The horse was the essential animal for the medieval world: means of transport, a vehicle of social status and a cherished companion. This volume explores the ways in which horses shaped medieval societies.
The modern concept of passing leisure hours pleasantly would, in the Middle Ages, have fallen under the rubric of Sloth, a deadly sin. Yet aristocrats of past centuries were not always absorbed in affairs of state or warfare. What did they do in moments of peace, "downtime" as we might call it today? In this collection of essays, scholars from various disciplines investigate courtly modes of entertainment ranging from the vigorous to the intellectual: hunting, jousting, horse racing; physical and verbal games; reading, writing, and book ownership. Favorite pastimes spanned differences of gender and age, and crossed geographical and cultural boundaries. Literary and historical examples come from England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Courtly Pastimes analyzes the underlying rationales for such activities: to display power and prestige, to acquire cultural capital, to instill a sense of community, or to build diplomatic alliances. Performativity − so crucial in social rituals − could become transgressive if taken to extremes. Certain chapters explore the spaces of courtliness: literal or imaginary; man-made, natural, or a hybrid of both. Other chapters concern materiality and visual elements associated with courtly pastimes: from humble children’s toys and playthings to elite tournament attire, castle murals, and manuscript illuminations.
The essays in this interdisciplinary volume explore language, broadly construed, as part of the continued interrogation of the boundaries of human and nonhuman animals in the Middle Ages. Uniting a diverse set of emerging and established scholars, Animal Languages questions the assumed medieval distinction between humans and other animals. The chapters point to the wealth of non-human communicative and discursive forms through which animals function both as vehicles for human meaning and as agents of their own, demonstrating the significance of human and non-human interaction in medieval texts, particularly for engaging with the Other. The book ultimately considers the ramifications of deconstructing the medieval anthropocentric view of language for the broader question of human singularity.
Digital Literary Studies presents a broad and varied picture of the promise and potential of methods and approaches that are crucially dependent upon the digital nature of the literary texts it studies and the texts and collections of texts with which they are compared. It focuses on style, diction, characterization, and interpretation of single works and across larger groups of texts, using both huge natural language corpora and smaller, more specialized collections of texts created for specific tasks, and applies statistical techniques used in the narrower confines of authorship attribution to broader stylistic questions. It addresses important issues in each of the three major literary genres, and intentionally applies different techniques and concepts to poetry, prose, and drama. It aims to present a provocative and suggestive sample intended to encourage the application of these and other methods to literary studies. Hoover, Culpeper, and O’Halloran push the methods, techniques, and concepts in new directions, apply them to new groups of texts or to new questions, modify their nature or method of application, and combine them in innovative ways.
Covers writers from the ancient Greeks to 20th-century authors. Includes biographical-bibliographical entries on nearly 500 writers and approximately 550 entries focusing on significant works of world literature. Each author entry provides a detailed overview of the writer's life and works. Work entries cover a particular piece of world literature in detail.