Publication details [#6862]

Besserman, Lawrence. 1996. Augustine, Chaucer, and the translation of biblical poets. In Budick, Sanford and Wolfgang Iser, eds. The translatability of cultures: figurations of the space between. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 68–84.


In this paper, Besserman portrays a kind of silent crisis engendered by the perceived impossibility of a fluid exchange between sacred and profane. Categories of ‘biblical’ and ‘secular’ poetics cannot serve as each other’s ‘other’. The effect of interference, within cultural binarisms, in this medieval form of ambivalence is that alterity is transformed into something disturbingly different from either biblical or nonbiblical, secular or non-secular. The author is primarily concerned with the extrapolations to secular literature and literary theory that Augustine and Chaucer make from the precedent of the Bible and from what they infer to be biblical compositional norms.
Source : Based on information from author(s)