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Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library #23: The Old English Poems of Cynewulf

by

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library #23: The Old English Poems of Cynewulf Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Old English poems attributed to Cynewulf, who flourished some time between the eighth and tenth centuries, are unusual because most vernacular poems in this period are anonymous. Other than the name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even the most basic facts of where or when he lived. Yet the poems themselves attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft.

Runic letters spelling out the name Cynewulf appear in four poems: Christ II (or The Ascension), Juliana, The Fates of the Apostles, and Elene. To these a fifth can be added, Guthlac B because of similarities in style and vocabulary, but any signature (if one ever existed) has been lost because its ending lines are missing. What characterizes Cynewulf's poetry? He reveals an expert control of structure as shown from the changes he makes to his Latin sources. He has a flair for extended similes and dramatic dialogue. In Christ II, for example, the major events in Christ's life are portrayed as vigorous leaps. In Juliana the force of the saint's rhetoric utterly confounds a demon sent to torment her.

Synopsis:

Other than his name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even where or when he lived. Yet his Old English poems attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft. He reveals an expert control of structure and a flair for extended similes and dramatic dialogue.

About the Author

A Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, Robert E. Bjork is Foundation Professor of English and Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.

Arizona State University

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674072633
Author:
Cynewulf
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Bjork, Robert E.
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
History - Medieval
Subject:
Literary Criticism-Medieval
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library
Series Volume:
23
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Geography » General

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library #23: The Old English Poems of Cynewulf New Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674072633 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Other than his name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even where or when he lived. Yet his Old English poems attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft. He reveals an expert control of structure and a flair for extended similes and dramatic dialogue.
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