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Animal Skins and the Reading Self in Medieval Latin and French Bestiaries (Hardcover) (Sarah Kay)
About this item
Sarah Kay’s interests in this book are, first, to examine how medieval bestiaries depict and challenge the boundary between humans and other animals; and second, to register the effects on readers of bestiaries by the simple fact that parchment, the writing support of virtually all medieval texts, is a refined form of animal skin. Surveying the most important works created from the ninth through the thirteenth centuries, Kay connects nature to behavior to Christian doctrine or moral teaching across a range of texts. As Kay shows, medieval thought (like today) was fraught with competing theories about human exceptionalism within creation. Given that medieval bestiaries involve the inscription of texts about and images of animals onto animal hides, these texts, she argues, invite readers to reflect on the inherent fragility of bodies, both human and animal, and the difficulty of distinguishing between skin as a site of mere inscription and skin as a containing envelope for sentient life. It has been more than fifty years since the last major consideration of medieval Latin and French bestiaries was published. Kay brings us up to date in the archive, and contributes to current discussions among animal studies theorists, manuscript studies scholars, historians of the book, and medievalists of many stripes.
Number of Pages: 203
Genre: Literary Criticism, History
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Sarah Kay
Street Date: February 24, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 248-32-4134
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