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The Feral Piers

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781443887014
Author(s): Rosanne P. Gasse
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Dimensions: 148 x 0 x 212 (w x l x h)
Pages: 270

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What do we mean when we talk about the text of Piers Plowman? What is the concept of a literary text when that construct exists in so many variant and feral forms, as is the case for the multiple modern editorial reconstructions and the more than fifty surviving manuscripts and early print editions of Piers Plowman? How do the anonymous roles of author, scribe, and reader intersect to create the experience of the text? How can we judge a pre-modern text's reception history if we do not know exactly what it was that the early reader was responding to? This book takes a daring and innovative approach to answering such questions as these. It is a micro-study of one particular historic version of Piers Plowman, its scribe, and its fifteenth and sixteenth-century readers: British Library Cotton Caligula A XI, a manuscript which combines the C, A, and B texts of the poem, and which was likely copied out in the first quarter of the fifteenth century.
It reads the Cotton Piers not as an ossified relic whose value lies in what can be gleaned from it about modes of scribal production and Cot's textual relationship to other Piers manuscripts, but as a living text meant to be experienced and enjoyed as a work of literature in its own right. In gaining a better comprehension at the micro-level of this particular historic version, a better understanding of the whole concept of Piers Plowman itself emerges.

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