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Beatus qui verba vertit in opera: Langland’s Ethical Inventions and the Tropological Sense

McDermott, Ryan (2010) Beatus qui verba vertit in opera: Langland’s Ethical Inventions and the Tropological Sense. Yearbook of Langland Studies, 24. 169 - 204. ISSN 2031-0242

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How are we to understand an invention that neither copies its source texts in a servile manner, nor competes to displace them? Piers Plowman defies the categories of primary and secondary translation. Instead, Langland adopts non-competitive habits of invention from the theory and practice of tropological exegesis in order to embody ethical and literary sources in the invention of ‘heretofore unseen phenomena’. In the Pentecost episode, Will joins ‘many hundret’ in inventing the ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’, a hymn given to them by the Holy Spirit. The nascent church invents something completely new even as it conforms as closely as possible to its source, the Holy Spirit.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McDermott, RyanRMcdermott@pitt.eduRJM95
Date: 2010
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Yearbook of Langland Studies
Volume: 24
Publisher: Brepols Publishers
Page Range: 169 - 204
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2031-0242
Related URLs:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2013 20:36
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 13:55


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