‘“Adam, you are in a Labyrinth”: The First-Person Voice as The Nexus Between Body and Spirit in the Chronicle of Adam Usk’

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    Abstract

    The fifteenth-century chronicle of Adam Usk (d.1430) is unique in several respects, in particular in the modes of narration that he employs. While other chronicles of the era employ covert forms of narration, in which an effaced and impersonal narrator presents a meaningful chronological narrative, in Adam’s chronicle there are frequent moments of overt narration in which he uses first person singular, provides detailed accounts of his personal spirituality, and uses strategies of internal focalisation, such as internal monologue and dreams, to narrate world events. Adam examines his individual place in the world, and does so within a genre in which such explorations are not expected. This article examines the intrusion of Adam into the chronicle narrative, both as an embodied being (a body travelling in the world he chronicles) and as a spiritual being, able to experience direct communication from god.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConjunctions of Mind, Soul and Body from Plato to the Enlightenment
    EditorsDanijela Kambaskovic-Sawers
    PublisherSpringer
    Pages47-68
    ISBN (Print)9789401790710
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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