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Medieval Nonsense – Signifying Nothing in Fourteenth-Century England - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Medieval Nonsense: Signifying Nothing in Fourteenth-Century England

Jordan Kirk


Five hundred years before “Jabberwocky” and Tender Buttons, writers were already preoccupied with the question of nonsense. But even as the prevalence in medieval texts of gibberish, babble, birdsong, and allusions to bare voice has come increasingly into view in recent years, an impression persists that these phenomena are exceptions that prove the rule of the period’s theologically motivated commitment to the kernel of meaning as over against the shell of the mere letter. This book shows that, to the contrary, the foundational object of study of medieval linguistic thought was vox non-signif ... More

Keywords: language, literature, medieval, nonsense, voice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780823294466
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823294466.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jordan Kirk, author
Pomona College