The Medieval Heart


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Heather Webb

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Drawing from the works of Dante, Catherine of Siena, Boccaccio, Aquinas, and Cavalcanti and other literary, philosophic, and scientific texts, Heather Webb studies medieval notions of the heart to explore the “lost circulations” of an era when individual lives and bodies were defined by their extensions into the world rather than as self-perpetuating, self-limited entities.

Heather Webb is Associate Professor of Italian, Department of French and Italian, at The Ohio State University. She lives in Columbus, OH.

"This elegant and erudite book gets to the heart of medieval conceptions of everything from poetry to science, theology, and politics. The originality of the argument, the brilliance of its conception, and its almost unique status will make this a must-read in Dante studies."—Giuseppe Mazzotta, Yale University

“By illuminating medieval conceptions of the relationship between body and soul, Webb shows us how medieval thinkers understood life. Her approach is original, her execution both innovative and exciting.”—Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, University of Pittsburgh

“Erudite, lucid, and profoundly original.”—Choice

"Throughout, Webb's readings are astute and sensitive; she manages to say something new about well-known texts and to convince the reader that many noncanonical but fascinating writings deserve close attention. Erudite, lucid, and profoundly original, this admirable interdisciplinary study will be invaluable to those interested in medieval studies."—S. Botterill, CHOICE

“….This beautiful book depicts an older, but not obsolete, alternative to the solitude and impenetrability of the modern self: the radically dialogical, shared, and permeable medieval heart.”—Elena Lombardi, Modern Language Review Vol.196 Part.4

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 in the Humanities category

Winner of the 2010 American Association for Italian Studies Book Prize
ISBN: 9780300153934
Publication Date: March 23, 2010
256 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4