Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald
rfmcdpei

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[BRIEF NOTE] On Hagiography

I admit to being confused by the tendency to to accept a hagiography as a person's legitimate post-mortem biography, to suspend normal critical faculties and claim that everything was good with this person. Yes, it's true that with the medieval genre of hagiography, we get to learn about such interesting characters as Margery Kempe. What medievalist, I wonder, wouldn't like to have a fully professional autobiography of her Kempe to stand by her hagiography, something capable of exploring the implausibilities and gaps in her narrative and giving us an idea of what her personality was actually like? An uncritical acceptance of hagiography kills biography.
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