All About Eve: Memory and Re-Collection in Junius 11’s Epic Poems Genesis and Christ and Satan

  • Lisabeth C. Buchelt
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


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.


Oral Tradition Oral Culture Epic Poetry Exeter Book Present Reading 
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  1. 1.
    Jean Leclercq, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture, trans. Catharine Misrahi (New York: Fordham University Press, 1961), p. 19.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    Neil R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), pp. 406–8.Google Scholar
  3. 21.
    A. N. Doane, ed., Genesis A: A New Edition (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), p. 240.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    All Old English citations from George Philip Krapp, ed., The Junius Manuscript (New York: Columbia University Press, 1931). Translations my own unless otherwise noted.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sara S. Poor and Jana K. Schulman 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisabeth C. Buchelt

There are no affiliations available

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