Medieval Literature

by Yussi Pick

It’s not that no one told me that would happen: I kept the worst exam for the last minute: Literature of the Middle Ages. As always when I’m procrastinating, I come up with reasons, why the subject I’m suppost to study is not worth studying and has no right to exist what so ever. I never had as many reasons, why this class should be banished from the curriculum. The Top 5:

a) It’s not a science, It’s a believe

In Literature of the Middle Ages you don’t study facts, you study assumptions. Every Professor teaches different assumptions. One prof teaches that Gottfried didn’t finish Tristan, becaue he died. The other one claims that he took a break for reasons unknown and died years after he stoped writing. One prof says that Ottfried (1) didn’t actually state his name in *fill in text here*, the textbook says he did. This goes on and on.

b) It’s all built up on one guys assumption

Karl Lachmann constructed his theory in the 19th century. Everyone works off of his thinking.

c) It brings back puberty angst

Remember Latin? The language where you could actually translate every word (with a little help) and the sentence still didn’t make any sense? Well think of how frustrating that was and then imagine having words in front of you that seem to be your language.

d) It’s religiously discriminating.

I am a poor heathan boy. I don’t know what the first commandment is (until someone reminded me that it’s the first things Bartlet says in the West Wing Pilot) and I really don’t care that much (until, you know…). But in medieval literature everything is about the first commandment (which is not, btw: you shall not cheat on your wife – if that even is one) or any other commandment. Not knowing anything about Christianity is a huge disadvantage.

e) Just because it’s old, it isn’t good

No one would ever think of academically working on a poem that solely rymes bread and dead. But when it’s old, everything is forgotten and we pretend that its really important literature.

Rant over. 11 days to go.

(1) Might not be Ottfried but another guy.