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Seeing Red: Reading Rubrication in Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201’s Piers Plowman

Seeing Red: Reading Rubrication in Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201’s Piers Plowman Seeing Red: Reading Rubrication in Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201's Piers Plowman noelle phillips Modern editions of medieval texts, with their cleanness and clarity, offer ease in reading yet often eliminate the interpretive signposts that would have guided the medieval reader: capitals, parafs, large rubrics, and smaller secondary rubrication. Because traditional editions do not (and, practically speaking, cannot) reproduce such features, these visual reading cues tend to remain invisible to us even when we are given the opportunity to see the page in its entirety. Rubrication is one of these visual cues. Most manuscripts that contain rubrication include two types: large red lettering used for Latin and textual divisions, and smaller red-ink touches on the regular ink. In this article I use "rubric" for the former and "rubrication" or "secondary rubrication" for the latter. Secondary rubrication includes dots, dashes, and underlining, all of which could be done quickly and without much pre-planning or expertise. Rubrication is one of the ways in which scribes structured the page; it may seem minor, but it can tell us a great deal about the scribe's own interpretive framework. In addition to rubrication's aesthetic pleasure--the visual alleviation it provides on a page http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Chaucer Review Penn State University Press

Seeing Red: Reading Rubrication in Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201’s Piers Plowman

The Chaucer Review , Volume 47 (4) – Apr 5, 2013

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1528-4204
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Abstract

Seeing Red: Reading Rubrication in Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 201's Piers Plowman noelle phillips Modern editions of medieval texts, with their cleanness and clarity, offer ease in reading yet often eliminate the interpretive signposts that would have guided the medieval reader: capitals, parafs, large rubrics, and smaller secondary rubrication. Because traditional editions do not (and, practically speaking, cannot) reproduce such features, these visual reading cues tend to remain invisible to us even when we are given the opportunity to see the page in its entirety. Rubrication is one of these visual cues. Most manuscripts that contain rubrication include two types: large red lettering used for Latin and textual divisions, and smaller red-ink touches on the regular ink. In this article I use "rubric" for the former and "rubrication" or "secondary rubrication" for the latter. Secondary rubrication includes dots, dashes, and underlining, all of which could be done quickly and without much pre-planning or expertise. Rubrication is one of the ways in which scribes structured the page; it may seem minor, but it can tell us a great deal about the scribe's own interpretive framework. In addition to rubrication's aesthetic pleasure--the visual alleviation it provides on a page

Journal

The Chaucer ReviewPenn State University Press

Published: Apr 5, 2013

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