[UPDATE, YEARS LATER: THIS POST IS VERY OLD AND I’M NOT SURE I CAN BE ARSED REVISING IT. WHO KNOWS, I MIGHT, IF I GET STUCK AT HOME IN SERIOUSLY INCLEMENT WEATHER, WITH AN INJURY THAT DOESN’T PREVENT ME FROM TYPING, UNLIMITED BOOZE, AND A NEED FOR THERAPEUTIC LISTING.]
- Why Medieval literature is, was, and should continue to be “good” and “worth reading”
- 12th- to 14th-century Old French and Old Occitan poetry
- 12th- to 14th-century romance, in Old and Middle French, Old Occitan, and Middle English
- Tristan, Lancelot, villains jaloux, and defending the indefensible
- Poetic personae, readerly avatars, and women who reason and talk back
- New Philology and digital medievalism
- What makes the Medieval “Medieval”, and what makes literature “literature”
- Courts, courtliness, and courtesy
- Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture
- Codicology and textuality: history of the book, hypertextuality, post-textuality
- Structuralist poetics, feminism, deconstruction, reader-reception theory, sympathy, writing and the ethical, writing and community; interactions between ethics, aesthetics, and the literary; Medieval parallels, e.g. Aristotelianisms 13th- and 20th- to 21st-century (especially post-war virtue ethics)
- How and why the Medieval is not only relevant but still very much alive
- 19th-century French literary rediscoveries and refashionings of Medieval literature
- 19th- to 20th-century histories of the reading, criticism, and teaching of Medieval literature
- Changes in perception of Medieval literature, in relation to French literature and to literature as a whole
- Mid-20th-century to present-day refashionings of Medieval literature
- Versions and variants in contemporary writing, including web-based forms
That is, in both senses of discussion about literature and discussion in literature (e.g. Flamenca contains/is both). Including literary debates involving women. Be that as topical material, or participants, or—in the case of the Roman de la Rose debate—both.
Work in progress for current book project, for example, which is a reworking of the dissertation:
- Occitan tenso, vidas, razos, and poetics treatises
- the Roman de la Rose
- late 13th-c. codices & super-meta-critical-romance, e.g. Flamenca
- romance continuations in the early 13th c. (ex. Lancelot) will be contributing to the study of dialogic aspects.
- Jean Renart and Gerbert de Montreuil
reading and its implications
How it is perceived; degrees of activity, interaction and individuality, and privacy; what this tells us about imaginative life as part of cultural life; and, in the wider context, the place of reading in life (with a broadly humanist agenda in mind). Again, with an emphasis on the presence of these ideas in literary material, so as to see how literature sees itself as being literature.
Work in progress for current book project:
- work on Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot and the Lancelot du Lac will form a preamble on changes in ideas to do with reading and its purpose
- work on texts such as the Cançoner Gil and on Richard the Lionheart’s Ja nuls hons pris… will feed into a part on the codicological “reading” of earlier material.
19th c. Medievalism
Next projected work (through the 2010s), but I’m thinking about it anyway: on Medievalism in early 19th c. French literature (Hugo, Stendhal, Mérimée) and in literary criticism and early philology.
- 19th c. reception, rediscovery, and refashionings;
- 20th c. misreadings and theorisations of reading (this also ties in with work on literary debates).
Top: doctored version based on cover of Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Women at Work in Medieval Europe (New York: Facts on File, 2001).
Bottom: Original pre-doctored image from photo-i; doctoring by the Obrienatrix (for The Rose of the Romance site, Princeton U, 2003). Carefully hand-crafted using open source software (BBEdit and KompoZer) and Photoshop.