Vox intexta : orality and textuality in the Middle Ages /

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Bibliographic Details
Imprint:Madison, WI : University of Wisconsin Press, c1991.
Description:xiv, 289 p. ; 23 cm.
Subject:Literature, Medieval -- History and criticism
Oral tradition -- Europe.
Transmission of texts
Literature, Medieval.
Oral tradition.
Transmission of texts.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Format: E-Resource Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/1284444
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Doane, A. N. (Alger Nicolaus), 1938-
Pasternack, Carol Braun
ISBN:0299130908 : $45.00
0299130940 (pbk.) : $23.50
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

The 13 essays in this volume offer a rich, substantive overview of recent scholarship on the interface of orality and textuality, using the resources of postmodern criticism. The historical essays (nine) focus on medieval European literature with one exception. The trend, evident in the writings of Jacques Derrida, which overshadows orality by textuality, is reversed. Also, the strict division between literacy and orality advocated by Walter Ong and Jack Goody is relaxed, as the mutual interaction between oral and textual traditions is shown. Although the importance of the Parry/Lord theory of formulaicness from Homeric studies is acknowledged, it is not generalized. The individual traditions in which the oral poet functions and their shifting backgrounds must be respected. A text based on oral traditions, it is suggested, is not a representation of an unknown, ur-text, but stands by itself. Its "defects" are evidence of its orality an observation to be pondered by the textual critic. This volume with its cautious and convincing balance of history and theory greatly advances our knowledge and appreciation of orality and textuality.-J. F. O'Malley, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review