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Title: Translating clerical cultures in twelfth-and early thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman narrative
Author: Walters , Hannah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 2653
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation seeks to place Anglo-Norman narrative more firmly in its contemporary literary context by examining how vernacular writers in England during the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries borrowed elements of contemporary Latin writings. More importantly, it is a study of the cultural transformations that took place when vernacular writers used material traditionally found in clerical contexts. I argue that by using Latin discourses in their own narratives, Anglo-Norman writers made clerical material more suitable for wider textual communities - including lay audiences. My work develops the research of scholars who have argued that the interaction between vernacular and Latin literary traditions in England during the high Middle Ages needs to be examined more fully. It also complements scholarship which has sought to define medieval translation as a form of cultural adaptation as well as simply linguistic change. Over the course of this dissertation I examine how vernacular hagiographers and authors of romance transform material borrowed from clerical literary traditions. In particular, I explore how Anglo-Norman writers integrated the monastic discourse of contemptus mundi, antifeminist polemic and crusading rhetoric into their narratives. I argue that by transferring this material into their own works, vernacular writers enacted a process of cultural transformation, altering the meaning, significance and purpose of clerical themes, ideas and rhetoric for new audiences. Anglo-Norman narrative was not distinct from contemporary Latin traditions, but neither was it slavishly dependent on them. The interplay between the two traditions was sophisticated, intelligent and meaningful.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available