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Sophia Menache

This paper reconsiders the accuracy of current historiographical premises with regard to the Chronica Majora of Matthew Paris and the Cronica or History of Florence of Giovanni Villani. When these chroniclers refer to oral situations, such as a dialogue between two or more people, to what degree did they themselves witness the situation that they describe, or did they enjoy the services of a first-hand source? A reconsideration of these questions advances our understanding of the challenges inherent in late-medieval chronicles as a source of orality and clarifies some methodological issues. Furthermore, analysis of these sources allows the conclusion that oral addresses mainly served to manipulate existing feelings, whether hatred, fear, latent antagonism, or unlimited support. Indeed, imagination, rhetoric, manipulation, idioms, stereotypes and the whole spectrum of human emotions were all encapsulated in the oral reports included in medieval chronicles. As such, they provide an important link between orality and literacy, one that is deserving of further investigation.

Battlegrounds and Crossroads

Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas


Maria Antònia Oliver-Rotger

Of interest to informed readers responsive to combined textual and cultural approaches to Chicano/a literature and literature in general, Battleground and Crossroads weaves in various critical and theoretical threads to inquire into the relationship between intimate and public spaces in Chicana literature. Without claiming the borderlands as exclusive of the Chicana/o imagination, this book acknowledges the importance of this metaphor for bringing to view a more intercultural United States, allowing it to become inflected with the particularity of each text. The analyses of Chicana fiction, drama, and autobiography explore the construction of identity through the representation of social space and the transformation of literary space. For discussion of a diacritical territory this volume draws on a interdisciplinary practice that facilitates the journey from the most intimate spaces to the most public spaces of modernity, so that the aesthetic text yields its knowledge of the contingent historical circumstances of its production in material and existential terms. The apparent regionalism and localism of this literature is nothing but a reflection of the relationship between the local and the global, the private and the public, the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ideological, the subversive and the mainstream. Each text stands by itself while it also reaches out to the sociopolitical imaginary for interpretation through an interdisciplinary methodology that is indispensable to do justice to a politicized aesthetics.