Catalogue of Serpents in Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes

A jaculus in Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley MS 764, f. 98v
© Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

by Amanda Gerber

John Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes is a fifteenth-century romance loosely based on Ovid’s “Pyramus and Thisbe,” a tale perhaps better known as the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The romance bears few resemblances to its Ovidian source or Shakespearean counterpart, not least of all because Metham adds to the love story a battle with a dragon as well as a postmortem resurrection and Christian conversion. Continue reading “Catalogue of Serpents in Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes”

James Joyce’s Refrigerator, or, Thirteen Ways of Looking at Lists (numbers 7-13)

by Jeremy Gavron

Seven. I know, too, that the list is involved in what I know.

Eight. So we have looked at a poetry list, a memoir list and now I want to look briefly at a fiction list: “An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried”, by Debbie Urbanski. Here are some lines from the beginning of the story, followed by some lines from the end.

Continue reading “James Joyce’s Refrigerator, or, Thirteen Ways of Looking at Lists (numbers 7-13)”

“There are three things…”: Introducing the Numerical Apothegm

by Martha Rust

A survey of Listology posts shows that the list form is often used to convey advice or wisdom, and when it does, the list’s items are limited to a certain number, which is then featured in its title: the Ten Essentials for Hiking, for instance, or Seven Lessons from Mister Rogers. In this post, we consider an ancient list-based genre of literature that elaborates on this kind of advisory list. Famed German literary scholar Ernst Robert Curtius (1886-1956) placed this list-based genre in the category of wisdom literature and gave it the name Zahlenspruch, or “numbered saying,” which Willard R. Trask translated as “numerical apothegm.”[1] As our examples will show, whether or not a numerical apothegm conveys wisdom, it gives a reader much to think about.[2]

Continue reading ““There are three things…”: Introducing the Numerical Apothegm”

A list on the work of things

Oxford, Bodleian Library Digby MS 88, f. 97v
(© Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

by Martha Rust

The photo above is of a page in Oxford, Bodleian Library Digby MS 88, a fifteenth-century collection of miscellaneous texts in English and Latin on astronomy, medicine, divination, and theology.[1] The short, untitled work occupying this particular page creates a curious first impression. Continue reading “A list on the work of things”

A Little Political Listology: Questions for Katie Little

We at Listology recently had the pleasure of reading Katie Little’s list insights in her recent publication, “The Politics of Lists,” in the journal Exemplaria.[1] For those who have not yet had the pleasure of reading the article, Little uses medieval lists written in Chaucer’s “Knight’s Tale” and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (a historical record of England compiled before the eleventh century) to re-examine modern materiality theorists’ idea that lists are ideology-free because they blend human and non-human subjects. We at Listology would like to continue this conversation about lists’ ideological and political characteristics , and the article’s author, Katherine Little, has kindly obliged us by answering some of our questions—some of which readers will find answered more extensively in her article published by Exemplaria.

Continue reading “A Little Political Listology: Questions for Katie Little”

An interview with Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines

Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines (Granta, 2018), met her grandmother through the lists she left behind. The book reconstructs from lists the life of Lulah’s grandmother Elisabeth, who died when Lulah’s mother was nine years old. Elisabeth started writing her curious book of lists after marrying a diplomat in the 1930s. These lists, which provide glimpses into Elisabeth’s life and mind, offer Lulah a starting point for exploring the life of a grandmother she never met. The following is a conversation between Lulah Ellender and the editors of Listology.

Continue reading “An interview with Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑