rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
I expect that everyone here who might be interested has already seen [livejournal.com profile] ajodasso's Great Medieval Studies Friending Meme, but I'll advertise it anyway.

In other news, I have finished and submitted my grading for the semester, which means all I have to do this week is study for my Welsh final, finish my prospectus conference report, and clean my disastrous bedroom. Hurrah.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
The Rules

1. Leave me a comment.
2. I respond by asking you five questions. You will answer them, because you like talking about yourself.
3. You then update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Questions, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] misslucyjane:

1) Thwap me if I've asked you this before, but what's the story behind your username?

Rymenhild (also spelled Rimenhild, Rimenild, Reymyld and Rigmel), princess of Westernesse, is the love interest in the late thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century Middle English verse romance King Horn. She courts her young man, rather than vice versa, but then she makes up for the initial awesomeness by staying at home for fourteen years while Horn goes off to fight Saracens. I'm not all that fond of the character, but I do like her name. I also like the fact that I can shorten the name to Rym, which is a Middle English word for verse or poem. (Its cognate in modern English is "rhyme".)

2) I am full of admiration and wonderment at medievalists. Why did you decide to focus on this period?

I never really decided to become a medievalist -- it just happened. I suppose I started out as a ten-year-old fangirl reading Susan Cooper, JRR Tolkien and everything I could find that mentioned King Arthur. I wanted to know what inspired these writers, so I started looking for the source texts. After eight or ten years of enthusiastic reading, when it came time for me to choose my specialty within English literature, I really didn't have to think very hard.

3) One of my favorite lines in Possession is something along the lines of "We love what survives our education." Is there any work you feel you love despite having studied it for years?

Oh, that's a good question. After sixteen years, two undergraduate seminars (one as a student, one as the instructor) and a senior thesis, I'm still passionately in love with Arthurian literature. (I tried listing the individual Arthurian works I love, but it's really too long of a list for me to post here. Ask me later!) King Horn and several other deeply odd Middle English romances have also survived my obsessions well.

4) What is "bibliosexuality"? (And does it involve stroking bookbindings? Library porn?)

I believe I first discovered the word in [livejournal.com profile] gramarye1971's userinfo and traced it back to [livejournal.com profile] foreverdirt's tongue not-that-far-in-cheek coming-out post. In any case, I adore books as things. I especially adore old books. Nothing makes me happier than sitting in an archival library with a seven-hundred-year-old codex smelling of vellum and leather, and, um, petting the corners of pages very gently when the librarians aren't looking. Not that I do that.. Anyway, I suppose I could just describe myself as a bibliophiliac, but the word "bibliosexual" is more fun.

5) Define yourself in five words or less.

Far too good at procrastinating. :D?
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
In reply to [livejournal.com profile] angevin2's poem of the day, the entirely innocent, innuendo-free poem I have a gentil cok, I share this equally non-phallic fifteenth-century lyric. For your reference, "Prenegard" means "beware" or "take care" in Old (Middle?) French, and a "baselard" is a kind of dagger.

Prenegard, Prenegard

Lesteneth, lordinges, I you beseke!
There is none man worth a leke,
But he sturdy, but he meke,
But he bere a baselard.


Mine baselard hath a schede of red... )

In other news, I am not studying tonight.

It's going to be a long weekend.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Courtesy, as always, of Maister Chaucer. (One of these days, I will stop linking to every one of his posts. This is not that day.)

Our Geoffrey is currently designing a collection of tales for the entertainment of all and sundry. (It shall be designed as a series of fragments, he tells us, because he "[troweth] that a worke in ‘fragmentz’ shall appeale to Vmberto Eco.") Today, he shares his notes on this collection with us. Fragment 1 is projected to include the following story:

-The Milleres prolog and Tale: whatte Adam Pinkhurste did vnto me bifor I fired hys ass– chaunge names and occupaciouns – absolvtely fabliaux

Augh, Chaucer, it burns.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Readers alle, I beg of ye that ye reden nat simplyche Chauceres blog, but eek the comments thereto. Where else canst one finde conversacioun of such geekery as this?

"Pacient Griselde" writes, Ich am but a povre scoler of English, a yonge clerke, and thou been myn maist leevere auctor. Wol thou with mich slepen?

Nostre Geoffrey turns her down gently, thus: Such an swete proposicoun thou makest, but ich am a marryede man with childer, and thou art a yonge mayde, oon the faireste vnder sonne.

Cecilia Chaumpaigne (see 1380 on this timeline for more information) takes issue with Geoffrey's coy denials: Certes, Geffrey, I holde thyn wordes to Pacient Griselde ryght false and twa-faced when Ich consydre all that hath passyd entre vous y moi. Pleyeth not the dumb stoon, Geffrey. Thou knowest the thynge of which Y speke.

Geoffrey: Myne mainpernours haven advised me nat to make mencioun of anye of the detailles of the cas yn a public forum.

Where can I get an "ICH BELEEVE CECILIA" pin? Somehow, I don't see Chaucer putting one on his Zazzle store.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Geoffrey Chaucer has returned to the blogosphere, to share with us the sad tale of secret trysts he spent with the Pearl-poet.

At morwe-tyde, he sayde me, “Thou knowst I am not of the scole of Edwarde II.”

“Me neithere,” quod I. “‘Tis nobodies privitee but oures.”


While we're on the subject of Brokeback Mountain parodies, the students at the Jewish Theological Seminary have something they wish they could quit. This one probably won't be funny unless you've been following the Conservative Movement's homosexuality debate closely. Thanks for the link, [livejournal.com profile] shirei_shibolim!

One more link before I go back to work: [livejournal.com profile] ladybird97 has kindly alerted me that it is now legal for Jews to wear armor in Ireland. It seems that armor-wearing has been illegal for Jews in Ireland since 1181. This is fascinating. I suspect I have to do more research on the topic.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Sire Thopas drow abak ful faste;
This geant at him stones caste,
...Out of a fel staf-slinge.
But faire escapeth Child Thopas,
And al it was thurgh Goddes gras,
...And thurgh his fair beringe.


[Sir Thopas drew back quickly;
The giant cast stones at him,
from a fell sling-staff.
But Child Thopas escaped fairly,
and it was all because of God's grace,
and because of his fair bearing.]

-Chaucer's Tale of Sir Thopas, lines 827-832

Thopas is totally a literary ancestor of Sir Robin, the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Launcelot. I love Thopas dearly. I want to take him home and feed him well and sing to him: "He was not afraid to die, oh brave sir Thopas!"

I do not think that expressing my deep and passionate love for Sir Thopas, The Slightly-Braver-Than-Sir-Robin, is necessarily the best way to impress my orals examiners, though.

ETA: Has anyone ever noticed that Tolkien's poem 'Errantry' seems to be related to 'Sir Thopas'? )
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Who just got to spend a day transcribing a Latin song about a prior and an abbot getting completely drunk and puking all over the flowers? I did!

Man, I love my job.

Libraries like the one I visited today do give me a chance to practice some of my more unusual hobbies, like staring at other people's books. A woman behind me was looking at a lovely one with huge full-page full-color fifteenth-century heraldic signs. I didn't have a chance to gawk at that one very long, though, because then I noticed a man about my age who was looking back and forth between the manuscript on foam pads on his desk and two modern printed copies of The Book of Margery Kempe. Fortunately I managed to contain my fangirl enthusiasm. The reading room was just not the place for it.

London's lovely, even if much warmer than advertised. I spent last night hanging out with the delightful [livejournal.com profile] gramarye1971. We discussed late twentieth-century Welsh politics, obscure pieces of paper, gratuitous foxes and the joys of geekery. Gramarye, by the way, as I was walking back from the station last night, I happened to pass the Quaker building. The Quaker building has iron gates. The pattern on the iron gates is a circle, quartered by a cross. I was scared.

Also, in the three years since I last stayed in this dormitory, it acquired Ethernet access. (In 2001 it had dialup, and one paid by the minute and through the nose.) The Ethernet access is working. This makes me happy.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Yes, I've been posting frequently lately; it's something to do between research inspirations.

I stopped writing just now to have an early-morning snack. We still haven't gone to the supermarket, so all I could find was matzah and egg salad. I nibbled on the matzah and egg salad while scanning a blood libel narrative in search of something to bolster my current argument.

I finished eating before I realized just how wrong of a snack it was.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
There is very little I find more amusing than having other people humor me in my geekery. For this reason, I had huge quantities of fun last night retelling Sir Gawain and the Green Knight at [livejournal.com profile] milliways_bar.

The first half of the action, summarized here, happened a month and a half ago. Last night, Sir Bertilak returned to collect his due, and there was much snarking.

I need to work on acquiring more ways to have fun that don't exacerbate my arm problems.

Linkage!

Mar. 2nd, 2005 09:04 pm
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Two brilliant posts that greeted me when I checked my friendslist today:

Here's an article on Advanced symptoms of advanced degrees, or how to diagnose Global Irony Syndrome and Hyper-Theory Disorder.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden shares some Old English literature with us at Making Light, including the Feower Axunge (which begins with For hwi is þeos niht ungelic eallum oþrum nihtum?).
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
From the twelfth-century romance Cliges, by Chretien de Troyes (and no, I cannot work accents, so sorry):

The Greek prince Alexander arrives at the court of King Arthur. Everyone likes him, but Gawain likes him more than the rest:

Nis mes sire Gauvains tant l'aime
Qu'ami et compeignon le claime.


[Sir Gawain loved him so much that he claimed him as an ami (friend, sort of) and companion.]

The love, sadly, is not to proceed, for Gawain's sister Soredamors (what a horrible name!) falls desperately in love with Alexander. She is quite concerned about what her brother will think about this:

Mais molt covient qu'ele se gart
De mon seignor Gauvain son frere.


[But she takes very great care to guard [the knowledge of her love] from my lord Gawain, her brother.]

It turns out that Alexander loves Soredamors as much as Soredamors loves Alexander; both of them can be found descolorer et enpalir / et soupirer et tressaillir [discoloring, turning pale, sighing and trembling]. Falling in love is really painful. Guinevere, who is on the same boat with Soredamors and Alexander, doesn't realize that they are afflicted with love -- she interprets the symptoms as seasickness. Insert large quantity of puns on the sea (la mer), love (l'amor), the verb "to love" (amer) and severe pain (amers) here. Insert several thousand more lines about Love. Finally, Alexander and Soredamors marry and have a son, whose name is Cliges. Gawain approves the marriage. Nothing more is said about Gawain's companionship with Alexander, alas.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
All right, friends, who's going to Kalamazoo?
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
The entire Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary is available in graphics files on the Web.

There are no words to describe how happy this makes me.

Simon?

Nov. 30th, 2004 01:49 am
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
I should make an extensive post to celebrate my one-year LJ anniversary (November 27). Instead, I am trying frantically to finish enough of the current paper to present it in class tomorrow. I'm only posting right now to make one frustrated shriek:

Why, oh WHY, can't families think of more than three names to give to their children? Also, if one must repeat a family name, can one at least keep track of how many people have had that family name? Yes, Simon de Montfort, I'm looking at you. Also at your father, Simon de Montfort, and your son, Simon de Montfort, and about two or three other unidentified Simons de Montfort. One of these Simons I have found identified as Simon III in one source and Simon IV in another.

There are also several people named Amaury de Montfort and several more named Guy de Montfort to add to the fun.

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