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The abjection of the Middle Ages
Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

suggests that we might frame the question about the Middle Ages and abjection in a slightly different way. It is not whether the Middle Ages is necessarily always abject; it is whether the abjection we feel is a way at getting at the truth. In Freud’s case, he found himself in the familiarly uncomfortable position analogous to that of the medieval torturer – one who allegedly wishes to get at the truth, but

in Affective medievalism
Love, abjection and discontent

This book destabilises the customary disciplinary and epistemological oppositions between medieval studies and modern medievalism. It argues that the twinned concepts of “the medieval” and post-medieval “medievalism” are mutually though unevenly constitutive, not just in the contemporary era, but from the medieval period on. Medieval and medievalist culture share similar concerns about the nature of temporality, and the means by which we approach or “touch” the past, whether through textual or material culture, or the conceptual frames through which we approach those artefacts. Those approaches are often affective ones, often structured around love, abjection and discontent. Medieval writers offer powerful models for the ways in which contemporary desire determines the constitution of the past. This desire can not only connect us with the past but can reconnect present readers with the lost history of what we call the medievalism of the medievals. In other words, to come to terms with the history of the medieval is to understand that it already offers us a model of how to relate to the past. The book ranges across literary and historical texts, but is equally attentive to material culture and its problematic witness to the reality of the historical past.

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Medieval and medievalist practice
Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

shows, the implications of ‘getting medieval’ are indeed troubling. Dinshaw tells us ‘the medieval … is the space of the rejects – really the abjects – of the world’. 38 ‘Getting medieval’ is ‘go[ing] to work on homes here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch’, comparable to the provisions of torture prescribed in the thirteenth-century Li livres jostice et de plet . This similitude between the now

in Affective medievalism
Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

discourse or practice in relation to the humanities and their understanding of history and culture. This practice would function not only in terms of the dominant thematic tropes of nostalgia or fascination with the abject; not even in terms of the emotional patterns of love and fear we have focused on, but in the very lure of the object, the artefact, the structuring narrative of the (scholarly) quest for

in Affective medievalism
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Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

. Relics in this way of thinking become a kind of manmade parody of the supernatural. The medieval is collapsed with medievalism and in this collapse comes the abjection of both. The perils of invention Yet, as we suggested at the outset, the distinction between reformist and Catholic approaches to these objects was profoundly unstable. Those responsible for the display of relics

in Affective medievalism
Open Access (free)
Agency in the Finnsburg episode
Mary Kate Hurley

. When brought into relationship with the corpses of the dead and the treasure meant to ensure community, these stories transform objects into reminders. The gold meant to buy off the memory of the violent deaths of kinsmen is qualitatively altered by its association with Oslaf and Guðlaf's angry speech. The explosive violence of the association attests to what Julia Kristeva terms theabject’, that which the subject must forget or reject in order to maintain a coherent identity. 29 Because it defies seemingly rigid

in Dating Beowulf
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Aldhelm’s leech riddle – Peter Buchanan
Peter Buchanan

of beings and bodies in order to analyse the abjection of ‘lowly’ creatures like leeches in relation to humans. 4 My readings of the enigma through the lens of Chen’s work develop in tandem with an exploration of Aldhelm’s lexical choices throughout the poem, with a consideration of how these choices may be viewed in light of both Aldhelm’s other works and also his reading of early Christian Latin poets such as Prudentius. These lexical resonances suggest hidden depths lurking beneath the waters of the leech’s swamp. Finally, I broaden my discussion of the leech

in Riddles at work in the early medieval tradition
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

than a detailed analysis of the image of women in all twelfth-century literary sources. One necessary omission, therefore, is the satirical work of Walter Map. The genre in which he worked, unlike those of the other authors treated here, tended to limit him to presentations of the most extreme gendered stereotypes of women, without the need to accommodate their involvement in lordship and politics. For example, we have extreme cases of sexual incontinence by nuns, the abject submission of a loyal wife, and the use of sexual insults in a stereotyped attack on a

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Simon Walker

spread abroad among the people of England, by false oaths and signs, that Richard, formerly king of England … is still alive’. 87 In addition, the abject figure of Thomas Warde was seized on for further marginalization and caricature. To the English government, he was a fool, an idol to be worshipped by the misguided, a nullity. 88 None of these epithets was randomly chosen. Ydolum (and its vernacular equivalent, mawmet ) depicted the pretender as a pagan deity, worshipped for his oracular powers, and sought to turn to advantage the entanglement of the Ricardian

in Political culture in later medieval England
Suzanne Conklin Akbari

lay down on their backs, piling the earth upon their chests because they were so dry with thirst.33 The abjection experienced by the crusaders at Xerigordo, driven to extreme uncleanliness and even a kind of self-interment, is transmuted in the Siege of Melayne into a moment of eucharistic union. Instead of the blood of unclean animals, the knights at Milan drink their own blood, which colours the stream bright red. The blood flowing through the military host mirrors the blood flowing through the eucharistic host in the sacrifice of the Mass. It is not abject but

in Pulp fictions of medieval England