Impolitic Bodies: Poetry, Saints, and Society in Fifteenth-Century England: The Work of Osbern Bokenham

Oxford University Press, 5 févr. 1998 - 256 pages
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This pioneering book explores the work of English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham, an ardent Yorkist on the eve of the "Wars of the Roses" and a gifted poet. Sheila Delany focuses on a manuscript written in 1447, the "Legend of Holy Women." Narrating the lives and ordeals of thirteen heroic and powerful saints, this was the first all-female legendary in English, much of it commissioned by wealthy women patrons in the vicinity of Clare Priory, Suffolk, where Bokenham lived. Delany structures her book around the image of the human body. First is the corpus of textual traditions within which Bokenham wrote: above all, the work of his two competing masters, St. Augustine and Geoffrey Chaucer. Next comes the female body and its parts as represented in hagiography, with Bokenham's distinctive treatment of the body and the corporeal semiotic of his own legendary. Finally, the image of the body politic allows Delany to examine the relation of Bokenham's work to contemporary political life. She analyzes both the legendary and the friar's translation of a panegyric by the late-classical poet Claudian. The poetry is richly historized by Delany's reading of it in the context of succession crises, war, and the connection of women to political power during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

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Table des matières

I Introductions
2 The Literary Corpus
3 The Friar as Critic
Head Feet Face Womb
Tongue Mouth Language
Breast Genital Gut and All
7 The Body Politic
8 SexualTextual Politics
9 Last Things and Afterlives
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Page 3 - become conscious of this conflict and fight it out. Just as our opinion of an individual is not based on what he thinks of himself, so can we not judge of such a period of transformation by its own consciousness; on the contrary this consciousness must be explained rather from the contradictions of material life.
Page 3 - [revolutionary] transformations a distinction should always be made between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production . . . and the legal, political, religious, aesthetic, or philosophic—in short, ideological— forms in which
Page 3 - that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. ... In considering

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À propos de l'auteur (1998)

Sheila Delany is Professor of English at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is the author of such books as Chaucer's House of Fame: The Politics of Skeptical Fideism, The Naked Text: Chaucer's Legend of Good Women and Writing Woman, Medieval and Modern.

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