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Childish Things: Charity and the Liberal Arts

Childish Things: Charity and the Liberal Arts

This essay takes Langland’s personification of the ‘childische’ Charity as a model for negotiating critical and creative modes of knowing. Charity’s affective plasticity evokes the experience of immersive reading and demonstrates the aesthetic and ethical rewards of suspending critique. While Charity’s otherworldliness ultimately reinstates the necessity of critique, the process of reckoning with Langland’s figure adumbrates a charitable reading practice that this essay describes as a liberal art, an opening of the narrower concerns of self and present time to otherness and historical difference.


Postmedievalo, 6 (2015), 457-66.


Davis, Rebecca