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Don't Mention the War!: Geography, Saracens and King Horn's "Diplomatic' Poet

Title
Don't Mention the War!: Geography, Saracens and King Horn's "Diplomatic' Poet
Author
Eckert, Kenneth David
Keywords
Middle English; medieval romance; King Horn; Edward I; Havelok the Dane; Romance of Horn; MS Laud Misc. 108; Saracens
Issue Date
2018-05
Publisher
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS
Citation
JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE LITERATURE AND CULTURE, v. 65, No. 1, Page. 23-36
Abstract
Scholarship of the Middle English King Horn (c. 1250–1290) has grappled inconclusively with its obscure toponyms Westernesse and Suddene and with identification of its nebulous Saracen antagonists. Recent work on the literary impact of the historical crises of the Norman Conquest and the Crusades may offer fresh resolution, positing that thirteenth-century romances responded to contemporary realpolitik both by avoidance of taboo issues – here Edward's difficulties in Wales and Scotland, by apposite reference to Havelok the Dane, also in MS Laud Misc. 108 – as well as by fostering a national narrative of identity including the Normans, here evinced in the accentuation of difference between nascent Englishness and the foreign otherness of the Saracens. Thus, a more generative hypothesis is that the text's place names and antagonists may be strategically vague, and analysis of other analogues of the Horn story suggests that detail is ambiguated rather than lost. This interpretation may catalyse a new reading of the poem where imprecision serves political as well as stylistic exigencies.
URI
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20512856.2018.1443631http://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/105493
ISSN
2051-2856; 2051-2864
DOI
10.1080/20512856.2018.1443631
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF LANGUAGES & CULTURES[E](국제문화대학) > ENGLISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE(영미언어·문화학과) > Articles
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