Authors 299
List of Illustrations 303
Index 305
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