Modes of Authorship in the Middle Ages (Papers in Mediaeval Studies)

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9780888448224: Modes of Authorship in the Middle Ages (Papers in Mediaeval Studies)
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The essays in this volume, edited by Slavica Rankovi? with Ingvil Brügger Budal, Aidan Conti, Leidulf Melve, and Else Mundal, are geared towards reopening the debate concerning who should be credited with creativity - the talented individual, tradition/society, or the creative process itself. The products of medieval culture, with their own dynamics of networked authorship and narratives that often precede their tellers, provide a uniquely rich resource for anyone attempting to conceptualise authorship today.

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About the Author:

Slavica Rankovi? received her doctorate from the University of Nottingham, and is currently Researcher at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bergen. Her publications concern Old Norse sagas and South Slavic epics, both as subjects in their own right and for comparative and cross-disciplinary study. She is principal editor of Along the Oral-Written Continuum: Types of Texts, Relations and Their Implications (2010).

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Modes of Authorship in the Middle Ages deserves a warm welcome. The articles, centred on the relationships between individual creativity and communal tradition, illustrate the interplay of the two by ranging broadly across medieval cultures and genres. The volume opens with three articles that discuss changing conceptualizations of key terms (principally ?author? and ?authorship?) in literary theory. The next seven papers consider the relations between medieval theory and practice in the attitudes towards authorship of specific Latin, German and Italian writers as diverse as Meister Eckhart, William of Malmesbury, John of Salisbury, Lawrence of Durham, the verse of Peter Riga, Ariosto?s Orlando Furioso and late exegesis on the Book of Psalms. These are followed by four papers which apply medieval and modern ideas about distributed authorship to various genres of Old Norse literature, by five which consider the contributions of scribes, redactors, translators and compilers to the making of Old Norse literary manuscripts, and finally by two which approach the idea of authorship in medieval art and in commemorative rune stones. A striking feature of the collection is the attempt by several contributors to advance the debate by applying ideas and developments in a number of scientific and humanistic disciplines, including neuroscience, evolutionary biology, ?old? and ?new? philology, and folklore studies. The result is a cross disciplinary approach that will stimulate scholars of literary history, theory, manuscript studies and art history to view notions of agency, originality, and textuality in a new light. ? Christopher McDonough, University of Toronto, and John McKinnell, Durham University

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