IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1101: Editing and Analysing Old English Literature

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Jennifer Neville, Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London
Paper 1101-bAffective Piety in Early English Writing
(Language: English)
Alison Gulley, Department of Humanities, Lees-McRae College, North Carolina
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Lay Piety, Religious Life
Paper 1101-cMemory Without and Within: Keys to the Treasure Hoard
(Language: English)
Paula Frances Tarratt Warrington, Department of English, University of Georgia, Athens
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Philosophy

Paper a: Editing the Old English Dialogues of Solomon and Saturn from Cambridge, Corpus Christi College manuscripts 41 and 422 presents interesting challenges and opportunities. The text is generically vexed, mixing poetry with prose and gnomic wisdom with riddles as well as a lengthy discourse on the powers of the individual letters of the Pater Noster prayer. Previous editors have variously constructed two poems out of the text, more or less ignoring the intervening prose passage. In this paper, I will discuss my work on creating a new edition that reprints the text in sequence as it appears in the manuscript, allowing future readers access to the entire text of the dialogue.
Paper b: It has generally been accepted that true affective piety – piety reflecting an individual emotional response – developed in the late medieval period, as evidenced by the replacement of stylised representations of Christian passion with realistic ones. While this may be true generally, Anglo-Saxon writings do exist which suggest that audiences were expected not simply to ponder Christ’s suffering but to emotionally identify with it and Him. My paper will explore this idea through a study of lay and religious writings such as The Dream of the Rood, sermons, and saints’ lives.
Paper c: In Old English, collocations containing nouns such as gemynd often invoke spatial relationships between physical objects to represent interactions between the faculty of memory and the human mind. The resulting figurative representations – such as mind-as-container metaphors – reveal the intersections and divergences between modern and Anglo-Saxon conceptions of memory, and also highlight the role of metaphor in the very creation of this fundamental but abstract concept. In this paper I shall explore Old English representations of memory as stored treasure, and I shall contend that such images spring from the writers’ inherent belief in the value of human memory.