Place, Space, and Landscape in Medieval Narrative

  • Author(s): Howes, Laura L., ed.
  • Series: Tenn Studies Literature
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2007-08-30
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Hardcover - Cloth: Price $43.00 | Buy Now

The essays gathered in Place, Space, and Landscape in Medieval Narrative are at the forefront of an ongoing investigation of place and spatial relationships in medieval culture. Following the work of Michel Foucault, John Ganim asks in this volume: “Why should space be regarded as inert and dead . . . and time be valorized as dialectical, dynamic, and creative?” An attention to spatial relations, to the representation of historical places, and to the nuances of interaction between people and their landscapes restores us to a mode of thought sometimes lost or obscured in analyses of medieval narrative.

This collection contains essays from thirteen authors, on topics ranging from an Old English transfiguration homily, to Galbert of Bruges, Marie de France’s lais, Chaucer’s gardens, Boccaccio’s Decameron, and others. In each of these chapters, analyses of space map a variety of ways medieval narratives encoded meaning. In some, lost historical associations are uncovered. In others, a new way of theorizing space-even seeing bodies and minds as spaces to be imagined or marked-leads to interpretations that add significantly to our understanding of medieval narrative art. In still others, broadly political and ideological concerns find expression in the spatial world. As a whole, the volume provides provocative new perspectives on literary texts that focus on the representation of place, space, and historical landscapes in medieval narrative art.

Contributors: William R. Askins, Kenneth Bleeth, Michael Calabrese, Lisa H. Cooper, Catherine S. Cox, Sylvia Federico, John M. Ganim, Robert W. Hanning, Thomas J. Heffernan, Laura L. Howes, Kari Kalve, Gregory B. Kaplan, Lawrence Warner.