Langland and Allegory: A Proposition
Proposes that L’s allegory might be productively understood within a Realist philosophical tradition, as opposed to a tradition in which allegory continuously abstracts the letter, that “the real is signified by and subsumed into the abstract-most often as in personification.” The latter tradition of abstraction seems to be realized more in Coleridge than in medieval authorities such as DeGuileville’s Pélerinage de la Vie Humaine, whose allegorical practice L seems to mimic. “The important point . . . is that in cognitive theory the individual ” what we moderns might call the concrete or real ” is not in opposition to substance “or what we might call the abstract or conceptual. Rather, the real or substantial exists invisibly but makes itself known to us through its accidents.”
YLS 15 (2001): 35-42
Clopper, Lawrence M.