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NCCR Mediality

Die Nationalen Forschungsschwerpunkte (NFS) sind ein Förderungsmittel des Schweizerischen Nationalfonds.
Y. Implosion
Y.3. Immediazations of forms. Border cases of Christian aesthetics

This project reconstructs the paradoxical dynamics of an ostentative immediatisation of form in the late Middle Ages. The focus is on the specific interference of religious and literary modes of speaking, on texts that might be considered border cases of Christian aesthetics, as they intertwine religious and aesthetic language in a specific way.
Narrative saints’ lives occupy a position which fluctuates between cult and art challenging their claim to be a devout and unpretentious ‘simple form’. In particular late medieval narrative saints’ lives go beyond the limits of the established language of literature (”lingua sacra“), i.e. beyond the specific characteristics of genres (vita, novels, lyrics), feudal and clerical traditions, and they go beyond stylistic and narrative conventions in their paradoxical ”simple complexity“, overthrowing the basic function of saintly adoration. The ‘simple form’ emphasises medial differences all the more and - in doing so - paradoxically eradicates them by disguising them.