Construing the scene in Julian of Norwich’s “A Revelation of Love”
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego
Julian of Norwich’s “A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman” and “A Revelation of Love” are texts which present two accounts (short and long, respectively) of her mystical experience. Julian was an anchoress whose work is known for its vivid imagery and bodily resonance it provokes in the reader. New research on Julian’s work has focused scholarly attention on the significance of embodied cognition for the exploration of the mystic’s writing. The present paper identifies a gap in this research in that cognitive-linguistic aspects of the anchoress’s text are still largely ignored. The article discusses the connection between perception and cognition and its potential role in structuring Julian’s longer text, “A Revelation of Love”. The Cognitive Linguistic analysis focuses on selected excerpts from the long version portraying scenes from Julian’s visions, where visualisation is particularly significant for meaning construction. Providing a link between recent findings from cognitive science and current cognitively-oriented studies of Julian’s texts, the paper draws on the concept of construal pertinent to the fact that the language user may conceive and present some conceptual content (an apprehended scene) in alternate ways. The Cognitive Linguistic investigation connects Julian’s work to the visual and material culture of her day, revealing how the mystic transforms the familiar imagery into vivid, dynamically unfolding images. It is concluded that cognitively-informed research is likely to shed new light onto long-standing issues in scholarship on Julian, particularly those that concern the interplay of language, culture and cognition.
Cognitive Grammar , construal , embodied cognition , Julian of Norwich
Studia Anglica Resoviensia T. 18 (2021), s. 62–74