|Feininger, Cathedral of the Future, 1919.|
|Exploded diagram by Leonardo da Vinci|
And so to end (quickly because, summer, pool, children) by asking the reverse. If modern shapes the medieval, how does the medieval shape the modern? Nagel, Holsinger, and Powell are asking exactly this question. Jeffrey Cohen asked it of the medieval eco-criticism panel at Kalamazoo this year in asking after points of contact between modern theorists and medieval ones (and ideas and scenarios and images). I find that I asked the question in my review of Caroline Walker Bynum's Christian Materiality and Mary Carruther's The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages at Different Visions. I guess that I'll end with that today:
Many of the revelations of agency and materiality being developed in contemporary theory were active in the Middle Ages, and medievalists have much to share with modern thinkers struggling through the economic, ethical, and social problems of inert materiality and deadened physicality.
I was prompted to write this entry, I realize now, not so much because of the review that is being written, but because of the collectivities that I find myself reading with and within. I feel boundless gratitude for them, and the friendship and momentum and meaning they generously offer. And so, an effort at the first draft of a book review has become a love letter. Thus it goes.