Along similar lines to my earlier post about modern medieval studies, here is Dorothy Kim guest-blogging at In the Middle:

article here

This site stands united with all anti-fascists, anti-white supremacists, and anti-anybody else attempting to base their hateful ideology in my Middle Ages (be it racist, theocratic, sexist, homo- or transphobic, ableist, or otherwise). We are not your safe space, Nazis and fundamentalists. History itself stands against you and your dark intentions.


  • I bet its hard to properly translate well much of anything through the smoke of all the flags you burn. And a mass of screaming reds in need of a good bath I would imagine would make it hard to concentrate. In truth, all the leftist nonsense in academia these days bastardizes a proper view; which is that the people who wrote and compiled this verse, as well as its audience, wouldnt have the first clue about all your political garbage, and would correctly view this sort of mindset as disturbed and læce the fuck out of you.

    At the same time, all the rabid neo-nazism would most likely have gotten at the least a very puzzled look but when you use terms like “ableist”, “homophobic/transphobic”, “sexist”, or “theocratic” in your rant; all you succeed in doing is showing that you dont have the first real clue about medieval societies. Cause, you know, Ælfred wrote soooo many narratives supporting homo rights and fucking bathroom choice. Politics and personal issues of ANY stripe should never, ever, EVER, find their way into translation or interpretive commentary.

    On a side note, I was extremely pleased to see the note about prots trying to view medieval Catholic thought and structures in Anglo-Saxon poetics as giving validation to whatever nonsense protestants use to flesh out their religion. Theological fruitcakeism in literary interpretation, like fringe political fruitcakeism, wrecks not just the beauty of the verse but ruins any true sense of meaning.

    Wes ðu hæl,


    • I don’t usually approve rants, positive or negative, but I’ll reply to this one. It’s real simple: politics are pervasive, they apply to everything “political animals” (as Aristotle defined us) do or think or write, from the earliest times to now. That you feel they should not be “allowed” to is pure privilege on your part, a product of an aesthetic and political theory in itself, and has the effect of lopping off the legs of whatever these poems can mean. You cite Ælfric as a counter-example — infelicitous choice sir. Everything he wrote had some political slant to them. That you can’t see it doesn’t really concern me — you can look at his homilies when I get done translating them.

      Furthermore, who decides on a poem’s “true sense of meaning”? You and I have no ability to make such claims, since we are not time-travellers. The poets are long dead, their control over their work incomplete and imperfect at best. Those kind of claims are so wrongly intended, based in class and educational privilege, and long past the point of being even unfashionable. The reaction to New Criticism (back in the 1930s) has made the very thought ludicrous. Being open to new ideas, politically, socially, culturally, gives the old words new possibilities in their range of acceptable meaning. But that you assume you know that my personal political commitments have influenced my translation of these poems shows that you are prey to every bad thing ever said about a liberal university professor (Fox News garbage, honestly), and that you have read very little of what’s going on in these pages. I invite you to do so. Compare with the originals if you have some Old English. Look at other translations if you want. The translations themselves are accurate, and you confuse their use with their creation. I use the Middles Ages to fight hate. You don’t think that’s right — that’s your bag, man. I’m not interested in hearing about your virtue in doing it your way.

      Kneejerk reaction is just that, unthinking, not considered, a stimulus out of whatever’s going on inside you. I can’t make assumptions about who you are or what your intentions really are in responding the way that you have, but in my experience, a scalded dog yelps. That’s all I got to say about that.

      That you can only see our political questions (and distorted reflections of them at that) as possible in previous times shows a real lack of imagination on your part. Did I say that ancient people did politics my way? That they had the same questions and problems as us? Never — that’s your prejudice speaking. Have I said numerous times that bad actors are using the Middle Ages to endorse their hateful worldviews? Yes, and that was all. You filled in the rest, and discourteously so. Let me just close by asking you firmly and politely, if you want to come here and leave comments on my site, that you do so with some decorum and friendliness. This is not some freaking subreddit for you spam with nastiness. Do not abuse my guests with your superiority complex, whoever you really are. If you have knowledge to share that’s fine. Provide some evidence for your counter-claims and engage. We are about teaching here, not pedantry. Learn the difference or go away.

      PS — “homo rights”? Please, what are you six years old? Hell, a six year old has more maturity than that.

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