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Sarah Elliott Novacich explores how medieval thinkers pondered the ethics and pleasures of the archive. She traces three episodes of sacred history - the loss of Eden, the loading of Noah's ark, and the Harrowing of Hell - across works of poetry, performance records, and iconography in order to demonstrate how medieval artists turned to sacred history to think through aspects of cultural transmission. Performances of the loss of Eden blur the relationship between original and record; stories of Noah's ark foreground the difficulty of compiling inventories; and engagements with the Harrowing of Hell suggest the impossibility of separating the past from the present. Reading Middle English plays alongside chronicles, poetry, and works of visual art, Shaping the Archive in Late Medieval England considers how poetic form, staging logistics, and the status of performance all contribute to our understanding of the ways in which medieval thinkers imagined the archive.Read more
- Offers important new insights into the ways in which three of the most significant episodes from sacred history - the loss of Eden, the loading of Noah's Ark and the Harrowing of Hell - were re-imagined in the Medieval period
- Presents a comprehensive theory of how the reworking of images and ideas constitutes an 'archive of the imaginary'
- Links imaginative reconstructions of significant episodes of sacred history across genres and forms, including poetry, prose and drama
Reviews & endorsements
'The examples she [Novacich] chooses out of representations of sacred history in drama and poetry offer an elegant case study of how literature might explicate a historical crisis, providing a brilliant argument for even greater exchange between fields in the humanities.' Hannah Leah Crummé, Renaissance Quarterly
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- Date Published: March 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107177055
- length: 230 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.46kg
- contains: 5 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Model worlds
2. Ark and archive
3. Uxor Noe and the drowned
4. Infernal archive
5. The Harrowing of Hell: closure and rehearsal.
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