Title Background

The Condition of Kynde

The Condition of Kynde

Critics realize that “kynde” can mean many things in PPl but a fruitful way of investigating this term is to explore its significance as “being without,” as essentially a form of lack that appears to inhere in material goods, spiritual advice, and the natural world. Will perceives this lack in the material world, where lie the vexing problems as “need,” and in the spiritual realm, in the ever presence of “sin.” Yet L conscientiously confuses the material and spiritual registers so as to drive home the point-with Will’s misadventures in misunderstanding at its center-that versions of “kynde” are indeed oppositional, that “kynde” as “being without” runs counter to “revealed teaching, clergie and scripture,” including forms of sublimated communication, religious poetry and sacerdotal rhetoric. Rather, “kynde” assumes “natural [spiritual] resources, the non-theological virtue of lewtee and the secular literary modes fo satire.” Not surprisingly, “desire” as a form of “lack” is imagined throughout the PPl, meaning that in fact “doing well” means something like “doing without,” of taking “the absolute risk of putting all in the hands of God.” The essay explores Trajan/Rechelessenesse in B.11 as “the ultimate form of natural textuality,” looks at the Christological implications of “kynde,” and closes with a treatment of A.12.


Aers, 1-30

Cross Reference



Zeeman, Nicolette