IMC 2013: Sessions

Session NULL: Joyful Dying: The Pleasures of Passion in German Hagiographic Literature

Monday 30 November -0001, NULL

Organiser:Alexander Kagerer, Institut für Deutsche Philologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

The life of saints can be described as life not of this world, having a revelatory relation to the holy. Not only does every saint undergo a signficant transformation – becoming an intercessor between human and God or a source of benevolent power – but their examples touch the inner lives of others in transforming ways as well. A saint’s path bristles with physical suffering transgressing the world of flesh and blood. Often in Medieval legends these sacrifices and cruel self-chastisement are depicted as being both bloody as well as beautous or even joyful. It is this kind of intermixture that invokes a specific fascination and competes with the worldy and perishable pleasures described for example in courtly literature of that time. On one hand this session aims to explore the depiction of suffering that turns into pleasure, on the other hand the single papers will also focus on the aesthetics used in German hagiographic literature to transform the gruesome practices of passion into narrative pleasures.