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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54747
Doc. No:TL24701
Call number:‭3225546‬
Main Entry:Stella Augusta Singer
Title & Author:Places of pilgrimage in premodern textsStella Augusta Singer
College:University of Pennsylvania
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:194
Abstract:Pilgrimage is perhaps the most characteristic and compelling literary technique of the medieval period. In spite of the diversity of instantiations of pilgrimage in medieval literature, critics have examined pilgrimage almost exclusively as an allegorical apparatus signifying spiritual, semiotic, or historical progress. This project re-evaluates the allegorical significance of pilgrimage and also explores how the non-allegorical significance of pilgrimage influenced premodern literary strategy and history in England. Pilgrimage is a fundamentally spatial phenomenon, and yet it has barely been considered in the context of critical mark on medieval space and place. Moreover, the cultural significance of English pilgrimage has been particularly neglected. Pilgrimage was a peculiarly vexed practice in England, where orthodox and heterodox Christian antipathy towards the ritual culminated in Henry VIII's prohibition of pilgrimage in the Injunctions of l536 and 1538. This proscription, along with England's location marginal to the renowned pilgrimage routes through Europe and Palestine, has resulted in the uniquely interrupted and expurgated history and geography of insular pilgrimage. I examine pilgrimage as a spatial, spiritual, and anthropological phenomenon to theorize and historicize medieval English place. Moreover, I investigate how the fundamentally spatial phenomenon of pilgrimage inflects the dynamics between premodern place and premodern literature. Throughout the dissertation I consider the ways in which the operations of pilgrimage and place complicate our understanding of allegory in premodern texts, attending to the significance of particular pilgrimage destinations in each of the texts I analyze. In my Prologue of Place, I explore how the allegorization of place instantiated at Walsingham, Norfolk's "Newe Nazareth," engages both the operations of late medieval allegory and late medieval conceptions of place to illuminate a connection between the literal and the local. Each subsequent chapter explores how the historical, cultural, and spatial phenomenon of pilgrimage informs the textual strategies of pilgrimage in The Vision of Piers Plowman, The Siege of Thebes, and The Book of Margery Kempe respectively. In my Epilogue of Place, I return to study the case of Walsingham to consider pilgrimage and periodization. I examine how pilgrimage's prohibition ultimately affected English place and transformed the literary technique of pilgrimage.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Pilgrimage; Places; Premodern texts; British and Irish literature; Literature; Middle Ages; 0593:British and Irish literature; 0297:Literature; 0297:Middle Ages
Added Entry:D. J. Wallace
Added Entry:University of Pennsylvania