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Medieval Poetics and Social PracticeResponding to the Work of Penn R. Szittya$
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Seeta Chaganti

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823243242

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823243242.001.0001

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Visual Translation in Fifteenth-Century English Manuscripts

Visual Translation in Fifteenth-Century English Manuscripts

(p.11) Visual Translation in Fifteenth-Century English Manuscripts
Medieval Poetics and Social Practice

Richard K. Emmerson

Fordham University Press

This essay suggests that a painting or illustration is an appropriate and important place from which to begin speaking about poetics and narrative; that indeed, so many visual or otherwise nonverbal elements of a culture can be the right place from which to start speaking of textuality. As Emmerson puts it, the manuscript image “visually translates” its accompanying text, and this creative and interpretive activity must form part of our understanding of the creation and reception of late-medieval texts. Reading an illustrated fifteenth-century Pilgrimage of the Soul manuscript (an English translation of Guillaume de Deguileville's French original), Emmerson shows how illustration can foreground a text's most important themes by anticipating, delaying, manipulating, and otherwise energetically interacting with the textual narrative.

Keywords:   Visuality, translation, Manuscripts, Illustration, medieval, Deguileville, poetics

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