(if you’re better than I am at making gifs, begin at 5:40 and end 5.9 seconds later)
Image from Gautier de Coinci’s Miracles de Nostre Dame (BL NAF 24541, 52v), a child sold to the devil.
Last night, some friends threw a spooky holiday party, themed, as they once were, around ghost stories. Here’s my not fully successful story about a HAUNTED EXEMPLUM:
(note: this tale will last only so long as I don’t get my hands on this)
1. Like you need this. You were in high school too once, I bet.↩
Oliver: “Roland, blow the horn!”
Roland: [grabs his junk] “Blow this horn, jerk!”
Oliver: “I’m serious.”
Roland: “Ok!” [farts]
Oliver: “What about this don’t you understand?”
Roland: “Toot toot toot!”
[this has been a production of Dirtbag Song of Roland]
(having its origin in my sketch of 4 plots, here:
Modern: Misfit –> Hero
Hagiography: Hero –> Misfit
Chivalry: Hero –> Misfit –> Hero (“Misfit” optional)
Song of Roland: Hero –> Asshole –> Martyr
inspired by Grant Snider’s excellent Conflict in Literature comic)
At a party the other night, I was chatting with another medievalist, on her way–among other places–to Yorkshire for a walking tour. I highly recommended the misericordia at Beverley Cathedral.
By “highly recommended,” I mean I gushed; I gesticulated; I may have mimed crawling about on my hands and knees when I promised her that, if she explained to the cathedral staff that she was a medievalist, they’d let her, yes, crawl about on hands and knees to take close-up pictures of the misericordia.
I may have asked her to hold my beer while I did all this. That, at least, I can assure you I didn’t do, but because God takes special care of his fools. But everything else, yes, in thunder.
Misinterpreting her impassive but polite attentiveness as incomprehension, I explained misercordia to this specialist in fifteenth-century Middle English. “It’s a bunch of pigs playing bagpipes, mostly, but it’s totally relevant to your work!”
Imagine explaining cider to a Norman or pickup trucks to Toby Keith. Imagine doing that if, in in fact, the pickup truck is really, actually a motorized banana, because the misericordia (if you’re not hypercorrecting, misericords!) I meant aren’t at Beverley, but at Ripon (pictured here, on line, and above; Beverley’s are here). Ass!
Let all this be a lesson to you, because lord knows I won’t heed it.
(with all due respect to John Hodgman’s Elemental Hockeys)
Finally, the medieval vernacular translation of the Bible by ANTICHRIST that we’ve all been awaiting. With assistance, no surprise, from the Saracens.
From here. BnF fr. 6447. The Chronicles, History of the Bible, Lives of the Saints, and Sermons of…Maurice de Sully. Not Antichrist.
Cf. Bible Errata, particularly for the King James Version, eg, Psalm 14:1, “the fool hath said in his heart there is a God”