Reading the Middle Ages: An Introduction to Medieval Literature / Edition 1

Reading the Middle Ages: An Introduction to Medieval Literature / Edition 1

by Theodore L. Steinberg
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0786416483

ISBN-13: 9780786416486

Pub. Date: 05/29/2003

Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers

Medieval literature is separated from us by so many centuries that it may seem completely foreign, both in its concerns and its techniques. However, this literature has much to say to 21st century readers and Steinberg's book demonstrates its continuing relevance and appeal.

This introduction to medieval literature provides some of the cultural context that

Overview

Medieval literature is separated from us by so many centuries that it may seem completely foreign, both in its concerns and its techniques. However, this literature has much to say to 21st century readers and Steinberg's book demonstrates its continuing relevance and appeal.

This introduction to medieval literature provides some of the cultural context that readers need to know in order to understand the literature, such as the religious orientation of the people, often deep and sincere but sometimes treated casually or subjected to intense scrutiny. The first chapter provides a brief explanation of medieval religious thought, cosmology and intellectual history. The remaining chapters provide introductions to a number of individual works ranging from Beowulf to the works of Chaucer. Avoiding the tendency to regard the Middle Ages as an era dominated by Christian men, these discussions include works by women writers and Jewish writers and a chapter on the medieval Japanese masterpiece The Tale of Genji.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786416486
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
05/29/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
196
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface1
Introduction3
The Religious Context7
Literacy and Reading11
The Medieval Poet14
Thinking Medievally17
On to the Literature19
I.Beowulf
On Digressions21
Of Kings and Monsters26
The Trouble with Geats30
Beowulf and the Question of Evil32
II.Chretien de Troyes
Epic and Romance34
Erec and Enide and Yvain39
Lancelot and Perceval47
III.The Lais of Marie de France
Medieval Women Writers53
The Lais55
IV.The Romance of the Rose
A Medieval "Best-Seller"66
Focusing on Love67
Guillaume's Dream69
Jean Takes Over78
V.The Tale of Genji
Leaving Europe84
Reading Genji89
VI.Jewish Literature
The Jews in Christian Europe95
The Jews in Moslem Spain101
VII.Sagas
Iceland and the Sagas111
Egil and Laxdoela117
Njal's Saga121
VIII.Dante
The High Point of the Middle Ages126
Hell130
Purgatory135
Paradise139
IX.Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Fourteenth-Century England142
Pearl146
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight151
X.Chaucer
Chaucer's Contemporaries160
Early Chaucer164
The Canterbury Tales170
Epilogue (But Not a Retraction): From the Author to the Reader181
Notes183
Bibliography185
Index187

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