Session 915: Annual Medieval Academy of America Lecture: Outside Noah's Ark: Sympathy and Survival as the Waters Rise (Language: English)
Tuesday 4 July 2017, 19.00-20.00
|Sponsor:||Medieval Academy of America|
|Introduction:||Helen Fulton, Department of English, University of Bristol|
|Speaker:||Jeffrey J. Cohen, Department of English, George Washington University, Washington, DC|
A grim imagining of climate change and catastrophic deluge, the Noah story is a tale for our times. We frequently retell that narrative from Genesis as science or science fiction but too often simplify its biblical complexity. Medieval authors and illustrators found in the Vulgate version of the Flood tantalizing glimpses of stories not fully related, alternative possibilities for perspective, animal tales to companion, ambivalence to plumb, potential for ‘misplaced’ sympathetic inclinations. Focusing upon the lively retellings of the Flood narrative in Cleanness, ‘The Miller’s Tale’, and the Chester play of Noah’s Flood as well as artistic illustrations of the ark upon the inundated Earth, this talk explores the medieval impulse to find potential in cataclysm, dwelling with those whose stories do not necessarily survive.
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