Folklore Mythology

Download Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect by Herman Pleij PDF

By Herman Pleij

Think a dreamland the place roasted pigs wander approximately with knives of their backs to make carving effortless, the place grilled ducks fly without delay into one's mouth, the place cooked fish bounce out of the water and land at one's toes. the elements is usually light, the wine flows freely, intercourse is instantly on hand, and every person take pleasure in everlasting youth.

Such is Cockaigne. Portrayed in legend, oral heritage, and artwork, this imaginary land turned the main pervasive collective dream of medieval times-an earthly paradise that served to counter the discomfort and frustration of day-by-day lifestyles and to allay anxieties approximately an more and more elusive heavenly paradise.

Illustrated with amazing art from the center a long time, Herman Pleij's Dreaming of Cockaigne is a lively account of this misplaced paradise and the area that introduced it to existence. Pleij takes 3 vital texts as his beginning issues for an encouraged of the landscape of rules, desires, well known faith, and literary and creative construction found in the overdue heart a long time. What emerges is a well-defined photo of the period, provided with a wealth of element from all of Europe, in addition to Asia and America.

Pleij attracts upon his thorough wisdom of medieval ecu literature, artwork, background, and folklore to explain the fantasies that fed the stories of Cockaigne and their connections to the important obsessions of medieval existence.

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A certain Walter said mass and delivered a sermon, after which a bacchanal erupted in the darkness, full of song, dance, and sexual diversions. According to the reporter, the Austrian abbot John of Viktring, the participants claimed to approach in this way the condition of Adam and Eve in paradise. Walter called himself Christ and introduced to the assembly a beautiful virgin who passed herself off as Mary. At the same time he proclaimed that all suffering was unnecessary in the light of the proper path to pleasure on earth.

Roast chickens, in any case, are not much valued there, for people simply throw them over the fence. Pigs thrive to such an extent that they walk around in the fields already roasted, with a knife stuck in their  back. If one feels like taking a bite, one can straightaway slice off a piece of meat and stick the knife back in again. And there are just as many gooseberries lying around on the ground as stones. Furthermore, farmers and farmworkers grow everywhere on trees, just like plums do in this country.

Such exercises in spiritual pleasure also allowed one to keep earthly evil at a safe distance. All the same, the devil was not so easily put off. One of his undisputed talents was his ability to delude the senses, which he confounded from the inside out, as it were, conjuring up magnificent visions of virtual Edens that unsuspecting individuals thought they could not only see but also hear, feel, smell, and even taste. The important thing was therefore to focus firmly on God sitting on His throne in the middle of the heavenly paradise, for the devil was powerless to summon up the form of the Creator himself.

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