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Reading in the WildernessPrivate Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England$
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Jessica Brantley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226071329

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226071343.001.0001

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The Shapes of Eremitic Reading in the Desert of Religion

The Shapes of Eremitic Reading in the Desert of Religion

(p.79) 3 The Shapes of Eremitic Reading in the Desert of Religion
Reading in the Wilderness
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the depiction of the private devotional reader in Desert of Religion, a long poem concerning life in the monastic wilderness that forms the center of Additional 37049 in a literal sense. This poem addresses the question of how reading image texts in the wilderness can become a variety of devotional performance and exemplifies the connection with performative pageantry that the combination of text and image implies. It also shows how texts and images function together in wilderness reading, and reveals the literary consequences of the characteristic Carthusian oscillations between solitary ideals and communitarian realities.

Keywords:   private devotional reading, Desert of Religion, Additional 37049, performative pageantry, wilderness reading, solidity ideals, communitarian realities

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