Animate Ivory: Animality, Materiality, and Pygmalion’s Statue

mccracken

Ovid’s Pygmalion story brings together craft, creation, and animation in the metamorphosis of an ivory statue into an ivory-white woman. Moving among several medieval translations of Ovid’s story, and focusing primarily on the adaptations in the thirteenth-century Romance of the Rose and the fourteenth-century Ovide moralisé, I investigate the animation of the ivory statue in order to question the values of animacy in relation to human being and animal death, and in relation to Christian salvation.

 

Oxford Medieval Studies
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