Refuting the view that Milton was an antimedievalist, the eight essays presented here approach him from the interdisciplinary perspectives of historical, theological, literary, philosophical, and pictorial concerns, and illuminate the many areas in which Milton's work grew out of medieval art and culture.
A Reading of Christian Liberty from the Prose to 'Paradise Lost'
Author: Filippo Falcone
Publisher: James Clarke & Co
Category: Literary Criticism
What is true liberty? Milton labors to provide an answer, and his answer becomes the ruling principle behind both prose works and poetry. The scholarly community has largely read liberty in Milton retrospectively through the spectacles of liberalism. In so doing, it has failed to emphasize that the Christian paradigm of liberty speaks of an inward microcosm, a place of freedom whose precincts are defined by man's fellowship with God. All other forms of freedom relate to the outer world, be they freedom to choose the good, absence of external constraint and oppression, or freedom of alternatives. None of these is true liberty, but they are pursued by Milton in concert with true liberty. Milton's Inward Liberty attempts to address the bearing of true liberty in Milton's work through the magnifying glass of seventeenth-century theology.
The articles in this volume focus upon Boethius's extant works: his De arithmetica and a fragmentary De musica, his translations and commentaries on logic, his five theological texts, and, of course, his Consolation of Philosophy. They examine the effects that Boethian thought has exercised upon the learning of later generations of scholars.
The essays in this volume have a common theme and preoccupation: an intention to present medieval women - in life, literature, hagiography and art - as they thought of themselves, teased from the work of theirintermediaries (Hildegard of Bingen, Christine of Pisan) or from the works, words and social milieux of men (Chaucer's women, Chretien's patrons, the empress Theodora and others). Feminea Mediaevalia is designed to foreground feminine and feminist topics and issues in the field of medieval studies. Contributors: DEBORAH EVERHART, STEPHEN STALLCUP, JENNIFER R. GOODMAN, BONNIE WHEELER, JEAN E. JOST, JO GOYNE, RENEÉJUSTICE STANDLEY, DEREK BAKER, SAMUEL LYNDON GLADDEN, PAULA MARTIN, PATRICIA STIRNEMANN, DONNA J. OESTREICH, MARIANNE SINRAM, ELIZABETH NIGHTLINGER, ANN HUTCHISON, MICHAEL HOLAHAN.
This entertaining and learned volume contains book reviews, lectures, and hard to find articles from the late C. S. Lewis, whose constant aim was to show the twentieth century reader how to read and how to understand old books and manuscripts.
Epistemology of a Fundamental Human Behavior, its Meaning, and Consequences
Author: Albrecht Classen
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Category: Literary Criticism
Despite popular opinions of the ‘dark Middle Ages’ and a ‘gloomy early modern age,’ many people laughed, smiled, giggled, chuckled, entertained and ridiculed each other. This volume demonstrates how important laughter had been at times and how diverse the situations proved to be in which people laughed, and this from late antiquity to the eighteenth century. The contributions examine a wide gamut of significant cases of laughter in literary texts, historical documents, and art works where laughter determined the relationship among people. In fact, laughter emerges as a kaleidoscopic phenomenon reflecting divine joy, bitter hatred and contempt, satirical perspectives and parodic intentions. In some examples protagonists laughed out of sheer happiness and delight, in others because they felt anxiety and insecurity. It is much more difficult to detect premodern sculptures of laughing figures, but they also existed. Laughter reflected a variety of concerns, interests, and intentions, and the collective approach in this volume to laughter in the past opens many new windows to the history of mentality, social and religious conditions, gender relationships, and power structures.
Milton and This Pendant World is an interpretation of the great English poet “in an age increasingly skeptical, in a culture dominated by the assumptions of the natural and historical sciences and by the illusions of progress and enlightenment.” Those are the words of the author of this book, George Wesley Whiting, an eminent and devoted Miltonian. Believing that Milton has a vital message for the modern world, Whiting has abandoned the usual pattern for examining a poet—study of versification, meter, and other poetic devices. Instead, he presents an exposition of the spiritual and moral meaning of Milton’s poetry, which can still have truth and beauty for this doubting age. The literary image of the pendant world was familiar in Milton’s seventeenth century, but is meaningless to most people of our day. The comforting picture of the world hanging from heaven on a golden chain signifies God’s close watchfulness over humanity and the inseparable bond which links us to the spiritual kingdom. The author declares that the search for God and the struggle to overcome the spiritual and material forces that impede the search represent the most vital of all human efforts; for unless this search is our primary motivation, life is without meaning, without final purpose. Whiting also observes that true Christianity stands not for the impoverishment of humanity and our enslavement to the Deity, but rather for human moral health, harmonious development, and spiritual welfare. In order to save civilization from destruction at the hands of its friends—secularists, specialists, militarists, and politicians—we must have a renaissance of the spirit, a cultural synthesis in which a revitalized religion, enriched by philosophy and science, renews the ideals of Christianity.
In this "magnificant book" (T.S. Eliot), Ernst Robert Curtius (1886-1956), one of the foremost literary scholars of this century, examines the continuity of European literature from Homer to Goethe, with particular emphasis on the Latin Middle Ages. In an extensive new epilogue, drawing on hitherto unpublished material, Peter Godman, Professor of Medieval Latin at the University of Tubingen, analyzes the intellectual and political context and character of Curtius's ideas.
By piecing the lives of selected individuals into a grand mosaic, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel J. Boorstin explores the development of artistic innovation over 3,000 years. A hugely ambitious chronicle of the arts that Boorstin delivers with the scope that made his Discoverers a national bestseller. Even as he tells the stories of such individual creators as Homer, Joyce, Giotto, Picasso, Handel, Wagner, and Virginia Woolf, Boorstin assembles them into a grand mosaic of aesthetic and intellectual invention. In the process he tells us not only how great art (and great architecture and philosophy) is created, but where it comes from and how it has shaped and mirrored societies from Vedic India to the twentieth-century United States.