Cary Howie
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Monastic poetics
in Transfiguring medievalism
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This chapter expounds and lingers with the poetics of monasticism, specifically the poetics of monastic discretion or discernment, especially as it appears in the Conferences of John Cassian. In dialogue with Michel Foucault and Thomas Merton, as well as modern poets Marilyn Hacker, Jane Hirshfield and Melissa Range, this chapter suggests that monastic speech and monastic bodies take materiality seriously, as something seriously mysterious and seriously inchoate, even and especially when that materiality proves to be a limitation. To be monastic, in life and in language, is to be always beginning.

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Transfiguring medievalism

Poetry, attention, and the mysteries of the body


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