session grouped by Catherine Batt (21/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
This paper examines how Middle English dream-poetry – The Parliament of the Three Ages, Death and Life, The Kingis Quair, and Skelton’s Garland of Laurel – brings into focus the subjectivity of perceptions of time. Paradoxes include interaction with the past, the future, or the mythical; and the use of personifications of time in the context of ‘real’ characters. The beginning and end of the dream – in which the ‘present’ moment intrudes – explores the relationship between the dream and ‘real’ life. The dream vision allowed poets to impose form onto fleeting experience and to explore the subjective ‘elasticity’ of time.
Abstract paper -b:
Among versions of Jerome’s memoir of Paula, the English adaptation made by Caxton for de Worde’s Vitas Patrum (1495) has been overlooked. Caxton’s version is close to its source, a French adaptation of the Latin life, made for La vie des saintz peres, published by Philippe and Dupré in Lyon (1486). The Lyon-Caxton version re-shapes the presentation of Paula for contemporary readers. I will focus on four aspects of this revision: 1) Paula’s vision in Bethlehem of Mary, to which the version adds that she breast-fed her son. 2) Paula’s argument for borrowing as a means of dispossessing herself, which the adaptation omits. 3) The Rule for Paula’s virgins in Bethlehem, in which references to social class are among the adaptation’s omissions. 4) Paula’s daughter and disciple Eustochium, to whom the adaptation eliminates all but the final reference.
Abstract paper -c:
This paper will give an overview of the life and work of Walter Kennedy, and discuss whether he was indeed an ‘Iersche brybour baird’, or, like Dunbar, was rather more indebted to Continental and/or Scots traditions. I examine the shorter lyrics by Kennedy, but will focus on his long poem on the Passion. This paper is in a sense a spin-off from my current project, which is a new edition of Kennedy’s poetry (for the Scottish Text Society). Editorial problems and choices will also be discussed.