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From Parchment to Cyberspace

Medieval Literature in the Digital Age

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Stephen G. Nichols

From Parchment to Cyberspace argues the case for studying high-resolution digital images of original manuscripts to analyze medieval literature. By presenting a rigorous philosophical argument for the authenticity of such images (a point disputed by digital skeptics) the book illustrates how digitization offers scholars innovative methods for comparing manuscripts of vernacular literature – such as The Romance of the Rose or texts by Christine de Pizan – that reveal aspects of medieval culture crucial to understanding the period.

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Notes

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Introduction

1. A work like the Roman de la Rose, for example, created by two different poets around 1235 and 1280 respectively, exists in some 250 extant manuscripts, produced in France between c. 1290 and c. 1525. While some 150 of these manuscripts are preserved in French libraries, over a hundred more exist in repositories throughout the world: from England, Europe, and the United States to Japan.

2. Stephen G. Nichols, “François Villon.” European Writers: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. W. T. H. Jackson. (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1983), pp. 535–570.

3. “Le Testament joue donc sur un double mouvement de cloture et d’ouverture.” François Villon, Œuvres completes, edition établie par Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet avec la collaboration de Laëtitia Tabard (Paris: Gallimard, 2014), p. 754.

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