Download e-book for kindle: Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect by Herman Pleij

By Herman Pleij

Think a dreamland the place roasted pigs wander approximately with knives of their backs to make carving effortless, the place grilled ducks fly without delay into one's mouth, the place cooked fish leap out of the water and land at one's ft. the elements is often gentle, the wine flows freely, intercourse is quickly on hand, and every person get pleasure from everlasting youth.

Such is Cockaigne. Portrayed in legend, oral background, and paintings, this imaginary land grew to become the main pervasive collective dream of medieval times-an earthly paradise that served to counter the affliction and frustration of day-by-day life and to allay anxieties approximately an more and more elusive heavenly paradise.

Illustrated with amazing art from the center a long time, Herman Pleij's Dreaming of Cockaigne is a lively account of this misplaced paradise and the realm that introduced it to existence. Pleij takes 3 vital texts as his beginning issues for an encouraged of the landscape of rules, desires, well known faith, and literary and creative construction found in the overdue heart a while. What emerges is a well-defined photograph of the period, supplied with a wealth of aspect from all of Europe, in addition to Asia and America.

Pleij attracts upon his thorough wisdom of medieval eu literature, paintings, historical past, and folklore to explain the fantasies that fed the stories of Cockaigne and their connections to the important obsessions of medieval existence.

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Extra resources for Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life

Sample text

Thus there arose elitist Cockaignes, such as the park at Hesdin Castle in northern France, where golden trees moved in the wind created by air conducted through an ingenious system of pipes. Birds were made to sing in the same way. org/terms Pleij CH 02 2/16/01 12:10 PM Page 24 THE FORFEITURE OF HAPPINESS: THE BEGINNING   Courtly pleasure garden, or pleasance. Miniature from the Roman de la Rose, illustrated by a Flemish master, ca. . Source: London, British Library,  Harley , fol.

One copyist, it appears, was at work on the Sidrac, while the other, starting with the Lucidarius, was responsible for the rest. org/terms Pleij CH 05 2/16/01 12:15 PM Page 50 TEXTS AS MAPS the writing process. This possibility is also suggested by the use of different inks. Over the course of several years even a professional hand undergoes certain basic changes. What appeared at first to be the work of two copyists more likely represents different phases in the career of one person. For that matter, the professionalism of this copyist must also be called into question.

Org/terms Pleij CH 02 2/16/01 12:10 PM Page 26 THE FORFEITURE OF HAPPINESS: THE BEGINNING The Land of Cockaigne here on earth: nearly every aspect of this dreamland, which no one actually believed in, appears to have had a concrete counterpart in everyday life. Or, to put it differently, it looks as though Cockaigne was experimentally tested and put into practice in all milieus throughout the Middle Ages and early-modern period. In addition, this dreamland continually featured in welcome yet unsolicited visions that had their worldly counterpart in the hallucinations brought on by the use of narcotics.

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