Response to Clopper’s “Langland and Allegory: A Proposition”
Clopper’s proposition may be a conscientious alternative to postmodern versions of allegory in the likes of Paul de Man, but it takes up a problematic (embodiment vs. abstraction) very well indebted to such versions. The respondent offers a “‘cognitivist’ proposition regarding Langlandian allegory”: “contemporary cognitive science can help us to place the irresistibly realist dimensions of L’s enigmatic poem in a new and reinvigorated theoretical domain larger than the nominalist one established by (linguistic or rhetorical) poststructuralism… Piers Plowman might itself be taken as a cognitivist document built up out of allegorical materials which stages an unusual and hitherto unrealized experiment in narrative poetics.”
YLS 15 (2001): 47-57.
Paxson, James J