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Nonreading in late-medieval England
Heather Blatt

university education or universal literacy. To the writers who elicited and modelled interactive, participatory reading practice, reading and writing were not only viewed as complementary activities; they were also activities that could involve the same work, the same practices, although different in scale. Both writers and readers engaged in emendation; writers relied on nonlinear reading to construct the structure of their works; they inserted themselves into the narratives they composed even as they invited readers’ own participatory contributions. To be a reader in

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book
Heather Blatt

stability involved in the transmission of his text, and envisions a compensation for this instability. In doing so, he relies on the discourse of participation exemplified through the emendation invitation. Yet, rather than inviting any readers to contribute, Chaucer restricts participation only to a named few: And for ther is so gret diversite In Englissh and in writing of oure tonge, So prey I God that non miswrite the, Ne the mysmetre for defaute of tonge; And red wherso thow be, or elles songe, That thow be understonde, God I biseche! … O moral Gower, this book I

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
Elisa Narin van Court

ongoing concern is neither always nor universally expressed in univocal antiJudaic forms. I fear we construct a monolithic and univocal bigotry when we invoke ‘the’ anti-Judaism as an inevitable and universal commonplace of medieval thinking and writing. Medieval antiJudaism is common but neither universal nor inevitable and until we recognise this we enable readings of medieval works which exclude or elide the variety and instability of medieval Christian responses to Jews, even as we make it difficult to attend to those discursive moments which resist or temper what

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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The Orcherd of Syon, Titus and Vespasian, and Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes
Heather Blatt

dynamically – ‘erases [the] interface’ of the physical text’s material manuscript instantiation in order to ‘rende[r] the act of reading transparent’ (46).5 In contrast, consider how Walter of Chatillon, writing in the 1170s, references nonlinear reading in The Alexandreis: at the end of the prologue, he 64 Participatory reading in late-medieval England writes, ‘Nunc autem quod instat agamus, et ut facilis que quesierit quis possit inuenire, totum opus per capitula distinguamus’, that is: ‘Now let us undertake what is at hand and mark out the whole work with chapter

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’
Heather Blatt

symbols on the page of a digital document represents a formal materiality of deletion. Ensuring that the data is also deleted from the hard drive engages in forensic materiality. In a manuscript context, the erasure of a word or page can be an act of formal materiality; it is not necessarily also an act of forensic erasure, as contemporary technologies such as those applied to palimpsests can be used to recover traces of the original writing. Just as one example of how this might relate to studies of medieval manuscripts, even current materialist focuses tend to miss

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Thomas of Erceldoune’s prophecy, Eleanor Hull’s Commentary on the penitential Psalms, and Thomas Norton’s Ordinal of alchemy
Heather Blatt

poem when, in its prologue to ‘Jereslaus’ Wife’, to which his interventionist friend and reader prodded him to add the final moralization, Hoccleve describes how the friend had previously visited him. After a discussion of Hoccleve’s health, in which Hoccleve asserts he must return to study and writing to prove his recovered wits against the insults of a disbelieving public, the friend asks Hoccleve what the poet will write next. Hoccelve explains that he plans to take up the matter of a Latin treatise and translate it into English. The treatise ‘lerne for to dye / I

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Reading practices and participation in digital and medieval media
Heather Blatt

? And what did their participation achieve for themselves or others? Introduction 3 The context: reading, participation, and agency The central subject of this project thus focuses on participation, a concept for which I am indebted to digital media studies. Perhaps because of the autobiographical self-interest of a writer raised in a print-centric culture but currently inhabiting a culture impacted by a new technology of writing and reading technology, I find great interest in studying a culture on the cusp of a parallel, earlier change. Yet beyond the bounds of

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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The wall texts of a Percy family manuscript and the Poulys Daunce of St Paul’s Cathedral
Heather Blatt

only are shaped by the people who designed and used them, but shape those people in return.2 Such effects extend also to reading practice. In particular, movement in architectural space further emphasizes the social and physical role of the body in reading practice. Such considerations as these are not restricted, however, to medieval literary culture and architecture alone. Writing about such physical experiences in more modern contexts, digital media theorist Mark Hansen and others emphasize how bodily engagement with the world around a person can create marked

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
Ad Putter

McGillivray, Memorisation in the Transmission of the Middle English Romances (New York, 1990). Some critics doubt the importance of oral transmission; for assessments of the debate see Nancy Mason Bradbury, ‘Literacy, orality, and the poetics of Middle English romance’, in Mark C. Amiodo and Sarah Gray Miller (eds), Oral Poetics in Middle English Poetry (New York, 1994), pp. 36–96; and my ‘Historical introduction’, in Ad Putter and Jane Gilbert (eds), The Spirit of Medieval English Popular Romance (Harlow, 2000), pp. 1–15. Nancy Mason Bradbury, Writing Aloud: Storytelling

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Coding same-sex union in Amis and Amiloun
Sheila Delany

saint, and after two years with the Oxford Dominicans his corpse was moved – translated, we might say – to Langley, site of his and Edward’s favorite haunt, and buried there. Writing of his own work on Dante’s poetics, John Freccero remarked, ‘To begin with an abstract form is to proceed in a manner that is the reverse of what one might expect of a cultural historian’. To this the best rejoinder – as Freccero knew – is Roland Barthes’s epigram: ‘A little formalism turns one away from History, but … a lot brings one back to it.’38 Much remains to be said about the

in Pulp fictions of medieval England