Transfiguring medievalism

Poetry, attention, and the mysteries of the body

By Cary Howie

Transfiguring medievalism


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4865-0
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2020
  • BIC Category: Literature, Medieval Literature, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literary studies: ancient & classical, LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, POETRY / Medieval, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


Transfiguring medievalism combines medieval literature, modern poetry and theology to explore how bodies, including literary bodies, can become apparent to the attentive eye as more than they first appear. Transfiguration, traditionally understood as the revelation of divinity in community, becomes a figure for those splendors, mundane and divine, that await within the read, lived and loved world. Bringing together medieval sources with modern lyric medievalism, the book argues for the porousness of time and flesh, not only through the accustomed cadences of scholarly argumentation but also through its own moments of poetic reflection. In this way, Augustine, Cassian, Bernard of Clairvaux, Dante, Boccaccio and the heroes of Old French narrative, no more or less than their modern lyric counterparts, come to light in new and newly complicated ways.


Prelude: Six days later

Introduction: Ave

1 Toward transfiguration
2 Saints, poets, and other crossover artists
3 Monastic poetics

Interlude 1: The question

4 Waiting for the Middle Ages
5 Bodies in waiting
6 Pas de deux

Interlude 2: Puking prayer

7 Lyric medievalism
8 Lyric theology

Interlude 3: Thomas is your boyfriend

9 Make me

Conclusion: Ecce



Cary Howie is Associate Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University

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