Title Background

Response to Steiner’s “Langland’s Documents”

Response to Steiner’s “Langland’s Documents”

L probably realizes that secular and ecclesiastical documents solicit different kinds of interpretation, owing to their origins in differing institutional contexts and, therefore, assigns to each kind-say, “The feoffement that False ymaked” or Pier’s Will, on the one hand, and the rest of the documents, on the other-to strikingly different places in the narrative; the latter documents appear “after the beginning of the eighth passus,” the former two in the Visio. Also, L in C alters the significance of False’s Charter, removing “the clause ‘Yelding for thys thyng at one yeres end (K-D 2.105),” in turn permitting “Meed and Falseness longer enjoyment of their dubious rights.” He also eliminates entirely Hawkyn’s patent, illustrating the poet’s uncertainty about legal documents within salvation narratives.

Volume

YLS 14 (2000): 108-09.

Author

Davis, Bryan P.