IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1517: Stories, Writing, and the Consciousness of Space

Thursday 12 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Marco Mostert, Onderzoekinstituut voor Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Paper 1517-aUrban Stories: The Symbolic Landscape of Anecdotes in 15th-Century Paris
(Language: English)
Veronika Ciegerné Novák, Department of Medieval & Early Modern History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Index terms: Daily Life, Mentalities
Paper 1517-bThe 'Writing Families' of London, c. 1420-1520
(Language: English)
Malcolm Richardson, Department of English, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Literacy and Orality
Paper 1517-cThe City as a Space of Self-Consciousness in the 14th Century through the Writings of Dino Compagni, Dante, and Petrarch
(Language: English)
Francesca Braida, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris
Index terms: Language and Literature - Italian, Local History, Political Thought

Paper a: 15th-century Paris is very rich in diaries and urban chronicles, whose writers tended to include a growing number of anecdotes, scandalous stories, faits divers in their work. This period is an important turning point in the function of these anecdotes, more and more centered on everyday life and crime. Their writers – srcibes of the Parliament, intellectuals, churchmen and rich laymen – had to create the context for their stories, they described thus the places where the interesting events happened. These descriptions can reveal to us how they viewed their city, how they looked at urban space and, more generally, what kind of outillage mental they disposed of.
Paper b: This paper suggests lines of diffusion in urban written genres among London families, c. 1400-1500. It looks at urban and especially London writing from the perspective of social network analysis and examines how vernacular writing spread among bourgeois writers, with special reference to vernacular letters and manuscripts about London customs (Egerton 1995, Bailliol 354, etc.). The paper shows how specific royal clerks used their official writing employment as a nexus for stimulating family writing. The paper additionally suggests that one center was the London family of Sturgeon, especially Richard Sturgeon (d. 1452), Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.
Paper c: In this paper I wish to analyse how the portrait of Florence as well as other cities is given in the 14th century through the historical writings of a chronicler, Dino Compagni, the poetic and political knowledge of the urban space, confronted with the emerging of the self, in Petrarch and Dante, and the theological approach through the sermons of Tuscan preachers. I will analyse how language portrays, shapes and destroys an image, giving body and substance to a urban space, as it appears in Compagni, Dante and Petrarch. How language and space are linked to each other bearing emotions and making the city a literary subject as well as a new social and political structure.