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Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript

Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex

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Simon C. Thomson

In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.

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Nicolás Bas Martín

In Spanish Books in the Europe of the Enlightenment (Paris and London) Nicolás Bas examines the image of Spain in eighteenth-century Europe, and in Paris and London in particular. His material has been scoured from an exhaustive interrogation of the records of the book trade. He refers to booksellers’ catalogues, private collections, auctions, and other sources of information in order to reconstruct the country’s cultural image. Rarely have these sources been searched for Spanish books, and never have they been as exhaustively exploited as they are in Bas’ book.
Both England and France were conversant with some very negative ideas about Spain. The Black Legend, dating back to the sixteenth century, condemned Spain as repressive and priest-ridden. Bas shows however, that an alternative, more sympathetic, vision ran parallel with these negative views. His bibliographical approach brings to light the Spanish books that were bought, sold and ultimately read. The impression thus obtained is likely to help us understand not only Spain’s past, but also something of its present.

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Edited by Ronan Crowley and Dirk Van Hulle

New Quotatoes, Joycean Exogenesis in the Digital Age offers fourteen original essays on the genetic dossiers of Joyce’s fiction and the ties that bind the literary archive to the transatlantic print sphere of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Availing of digital media and tools, online resources, and new forms of access, the contributions delve deeper than ever before into Joyce’s programmatic reading for his oeuvre, and they posit connections and textual relations with major and minor literary figures alike never before established. The essays employ a broad range of genetic methodologies from ‘traditional’ approaches to intertextuality and allusion to computational methods that plumb Large-scale Digitisation Initiatives like Google Books to the possibilities of databasing for Joyce studies.

Contributors: Scarlett Baron, Tim Conley, Luca Crispi, Ronan Crowley, Sarah Davison, Tom De Keyser, Daniel Ferrer, Finn Fordham, Robbert-Jan Henkes, John Simpson, Sam Slote, Dirk Van Hulle, Chrissie Van Mierlo, and Wim Van Mierlo.