childeric: (Default)
[personal profile] childeric
A review of the following just popped up in my mailbox:

Morrison, Susan Signe. Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer's Fecopoetics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Pp. xiii, 271. $89.95. ISBN-13: 978-1-4039-8488-3.

There are many things that might be said, amongst which is 'Blimey, ninety dollars?!'.

Date: 2009-03-09 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, you really can write about any old shit and get published? Magnificent.

Date: 2009-03-09 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A metaphorical truth becomes a literal one, yes!

Date: 2009-03-09 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is my question exactly!

Date: 2009-03-09 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Or did they say it was a crap book?

Date: 2009-03-09 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are some gems of sentences in the review, for instance:

Part III considers the transition of medieval excrement into early modern, finding the mark of modernity to be a progressive disciplining and regulation of shit (131), after which Morrison concludes her argument by situating her medieval material in the more general domain of waste studies, the main ideas of which she neatly reviews.

The more we think about such details and questions, the more we will see that excrement, like language, is infinitely various in meaning, that its material value can change dramatically according to environmental need and context.

There's an interesting strain in modern academic writing that really relishes peppering its discourse with naughty words: on one level I can understand it as necessary, usefully subversive and entirely legitimate, but sometimes I can't help thinking it's all a bit pee po belly bum drawers and everyone's just enjoying it a bit too much.

But the book does sound pretty interesting, in fact.

Date: 2009-03-09 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can understand it as necessary, usefully subversive and entirely legitimate, but sometimes I can't help thinking it's all a bit pee po belly bum drawers

I think it falls between the two stools.

Date: 2009-03-09 05:39 pm (UTC)
ext_155698: clean girl (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Dohhhhhh!!! Was there any need?

Date: 2009-03-09 07:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-03-09 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think it falls between the two stools.

I agree with this copromise view.

Date: 2009-03-09 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Damn - I've been trying, but there is no way I can top that comment.

Date: 2009-03-09 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't mean to bowel you over.

(Are we bottoming out now?)

Date: 2009-03-09 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Academia is a strange and puzzling world.

Date: 2009-03-09 03:16 pm (UTC)
ext_21022: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Wow - do you think she conducted the entire research project just so that she'd have a chance of being the first citation for the neologism 'fecopoetics' in the Oxford English Dictionary?

Date: 2009-03-09 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wonder if there's someone we can petition to keep it out? Or would that just add currency to it? Tricky...

Date: 2009-03-09 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If it's to be in the OED it would be "faecopoetics".

Date: 2009-03-09 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes - like Robert Bly and mythopoetics, I'm pretty convinced it's an American ... movement.

Date: 2009-03-09 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I second that motion.

Date: 2009-03-09 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I knew there was more to the middle ages than just mud and ignorance.

Date: 2009-03-09 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cuh, you're just jealous that you don't get to study fecopoetics.

Date: 2009-03-09 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You haven't seen some of the papers I've reviewed.

Date: 2009-03-09 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sure I must have mentioned to you that the Roman walls on the north side of York are above ground (and generally quite poorly preserved), but the walls on the south side (the one that runs roughly underneath HSBC and across Parliament St through Marks & Spencers and then across King's Square) is deep underground and (apparently) extremely well preserved. The reason? The south side of York was where the viking-age occupation of the city was at its most intense, leading to an extremely rapid build up of a thick layer (up to 10 metres) of what archaeologists like to call 'organic matter'...

Date: 2009-03-09 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Didn't some famous coprolith get used as a paperweight?

Date: 2009-03-09 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Lloyds Bank Turd (, a name to which recent events would seem to have lent a whole new world of applications.

Date: 2009-03-10 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Brilliant -- not just a coprolite but a whole new way of doing business.

Date: 2009-03-09 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fecopoetics: scatological humour all dressed up for a party or, potty jokes made serious for Grown Ups.

This is yet another reason I'm happy I'm a boring traditional historian.

Lots of jokes waiting to be told...

Date: 2009-03-09 04:15 pm (UTC)
ext_267: Photo of DougS, who has a round face with thinning hair and a short beard (Default)
From: [identity profile]
> Excrement [...] $89.95 [...] Blimey

Something to do with short runs...

Date: 2009-03-09 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, she could have chosen a direr era.

Date: 2009-03-09 05:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-03-09 06:50 pm (UTC)


childeric: (Default)

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