Article

The Current Questions and Future Prospects of Medieval Latin Studies

David Townsend

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195394016.013.0001

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Current Questions and Future Prospects of Medieval Latin Studies

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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Reception
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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This article explains the current questions and future prospects of medieval Latin literature. Three areas that are arguably of particular importance for medieval Latin literature's further development include: sustained sociolinguistic attention to the fact of Latinity's status as an alienated mode of expression whose artificiality is itself the basis of its flexibility; attention to the awareness specific texts demonstrate of their relation to a metropolitan centre of cultural authority from which the norms of this artificiality are disseminated; and a rigorous critique of the binary by which Latinity and vernacularity are articulated as a stable and mutually exclusive opposition—a critique that necessarily incorporates the legacy of deconstruction but which also must engage postmodern translation theory on issues of intertextual and interlinguistic exchange and the cultural work effected by the act of translation. Latinity as a tool for the focalization of culture is crucial as well to English hagiography of the decades just after the Norman Conquest and the installation of Lanfranc of Bec as Archbishop.

Keywords: medieval Latin literature; sociolinguistic; Latinity; English hagiography; Norman Conquest

Article.  10721 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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