Authors policing the page

The hyper-literacy of medieval glossed books can sometimes achieve postmodernist levels. In a 12th century Psalter (Cambridge Trinity College B.5.4) that once belonged to the Anglo-Norman scholar Herbert of Bosham (active 1162-1189), the main text of the Psalms is glossed with commentaries from different patristic and early medieval sources (Augustine, Jerome, Cassiodorus, etc). The mainContinue reading “Authors policing the page”

Dante, Virgil, Minos and the hall of mirrors

My developing interest in Dante led a few weeks ago to a reflection on his narrative powers of expression and the way he breaks the canons of storytelling in order to bring out new possibilities and new narrative angles of attack. This is noticeable in the way he programs (or better yet engineers) his own projection in theContinue reading “Dante, Virgil, Minos and the hall of mirrors”

“If on a winter’s night” … an author and a reader…

Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (‘Se una note d’inverno un viaggiatore’) is a brilliant postmodern novel dealing with the implications of our age-long narrative watertight compartments of author, narrator, character, narrative, stability, identity, persistence, etc – and playing with the fire of their inversion and dissolution. It is a novel aboutContinue reading ““If on a winter’s night” … an author and a reader…”

The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)

Having recently read Gabrielle Spiegel’s The Past as text, I realised how important it is to reflect on the articulation of text and reality. The more recent poststructuralist views that everything is textuality may ultimately be a foolish experiment, but it has the potential to cast light on some of the problems arising from the attemptContinue reading “The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)”