The Heart : Reading And Writing The Medieval Subject

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In “The Book of the Heart: Reading and Writing the Medieval Subject”, written by Eric Jager, he states that in the world of visual art in the medieval era, “book of the heart” was a commonly used image. Mr. Jager point out the different trends the term “book of the heart” goes through. Focusing on how the term went from literal to a commonly used figurative phrase, he tries to show how a frequently used term made such an impact on the past and the present. Using medieval art, literature, and other authors’ works, he analyzes the use of hearts and books, to show how the term takes on different trends. Jager examines the significance of the heart and how it was looked at as a book, and then uses art and literature to corroborate his idea. Jager’s work is an interpretive work that reflects history of the use of language as a trope. Using a book by Ernst Robert Curtius, he shows how the heart was used as a trope, but was deeply imbedded in interior writing that went back to ancient times. Also, to use more recent work, Jager quotes Jacques Derrida, when he said “a history of this metaphor had yet to be written”. Linking the trope with a platonic standpoint, I was reminded of St. Augustine. Jager, in a brief description, says that hearts and books were things, which symbolized different signs. The things were the hearts and books, while the sign was that the hearts and books represented a concept of knowledge, truth, and totality. Starting out, the heart was the central part of
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