Summary and Info
If ours is a cultural moment intensely fascinated with enclosed space--the cubicles of our workplaces, the confessionals of our churches, the bedrooms of reality television, and all the various closets we come out of and retreat into--our fascination isn't entirely new. This book argues that the religious literature of the late Middle Ages articulates with great subtlety and vividness the extent to which all being is to some extent enclosed being. In other words, we're all in the closet, and that might be a good thing. Through extended readings of English, French, and Italian writers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Claustrophilia shows that medieval enclosures actually make room for desires and communities that a poetics of pure openness would exclude. When God holds and confines, revelation is in the boundaries and not beyond them. Accordingly, this book says, love your closet; it is only through what holds and defines us that we can know and love the world.