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The Boundaries of the Human in Medieval English Literature - Dorothy Yamamoto

The Boundaries of the Human in Medieval English Literature

Hardcover Published: 1st March 2000
ISBN: 9780198186748
Number Of Pages: 270

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Animals and wild men are everywhere in medieval culture, but their role in illuminating medieval constructions of humanity has never been properly explored. This book gathers together a large number of themes and subjects (including Bestiary, heraldry, and hunting), and examines them as part of a unified discourse about the body and its creative transformations. Human and animal are terms traditionally opposed to one another, but their relationship must always be characterized by a dynamic instability. Humans scout into the animal zone, manipulating and re-shaping animal bodies in accordance with their own social imaginingDSyet these forays are risky since they lead to questions about what humanity consists in, and whether it can ever be forfeited. Studies of birds, foxes, game animals, the wild man, and shape-shifting women fill out the argument of this book, which sheds new light on works by Chaucer, Gower, the Gawain-poet, and Henryson, as well as showing that many less familiar texts have rewards that an informed reading can reveal.

Yamamoto's individual readings are crisp and clear, and her conclusion that the fox troubles stable definitions of human and non-human is compelling. Years Work in English Studies Dorothy Yamamoto's study is unusually readable, perceptive and interesting ... she avoids the snare of densely theoretical prose to offer insightful and approachable readings ... the analysis is consistently interesting. The Yearbook of English Studies Yamamoto's review of the various topics is thorough, drawing on an encyclopedic range of secondary sources ... The book accomplishes its intent to bring together topics not often juxtaposed. Journal of English and Germanic Philology

The Bestiary: Establishing Ground Rules
Birds: The Ornament of the Air
The Fox: Laying Bare Deceit
The Heraldic Image
Bodies in the Hunt
A Reading of The Knight's Tale
The Wild Man 1: Figuring Identity
The Wild Man 2: The Uncourtly Other
Women and the Wild
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198186748
ISBN-10: 0198186746
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 1st March 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.43