All About Eve: Memory and Re-Collection in Junius 11’s Epic Poems Genesis and Christ and Satan
Many people can recite pieces of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Godfather, or The Wizard of Oz. For me, it ’s Star Wars: I can recite the entire dialogue, almost verbatim, from memory. But I have never seen the textual artifact of moviemaking, an actual script. It is a dubious talent, and one I should perhaps not admit to having quite so readily, but useful for illustrating a point. In memory, there is no difference between whether a text recalled was originally read as a written text or heard as an entertainment. The memory capacity among a whole community of individuals trained to have prodigious memories—such as that at Christ Church Canterbury, which created MS Oxford Bodleian Junius 11—must have been staggering indeed.
KeywordsOral Tradition Oral Culture Epic Poetry Exeter Book Present Reading
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