The Presence of Medieval English Literature: Studies at the Interface of History, Author, and Text in a Selection of Middle English Literary Landmarksby Alan J Fletcher
The modern period has read its own contingent values into Middle English literature, and a modern canon of vernacular medieval literary texts has evolved as a result. While this book works with a selection of texts that have achieved such canonical status, it brings to light some of the ways in which they nevertheless resist the flattening domestications and expectations of modern taste. It illustrates how they formerly existed as constituents of a past world richer, stranger, and less familiar than much modern opinion has supposed. Thus the book aims to recuperate lost senses in which the age in which these texts were conceived and written was present within them, as well as ways in which they may have been present to their age. This twin idea of 'presence' is the thread that binds a series of chapters on English verse and prose written between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries together. While they may be read as discrete studies of individual literary landmarks, the chapters also entail an implicit and ramifying demonstration of the shortcomings of some modern views of what makes certain currently prized Middle English texts worth reading, and of how the vernacular literature of medieval England is retrospectively to be defined and periodized.
Meet the Author
Alan J. Fletcher joined the School of English of the University College Dublin in 1979. Before that he taught at the Universities of Leeds and of Oxford. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >