Language, Self and Love

Hermeneutics in the Writings of Richard Rolle

Author(s) Denis Renevey

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism, Medieval

  • October 2001 · 192 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9780708316962

About The Book

Language, Self and Love offers a unique insight into the development of the language of interiority in the medieval literature inspired by the Song of Songs and its commentaries. It traces the evolution of a medieval identity in the process of self-fashioning and, in showing the importance of mystical writing for understanding medieval subjectivity, suggests that the 'self' is not the early modern invention it is often claimed to be. Denis Renevey discusses the correspondences between the discourse of love in the Song of Songs and the language of mysticism in the writings of William of St Thierry and Richard Rolle, where the self is described in its attempts at establishing a direct relationship with God. He also shows how the textual strategies offered in mystical writing for the use of female recipients engage with questions of misogyny and the relationship between Latin and vernacular cultures.


'innovatory and important [...] this sounds a very exciting book' 'no other scholar [...] has covered the range of reference which Dr Renevey outlines in his proposal, and he is perhaps uniquely qualified among current scholars to provide an in-depth study' 'this study will break new ground and will give a firm intellectual basis to the study of mystical writings'


Introduction Chapter 1 Richard of St Victor and language theory Chapter 2 Hermeneutics and degrees of love Chapter 3 Discovering the self through love Chapter 4 Rolle, misogyny and mysticism Chapter 5 Love of God and lovers of the world Chapter 6 Hermeneutics and degrees of love in the epistles Conclusion Bibliography Index

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Denis Renevey

Denis Renevey is Professor in Medieval English Language and Literature at the University of Lausanne.

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