Literary Nominalism and the Theory of Rereading Late Medieval Texts a New Research Paradigm

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This is the first volume to offer a comprehensive examination of the theoretical and practical possibilities of an interdisciplinary approach to nominalism in medieval literature. The essays avoid theoretical reductivism and provide an outstanding critical perspective. In each essay, an expert scholar in the field investigates one of the existing theoretical approaches (e.g., nominalism as a direct 'source' for late medieval writers in the philological sense; nominalism as a philosophical superstratum; nominalism as part of a typical late-medieval mentality; nominalism as an intertext; medieval nominalist sign theory in comparison with twentieth-century sign theory, etc.) and then apply the chosen approach to a literary case study. It also contains the most inclusive bibliography on nominalism and late medieval literature. This volume will be the first and foremost source to be consulted for any scholar in the field.


"In his own lead-off essay, Utz is extremely helpful to readers who are still trying to 'negotiate' the shift, not only by bibliographically surveying its movers and shakers but also by cueing the uninitiated into understanding some of its presuppositions. . . . this volume does offer a competent balance of theory and practice about nominalist criticism of late medieval texts that will lead its catechumens and devotees, and perhaps even the merely curious, through the labyrinth of the new paradigm with a strong Ariadnean thread." - Rodney Delasanta in Studies in the Age of Chaucer

"His book, a pioneer study on literary nominalism, will interest readers of late medieval literature, particularly Chaucer lovers, familiar with the debate between philosophical realism and nominalism. . . . does nudge us closer to a better understanding of the colorful contradictions inherent in medieval literature as well as in our own theoretical approaches to it." - Pamela Lippert

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