On Being a Medievalist and More

This Colloquy originated in the "After 1967" conference of 2018 in which we celebrated the work of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. It is concerned with Gumbrecht's relation to medieval literature, his original field of interest.

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Lyric Dispossession as Solitary Presence
By
Marisa Galvez

While medieval literature offers many models of solitary thinking, vernacular lyric confronts the problem of solitude in a unique mode. Comparing the event of lyric dispossession with Petrarch’s idea of solitude, this essay examines solitary presence as a musicopoetic art form across various vernacular traditions, from the Occitan works of Bernart de Ventadorn, William IX, and Arnaut Daniel to lyrics of the Iberian Peninsula.

Interview with Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
By
Marisa Galvez

On "the inspiring resistance that the [Middle Ages] imposes on us, and the hermeneutic difficulty—maybe even the impossibility—of accessing medieval culture."

The Production of Medieval Life Forms in the Work of Gumbrecht
By
Marisa Galvez

One of the main challenges of understanding medieval literature is that it is not "literature" in the modern sense: in fact the challenge is precisely to get to its existence or actuality. Medieval "literature" is strange and distant in terms of its forms and transmission. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht's work on medieval literature serves as a model of what he would call "riskful thinking."

The Medieval Beginnings of Italian Poetry Today
By
Heather Webb

Heather Webb recalls vividly how exciting it was when she first heard Sepp Gumbrecht talk through his notion of an oscillation between presence effects and meaning effects in early lyric poems. In this essay, she traces some ways in which his thought on presence, atmosphere, and mood is reverberating in Italian medieval studies of late.

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