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    Textile logics of late medieval romance

    White, Thomas (2016) Textile logics of late medieval romance. Exemplaria 28 (4), pp. 297-318. ISSN 1041-2573.

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    This essay examines some of the threads linking textiles, late medieval vernacular romance, and the manuscripts in which they survive. The metaphor of the fabric fold or gathering for the composition of romance evokes the shared Latin etymology of text and textile so familiar to medieval writers. What I here call the “textile logic” of romance opens out onto two further, related considerations. First, romances are themselves replete with textile objects (gloves, cloths, clothing) that form an important part of their fabric of reality. The fourteenth-century romances Sir Degaré, Sir Degrevant, and Emaré all exemplify the importance of various textile objects in romance networks of agency. Second, in the various forms of stitching and fabric required to produce and maintain a manuscript, these objects emerge as “systems of fabric” in both material and figurative senses. I argue, therefore, for the importance of understanding romance textuality as fabricated or woven in a number of senses. The work of Bruno Latour, Michel Serres, and Tim Ingold — replete with recourse to textile figures and metaphors — forms a central theoretical thread for the discussion.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): textiles, textus, manuscripts, romance, Michel Serres, Bruno Latour, agency
    School: Other
    Divisions > Other
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 17:03
    Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 17:03


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