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Details

Date

31st May 2024

Time

10am

Venue

Fitzhugh Auditorium, Cohen Quadrangle, Exeter College

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Binding the World, Withholding Life: Poetry Books in the Medieval Mediterranean

Is transmitting a poem the same as transmitting any other text, or are poems like flowers, the transport of which could fatally harm their petals and waste their inner life away? When poems travel across the ages, they must be cushioned from the blows of time. This workshop explores how poems were transmitted in the Middle Ages, and, in particular, how they were ‘stored’ inside poetry books.

While nowadays writing a poetic book or compiling an anthology implies a negotiation with established traditions and criteria, the reasons behind this process in the Middle Ages may not be that apparent and still largely lie unexplored. Were they striving to gather world-embracing poetic encyclopaedias, or were they perhaps led by their individual rationales or shared narrative structures? The broader question is what ideas of medieval poetry and poetry books we can glean from these sources, where medieval poetry is transmitted and its life withheld.

We take a comparative approach; each speaker focuses on a literary tradition that flourished around the Medieval Mediterranean. Our invited speakers are Marisa Galvez (Stanford University) for Romance Languages, Niels Gaul (University of Edinburgh) for Greek, Marlé Hammond (SOAS) for Arabic and Adriano Russo (École française de Rome) for Latin.

Fitzhugh Auditorium, Exeter College Cohen Quad, Walton Street

Friday 31 May 2024

10.00 AM