Gender, Reading, and Truth in the Twelfth Century
Title
Gender, Reading, and Truth in the Twelfth Century
Subtitle
The Woman in the Mirror
Price
€ 109,00
ISBN
9781641893770
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
434
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Also available as
eBook PDF - € 108,99
Table of Contents
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Introduction
Part One: Reading as sponsa et mater
Chapter One: Mutations of the Reading Woman
Chapter Two: Reading as Mary Did
Chapter Three: Constructing the Woman’s Mirror
Chapter Four: Seeking the Reader/Viewer of the St. Albans Psalter
Part Two: Reading the Widowed Bride
Chapter Five: Quae est ista, quae ascendit? (Cant. 3:6); Rethinking the Woman Reader in Early Old French Literature
Chapter Six: Ego dilecto meo et dilectus meus mihi (Cant. 6:2); Mary’s Reading and the Epiphany of Empathy
Chapter Seven: A New Poetics for aventiure; The Exposition of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival
Chapter Eight: The Heart, the Wound, and the Word“Sacred and Profane
Conclusion
Appendix: The Prologue to Parzival
List of Works Cited

Reviews and Features

"Powell has provided us with an original reading of Old French and Middle High German literature, and it is one that brings real discoveries. It is exciting to see an ambitious attempt to rethink romance through gender, to untangle the relationship between vernacular fiction and religion, and to consider the affective or experiential connection between the two. There remains a great deal of work to do in this direction, and Powell’s book has the potential to push the reader beyond the boundaries of their usual thoughts."
- Jacqueline Victor, H-France Review, Volume 21 (2021)

Morgan Powell

Gender, Reading, and Truth in the Twelfth Century

The Woman in the Mirror

The twelfth century witnessed the birth of modern Western European literary tradition: major narrative works appeared in both French and in German, founding a literary culture independent of the Latin tradition of the Church and Roman Antiquity. But what gave rise to the sudden interest in and legitimization of literature in these "vulgar tongues"? Until now, the answer has centred on the somewhat nebulous role of new female vernacular readers. Powell argues that a different appraisal of the same evidence offers a window onto something more momentous: not "women readers" but instead a reading act conceived of as female lies behind the polysemic identification of women as the audience of new media in the twelfth century. This woman is at the centre of a re-conception of Christian knowing, a veritable revolution in the mediation of knowledge and truth. By following this figure through detailed readings of key early works, Powell unveils a surprise, a new poetics of the body meant to embrace the capacities of new audiences and viewers of medieval literature and visual art.
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Author

Morgan Powell

Dr. Morgan Powell is a scholar of the media history of the Middle Ages and Lecturer of English at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and Arts.