A wonderful first day at the annual Bookends post graduate conference here in UCC.
A very interesting day, concluding with a great plenary from Dr Leonard Madden.
The title of his talk was “The Deviant Book: Reading, Temptation, and Carnality.
Talk based uponThe Divine Comedy, InfernoCano V.
The poetics of doubling, the binary between Francesca and the Virgin Mary and the legend of Narcissus are all being discussed.
Madden suggests that through the action of bending over the text (likely to be the tale of Lancelot), Francesca enacts the role of Narcissus as he falls in love with his own image in the pool. She also positions herself as text, (because she falls in love with the idea of herself as a Queen Guinevere figure) and therefore sets up the idea that her companion is both her auditor and reader.
Madden ends with a warning to us all- be careful what, and how, we read!