I found this the other day, and it satisfies something for me --
thought I'd share:
It's from the last chapter of Jeffery L. Singman's "Daily Life in
Medieval Europe" recently republished as part of the Greenwood
Press "Daily Life Through History. This last chapter talks about how
people in the Middle Ages thought about their existence -- their
concepts of time, geography, etc. On pp 224-225 he says:
"The medieval approach to space and time was in part a reflection of
the limited role of the written word...[this] accounts for some of
the characteristic features of medieval culture. In the oral world of
the Middle Ages, things, not concepts, were the points of reference.
Abstractions are not inherently memorable; they thrive principally in
a literate culture, where they can be committed to the memory of the
page. The culture of the medieval world focused instead on what would
be seen, felt, heard, and therefore remembered without the aid of the
written word.[...]This emphasis on the concrete pervaded medieval
society. A villager's community was not so much an abstract political
entity as a network of relationships connecting visible people and
places [...]This reliance on a network of relationships among
concrete points of reference made the world of medieval people at
once simpler and more complex than our own [...]"
[I'm crunching two pages into one paragraph here -- if you can get
your hands on the book, read the whole chapter]
"The emphasis on the concrete in the medieval world [...] are
doubtless a large part of what attracts us to the period. Underneath
our veneer of literacy, we are still a tribal species,[..] we still
have a deep-seated craving for rituals, relationships, and symbols.
[...]In the lives of medieval people we see a unity that we miss in
I know the more I work with computers, lord love their little
electronic guts, the more I want to work with something REAL.
Creating authentic things for SCA satisfies that for me somehow.
What do others here think?
Thanks for listening, Gillian