Resolution (An Absence of Wild Things)

I always get the same thought at this time of year as people post readership stats etc. from the previous years blogging.

I have always used the site to supplement my lack of note taking rather than to engage with readers.

I am also going to start looking more heavily at the 6th century and the foundations of Welsh medieval literature.

Early medieval Welsh poetry is a topic I love but not one I discuss with anyone in daily life as it is not exactly a topic of widespread interest.

It gets worse as I suspect I will eventually focus not on early medieval Wales and Northern Britain but on arguments and opinions concerning man-like apes in the late 17th and 18th century. Here classifying thought as ‘medieval’ has a range of associations that may not always be entirely positive. Clearly the 6th century is not the most obvious start point here. I like to leave no stone unturned and I am in no particular rush to do anything other than learn.

Move slowly, introduce some early sources and note my own bias towards themes related to wild men, women and children. Looking at wider context they will be absent here, but my own research interests lead me to inflect evidence in a particular way.

This is the culture in which the wild man first emerges in Western Europe. The narrative is far older and it has to settle into a Western Ecclesiastical and philosophical tradition in which the line between human and animal are clearly drawn. These wild creatures fit comfortable into Western culture, they are prolific in Western art and thought but seem to present a somewhat uneasy fit from ecclesiastical perspective.

How did the early church accommodate these creatures within its own tradition?

Can I frame that question within a more general one on accommodation between church and wider society? I have no idea at the moment, but it looks like a plan.

One more modern issue starting to eat away. What is a medieval mind and did such a historical generalization ever exist? Is it some type of religious and supernaturally inclined borg type collective?


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