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Arts of DyingLiterature and Finitude in Medieval England$
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D. Vance Smith

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226640853

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226641041.001.0001

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The Physics of Elegy: Pearl

The Physics of Elegy: Pearl

(p.152) Chapter Eight The Physics of Elegy: Pearl
Arts of Dying

D. Vance Smith

University of Chicago Press

Pearl's elaborate form is both an assertion of the finitude of death and its insolubility. This chapter focuses on the terms in the poem that point to moments of transition, especially of disappearance. Beneath the poem's attempt to capture a poetics of movement toward and beyond finitude is an extended awareness of, and engagement with, the Aristotelian physics of motion as theorized by the Oxford Calculators.

Keywords:   Pearl, form, Aristotelian physics, Oxford Calculators

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