Guide Fragments and Assemblages: Forming Compilations of Medieval London

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The title identifies Bahr's theme: fragments and assemblages are physical manuscript structures that are also literary metaphors for the textual and social communities that produced the books. Specifically, these metaphors extend beyond the texts to reflect the communities in London that made and circulated the manuscripts, constructing London itself as an assemblage.

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Fragments and Assemblages: Forming Compilations of Medieval London by Arthur Bahr (Paperback, 2015)

Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Building on much recent scholarship in the study of the handwritten book, Bahr shows how literary value often lies along the fissures of the fragment. Medieval English compilations--whether they be the concatenations of the Auchinleck manuscript, or the various assemblies of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales"--are not as unified as they might seem. Bahr's powerful analyses of these and other texts as physical objects demonstrates, in his words, how 'the literary can be found, delighted in and nurtured' at the intersection of 'codicological form and textual content.

But have no fear: Bahr's prose sparkles with intellectual delicacy, energy, and pleasure.


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This is scholarship voiced in an especially agreeable and distinctive way. I enjoyed reading "Fragments and Assemblages" enormously. Arthur Bahr works carefully with fourteenth-century manuscripts in order to show us connections from Andrew Horn to the Auchinleck manuscript to Chaucer and Gower; he thereby stitches together the divided fourteenth century and demonstrates that literary production during the period was an ongoing and continuous project. At the same time, he also makes an important methodological statement about the significance of formalism to the study of manuscripts and to historical work.

All of the texts he discusses are compilations, which he categorizes as either 'fragments' or 'assemblages' in order to suggest that there is a necessary dialectic between them: the works he describes all betray evidence of being assembled for a larger purpose, but they simultaneously exist as fragments, both physically and in the abstract.

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This double approach enables Bahr to construct an original and creative new account of fourteenth-century writing, one with which all scholars of late medieval literature will want to engage. Highly recommended. Kaufman, Auburn University at Montgomery "Choice " "Bahr's "Fragments and Assemblages" is the realization of a kind of literary codicology that has been long promised but slow to emerge. In this selective, elegant study of late medieval English literature, Bahr re-approaches several important texts and textual communities through the prism of manuscript research.

The book weaves together codicological research with literary close readings and connects literary production with historical contexts to produce an exciting re-visioning of literate culture in fourteenth-century London. Bahr cleverly posits critical practice itself as an assemblage, and constructs the readerly community, which includes authors, manuscript makers, readers and critics, as a kind of assemblage akin to the urban community of medieval London. He invites to rest of us to share in the 'compilational game' of reading manuscript culture in these expanded and fluid ways, and it is a challenge I hope many other readers will take up.


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Kaufman, Auburn University at Montgomery "Choice "" "Bahr's book not only demonstrates the ways in which two traditionally seperate spheres of inquiry, codicology and literary analysis, can work together to refresh well-mined primary sources; it also encourages scholars in other fields to contribute their interdisciplinary expertise to his project. Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag.

A. Butterfield, Fragments and Assemblages: Forming Compilations of Medieval London - PhilArchive

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About this product. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. Bahr, Arthur. The University of Chicago Press.

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