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Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain (review)

Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain (review) Book Reviews knowledge bolstered by the authority of office, expertise and literacy. In such a society "embedded" parish priests "knew, were in a position to know and were trusted to know." They were called as witnesses, a role which gave them power over the lives and fates of others. We see those on the receiving end of power, and we confront questions about the power of witness. The sex worker, for example, has the knowledge to testify on impotence, but little or no authority. Goldberg stimulates us to scrutinize power's monolith, to consider degrees, mutual reinforcements and underminings of power. Section 3's "Power of words" means, in most cases, the "Power of texts." In Brunsch's Italian courts, authoritative documents settled pleas; age lent authority as did the status of the issuer. Duggan sees the essence of the power of the written word as its permanence and durability, and thus its reliability--though ironically in her case, in relation to a forgery which draws on that authority. Documents were themselves part of the process of power--in Duggan's case, of Anglo-Irish relations in which a "convenient fiction" which suited the interests of all sides replaced genuine documents. We should not lose http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JEGP, Journal of English and Germanic Philology University of Illinois Press

Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain (review)

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-662X
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Abstract

Book Reviews knowledge bolstered by the authority of office, expertise and literacy. In such a society "embedded" parish priests "knew, were in a position to know and were trusted to know." They were called as witnesses, a role which gave them power over the lives and fates of others. We see those on the receiving end of power, and we confront questions about the power of witness. The sex worker, for example, has the knowledge to testify on impotence, but little or no authority. Goldberg stimulates us to scrutinize power's monolith, to consider degrees, mutual reinforcements and underminings of power. Section 3's "Power of words" means, in most cases, the "Power of texts." In Brunsch's Italian courts, authoritative documents settled pleas; age lent authority as did the status of the issuer. Duggan sees the essence of the power of the written word as its permanence and durability, and thus its reliability--though ironically in her case, in relation to a forgery which draws on that authority. Documents were themselves part of the process of power--in Duggan's case, of Anglo-Irish relations in which a "convenient fiction" which suited the interests of all sides replaced genuine documents. We should not lose

Journal

JEGP, Journal of English and Germanic PhilologyUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Mar 30, 2011

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