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The tempter's voice : language and the fall in medieval literature

Author: Eric Jager
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Why was the story of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent so important to medieval literary culture? Eric Jager argues that during the Middle Ages the story of the Fall was incorporated into a comprehensive myth about language. Drawing on a wide range of texts, Jager shows how patristic and medieval authors used the Fall to confront practical and theoretical problems in many areas of life and thought - including education,
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Jager, Eric, 1957-
Tempter's voice.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1993
(OCoLC)607832770
Online version:
Jager, Eric, 1957-
Tempter's voice.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1993
(OCoLC)623638314
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Eric Jager
ISBN: 0801427533 9780801427534 0801480361 9780801480362
OCLC Number: 28633528
Description: xvii, 336 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The school of Paradise --
The genesis of hermeneutics --
The Garden of eloquence --
The Old English epic of the Fall --
The seducer and the daughter of Eve --
The carnal letter in Chaucer's earthly paradise --
Signs of the Fall: from the Middle Ages to Postmodernism.
Responsibility: Eric Jager.
More information:

Abstract:

Why was the story of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent so important to medieval literary culture? Eric Jager argues that during the Middle Ages the story of the Fall was incorporated into a comprehensive myth about language. Drawing on a wide range of texts, Jager shows how patristic and medieval authors used the Fall to confront practical and theoretical problems in many areas of life and thought - including education, hermeneutics, rhetoric, feudal politics, and gender relations. Jager explores the Fall's meaning for clergy and laity, nobles and commoners, men and women.

Among the works Jager discusses are texts by Ambrose, Augustine, the early Christian poet Avitus, and scholastic authors; Old English biblical epics; Middle English spiritual writings; French courtesy books; and the poetry of Dante and Chaucer. Examples from the visual arts are included as well. Jager links medieval interpretations of the Fall to underlying cultural anxieties about the ambiguity of the sign, the instability of oral tradition, the pleasure of the text, and the many rhetorical guises of the tempter's voice. He also assesses the modern and postmodern legacy of the Fall, showing how this myth continues to embody central ideas concerning language. The Tempter's Voice will be essential reading for scholars and students in such fields as medieval studies, literary theory, gender theory, comparative literature, cultural history, and the history of religion.

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