Pierre Abélard and Héloïse, The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse: Abelard seems to have a talent for pissing people off.

Both Abelard and Heloise are good at expressing themselves (and the translation I am reading seems to be a good one — it has many interesting explanatory footnotes). I know I should not be so surprised, but I am finding Abelard to be nothing more than a total self-centered jerk and I find myself getting […]

Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe: This woman was crazy. Hands down, batshit, insane.

So, let’s start with the good things first. This was the first autobiography practically and it is by a woman. A woman who got to do things not a lot of other medieval women got to do. That’s where the good ends however. Unfortunately, the story of Margery Kempe, while it could be extremely interesting, […]

Beowulf: I don’t even think I want to see the movie after reading it.

There’s a chance I’m missing something here, though not a good chance. In some ways it was very in-your-face direct, and in other ways it was too lengthy, which is an odd thing to say considering it’s approximately 100 pages. Beowulf is the epitome of manliness, unlike any image of today’s “man.” (i.e. football, wings, […]

Beowulf. Did the idea of holes in the plot never occur to people in the 11th-12th century?

This poem is awesome (in the traditional sense of the word) only because it is sooooo old. I read it for 2 reasons: A) I’ve been trying to interject classic books that are commonly referenced into by repertoire and B) I wanted to read a book called Grendel that has been sitting on our bookshelf […]