Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Monday, May 4, 2015

#OldEnglishDevil or How I Ended Up with an Unexpected #DevilDiss Chapter

Yesterday as I ended almost a week of battle with my seminar paper on the Anglo-Saxon devil I realized that I had unwittingly written chapter one of #DevilDiss. I had always intended to put the Anglo-Saxon bits into the dissertation but my original thought was to insert them into the current survey chapters.

But as I worked on final revisions yesterday I realized that instead it had to become chapter one. It needed to be chapter one because while the Anglo-Saxon devil can be seen as emerging, and has several key elements of the English folkloric devil, there are also some pretty radical changes that occur post Norman Conquest, making that a logical break.

The other was that at thirty plus pages, I wrote this paper as a dissertation chapter, and it needs little framing to be the first chapter. Starting with this allows me to introduce a lot of the subtopics the rest of the dissertation covers and address some core issues in an organic manner.

Today and tomorrow I have to work on some final edits of the Milton chapter, article version, which is due by tomorrow, and will just need some framing added this summer to throughline it with the larger dissertation.
But the bigger deal I realized this morning as I sat to write this was that with the Anglo-Saxon chapter, the Milton chapter, and one survey chapter done, and the other survey chapter mostly done, the dissertation is now more than halfway finished. That's a milestone that crept up on me. But I am happy to celebrate it. Or rather I would be happy to celebrate if I didn't need to finish the Milton revisions and then finish adding the secondary scholarship to the other survey chapter.

Below is the current table of contents with hyperlinked chapter drafts.

“Pondering his voyage”: The Popular and Folkloric Origins of the English Devil from the Anglo-Saxons Up Through Paradise Lost

  1. Introduction
  2. The Foundation
      1. Darkness
      2. Spirit
      3. Shapeshifting
      4. Monstrosity
      5. Monsters and their Landscape
      6. What’s in a name?
      7. Sorrow as Motivation
      8. Other personality traits
      9. Counter
      10. Jews
  3. The Devil You Know: The English Folkloric Devil Post Norman Conquest
      1. Merlin tradition (animals, monstrous, shapeshifting, magic, parliament)
      2. Dogs
      3. Shapeshifting
      4. Back/Throttling
      5. Names
      6. Not an angel
      1. Sorrow
      2. Pride
      3. Adversary
      4. Rebellion and mimicking power structure
      5. Counter authority
      6. Tempter
      7. Pact
  4. Full of the Devil
    1. Chapter Four ““Hell is empty”: The Absence of Devil in Shakespeare”
    2. Chapter Five “Raise the Devil: The Devil’s Polemic Use in 16th and 17th Century Pamphlets”
      1. Milton’s prose tracts
      1. Satan’s character
      2. Rebellion
      3. Disobedience
      4. Fractured Folk During the War
      5. Adam and Eve
    3. Conclusion

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