Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer's Fecopoetics [NOOK Book]

Overview

This interdisciplinary book integrates the historical practices regarding material excrement and its symbolic representation, with special focus on fecopoetics and Chaucer's literary agenda. Filth in all its manifestations-material (including privies, dung on fields, and as alchemical ingredient), symbolic (sin, misogynist slander, and theological wrestling with the problem of filth in sacred contexts), and linguistic (a semantic range including dirt and dung)-helps us to see how excrement is vital to ...
See more details below
Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer's Fecopoetics

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$100.00
BN.com price

Overview

This interdisciplinary book integrates the historical practices regarding material excrement and its symbolic representation, with special focus on fecopoetics and Chaucer's literary agenda. Filth in all its manifestations-material (including privies, dung on fields, and as alchemical ingredient), symbolic (sin, misogynist slander, and theological wrestling with the problem of filth in sacred contexts), and linguistic (a semantic range including dirt and dung)-helps us to see how excrement is vital to understanding the Middle Ages. Applying fecal theories to late medieval culture, Morrison concludes by proposing Waste Studies as a new field of ethical and moral criticism for literary scholars.

About the Author:
Susan Signe Morrison is Professor of English, Texas State University-San Marcos. She is the author of Women Pilgrims in Late Medieval England: Private Piety as Public Performance

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Susan Signe Morrison's spry and sparkling study of excrement in the late Middle Ages...is thus hands-on or, more precisely, pants-down. Her book, purposefully and with elegant aplomb, rubs our noses in the midden of medieval poetry, theology and philosophy. Language, she writes, is 'itself a rubbish heap or sewer'; 'language makes excrement manifest'; 'the meaning of a word is litter-al'. The great privy of medieval literature spreads this scatological imperative across a wide variety of discourses to do with morality, gender, alchemy, medicine, race and, as Morrison most forcefully demonstrates, canonical debates around religious orthodoxy, to do with such issues as the function of purgatory (etymologically related to purge) or transubstantiation...But it is in Morrison's insistence on the contiguities of the Middle Ages and today that she is most forthright."—Times Higher Education
 
"Morrison's study offers an engagingly written book that makes a convincing case for the cultural significance of the medieval fecal and that elucidates Chaucer's poetry in thoughtful ways."—The Medieval Review
 

"Susan Signe Morrison’s book explores how medieval poets employ scatology, the body and its processes.  Readers wanting to immerse themselves in the medieval imagery and language of defecation in medical, theological, and poetic texts will benefit from what Morrison assembles as she explores how defecation works along various religious continua in Chaucer and host of medieval authors, often involving the othering of filth….Morrison is at her best when she explores archaeological artifact and archive, revealing a history of public waste management little known to literary scholars.”—Speculum
 
“Susan Signe Morrison has published the first monograph on excrement. She argues for a revaluation of that which we would rather not talk about, as a way of getting a different perspective on history.  A true pioneer, she is swept away by the wealth of material from different cultures and literatures that they uncover. In this new area of academic gold-digging, there are plenty of nuggets and not just shiny flashes in the pan.  Excrement and gold share a common logic. Morrison show[s] that defecation was consigned to the private sphere and shielded from public view . . . Bottoms deserve their turban in the spotlight.”—Studies in the Age of Chaucer

"If you thought there was something crappy about the Middle Ages, you’d be right. This book rubs our nose in the excremental poetries and culture of the High and Late Middle Ages, reminding us that waste is everywhere the foundation of civilization. In this fine and comprehensive study of that which we mark off as different from us, excrement becomes the necessary stuff for understanding identity, desire, and history. In the end, we realize that a critique of shit is a critique of culture."—Michael Uebel, author of Ecstatic Transformation: On the Uses of Alterity in the Middle Ages and co-editor of The Middle Ages at Work

"Effectively a cultural study of "how late medieval England dealt with excrement," this book has much broader applications. In a truly fearless and foundational work, wide-ranging and adventurous in scope, Morrison draws from new and pertinent critical approaches (ecocriticsm, waste studies, green studies) and some of their source disciplines (psychology, anthropology, sociology) to invent, define, illustrate and examine the practice of fecopoetics - the "cultural poetics of excrement." The result is an accomplished interpretive sourcebook that enriches our understanding of a seemingly remote era, holding up, as it were, a distant mirror to reflect our historically complex relation to our own waste. A pungent and salutary whiff from the dunghills of European history."—Jeff Persels, French Department and Director of European Studies, University of South Carolina and co-editor of Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art: Studies in Scatology

"Some fastidious readers might be tempted to turban away from the pungent topic of Susan Morrison's new book. To do so would be to miss adventurous theory, wide learning, fascinating stories, startling juxtapositions, and witty writing that presents Chaucer as he has never been seen before, both disturbingly transformed and oddly familiar. History from the bottom up has never been so surprising or so much fun—a bathroom book for scholars."—C. David Benson, Professor of English, University of Connecticut and author of Public Piers Plowman: Modern Scholarship and Late Medieval Culture

Rich in historical contextualization and enlivened by contemporary theory, Morrison's excellent study sheds new light on the problem of the sacred and the profane in Chaucer and other late medieval writers. Powerfully challenging the stereotype that medieval people were comfortably awash in filth, Morrison schools us in the nuanced meanings of medieval excrement, whose position in medieval culture was in fact ambivalent and various.  Fascinating, accessible, and incisive, Excrement in the Late Middle Ages is required reading not only for Chaucerians, but also anyone working on material culture, the body, the city, theology, and devotional literature."—Kathy Lavezzo, English Department, University of Iowa

"This groundbreaking study looks as what the Middle Ages really liked to talk about, not merely the things we like them to talk about.  Susan Signe Morrison makes the case that we cheat both the authors and ourselves if we fail to look at the full range of medieval poetic expression.  After this rigorous, astute, and insightful book, no one should  doubt her.  Using both theory and close textual analysis, Morrison has produced a persuasive argument for the fact that we should take these matters as seriously as Chaucer did.  This book will turban thought about medieval vulgarity on its end."—Martha Bayless, English Department, University of Oregon and author of Parody in the Middle Ages

"This is a fascinating book."—Practical Gastroenterology
 
[Morrison's] book, purposefully and with elegant aplomb, rubs our noses in the midden of medieval poetry, theology and philosophy." —Peter J. Smith, Nottingham Trent University
 
 

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230264694
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/16/2008
  • Series: The New Middle Ages Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 508 KB

Meet the Author

Susan Signe Morrison is Professor of English, Texas State University-San Marcos. She is the author of Women Pilgrims in Late Medieval England: Private Piety as Public Performance.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

Pt. I The medieval body : disciplining material and symbolic excrement

2 The rhizomatic body 15

3 Moral filth and the sinning body : Hell, Purgatory, resurrection 25

4 Gendered filth 45

Pt. II Chaucerian fecopoetics

5 Urban excrement in The Canterbury tales 57

6 Sacred filth : relics, ritual, and remembering in The prioress's tale 73

7 The excremental human god and redemptive filth : The pardoner's tale 89

8 The rhizomatic pilgrim body and alchemical poetry 103

9 Chaucerian fecology and wasteways : The nun's priest's tale 117

Pt. III Looking behind, looking ahead

10 Looking behind 129

11 Waste studies : a brief introduction 139

12 Bottoms up! : a manifesto for waste studies 153

Notes 159

Bibliography 225

Index 251

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Ummmmmmmmmmmm

    Why is this junk 100$? WHY!!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    L

    So boring

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)