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Unstrung Letter F – Irony, Sermons and Dirty Jokes: Humor and the Birth of the Author in the Middle Ages

Unstrung Letter F – Irony, Sermons and Dirty Jokes: Humor and the Birth of the Author in the Middle Ages

By Georgina Emerson

Reading List and Warm-up Questions:
Christian Faith in the Middle Ages: What did it mean to believe?
Palazzo, Éric. Foi et croyance au Moyen Âge. Les méditations liturgiques. Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales. 53e année, no. 6, 1998. pp. 1131-1154.

Appropriation of Folklorique Traditions by the Catholic Church: Why the Church take over story-telling traditions for use in preaching?
Schmitt, Jean-Claude. “Les traditions folkloriques dans la culture médiévale : Quelques réflexions de méthode.” Archives de sciences sociales des religions. 26e, no. 52.1 (Jul-Sept. 1981). pp. 5-20.

The difference between a sermon and story: How did preachers limit and control the interpretation of their stories?
Biaggini, Olivier. “Stratégies du texte hétérogène dans le Conde Lucanor de Don Juan Manuel.” Atalaya, 2009, n.11.

Giving the authority behind a story a face: How did certain writers undermine the authority of preaching by giving the preacher an individual identity?
Kirchner, Timothy. The Modality of Moral Communication in Decameron’s First Day, in contrast to the mirror of the exemplum. Renaissance Quarterly, v. 54, n. 4, part 1 (Winter, 2001). pp. 1035-1073.

Google that shiz:
Key concepts/works: Exemplum, The Decameron, Conde Lucanor, El libro de Buen Amour, The Canterbury Tales
Scholars: Jacques Le Goff, Michel Zink, John Esten Keller, Marie-Anne Polo de Beaulieu

There are obviously numerous other sources, some even better! But these are the ones available online. Unstrung Letters is a division of The Italian-Accent-Theory Group and reserves the right to perform any and all lectures in a funny accent.

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