The Presence of Medieval English Literature: Studies at the Interface of History, Author, and Text in a Selection of Middle English Literary Landmarks

The Presence of Medieval English Literature: Studies at the Interface of History, Author, and Text in a Selection of Middle English Literary Landmarks

by 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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this book is full of insightful new interpretations of these complicated and marvelous texts. It succeeds in making the presence of these well-known works seem rich and strange, and adds further dimension to the critical conversations around them." -- Sarah Harlan-Haughey, The Medieval Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9782503536804
Publisher:
Brepols Publishers
Publication date:
09/02/2012
Series:
Cursor Mundi Series, #14
Pages:
314
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >