The Medieval Imagination

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 1992 - History - 293 pages
To write this history of the imagination, Le Goff has recreated the mental structures of medieval men and women by analyzing the images of man as microcosm and the Church as mystical body; the symbols of power such as flags and oriflammes; and the contradictory world of dreams, marvels, devils, and wild forests.

"Le Goff is one of the most distinguished of the French medieval historians of his generation . . . he has exercised immense influence."—Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books

"The whole book turns on a fascinating blend of the brutally materialistic and the generously imaginative."—Tom Shippey, London Review of Books

"The richness, imaginativeness and sheer learning of Le Goff's work . . . demand to be experienced."—M. T. Clanchy, Times Literary Supplement

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Contents

Introduction
1
For an Extended Middle Ages
18
The Marvelous in the Medieval West
27
The Wilderness in the Medieval West
47
The Perception of Christendom by the Roman Curia and the Organization of an Ecumenical Council in 1274
60
The Time of Purgatory Third to Thirteenth Century
67
The Time of the Exemplum Thirteenth Century
78
Body and Ideology in the Medieval West
83
A Brief Analysis
107
Vestimentary and Alimentary Codes in Erec et Enide
132
The Image of the City in TwelfthCentury French Literature
151
An Urban Metaphor of William of Auvergne
177
An Exemplum of James by Vitry
181
Christianity and Dreams Second to Seventh Century
193
The Dreams of Helmbrecht the Elder
232
Notes
243

Gestures in Purgatory
86
The Repudiation of Pleasure
93

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Page 271 - In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep f alleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face ; the hair of my flesh stood up : It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice...
Page 271 - In thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: An image was before mine eyes, There was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God?
Page 272 - And behold the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac ; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.

About the author (1992)

Jacques Le Goff (1927-2014) was a prominent French historian and medievalist. He was a key proponent of the Annales school of historical analysis, which emphasizes longterm social history over political or military themes. He argued that the Middle Ages were a distinct form of civilization, substantively different from both the classsical and modern worlds.

Arthur Goldhammer is the translator for numerous books including Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement, Algerian Chronicles, The Society of Equals, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He received the French-American Translation Prize in 1990 for his translation of A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution.

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