Listening for the Text
On the Uses of the Past
"Stock has opened up lines of thinking about the medieval world—and our modern one too—which lead in fascinating directions."—Times Literary Supplement
"A challenging and informative work."—South Atlantic Review
"Indispensable as a case study of the problems and promise of writing cultural history from a truly comparative and interdisciplinary point of view."—Comparative Literature Studies
"Ours is largely an ahistorical world. And yet we take history very seriously. The more remote the past becomes, the more we seem to concern ourselves with understanding it. We are no longer linked to our ancestors through common material conditions. If earlier ages still have a hold on us, it is through our thoughts about them.
"The essays in this volume are about a segment of the past that runs roughly from the end of antiquity to the thirteenth century. More generally, they are about recollecting the past by putting words into writings. They are equally about the past that is written about and the writing that brings it to life. In other words, they deal with the creation of the past as text."—from the Introduction
Brian Stock is Professor of History and Comparative Literature, University of Toronto. He is author of The Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries; Augustine the Reader: Meditation, Self-Knowledge, and the Ethics of Interpretation; and After Augustine: The Meditative Reader and the Text, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.