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Afterword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 August 2022

Mark Chinca
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Christopher Young
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

This Afterword acknowledges the powerful role played by philology, and especially Germanic philology, in determining the shape of nations, especially after World War I. The search for absolute beginning, nationally inflected, can serve foundationalist aims, but the pluralized beginnings of this volume work quite differently. Many poets and writers, especially women of colour, find beginning qualities in medieval texts that help free up their own creativity. The volume’s productive distinction between openings and beginnings is here tested on the early Middle English Orrmulum. The influential model of a unified, integrative model vision of Rome-centred Latinity, proposed by E. R. Curtius, is here counterposed to a multi-centred understanding of European space, with due reference to Arabic, Hebrew, Byzantine Greek, Church Slavonic, Slavic, Armenian, and other traditions. The relationship of language and text to territory is problematized, with the space of Europe constituted not by firm boundaries but by complex vectoring and overlapping; Greek, Czech, and East Slavonic, often isolated, here join a pan-European conversation in which vernaculars engage fruitfully with learned and prestigious languages. The volume unshowily affirms the continuing need for philology, for the institutions that sustain it, and for the consequent necessity of collaboration, sharing what we know.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Afterword
  • Edited by Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge, Christopher Young, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
  • Online publication: 11 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108776912.015
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  • Afterword
  • Edited by Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge, Christopher Young, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
  • Online publication: 11 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108776912.015
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Afterword
  • Edited by Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge, Christopher Young, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
  • Online publication: 11 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108776912.015
Available formats
×