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Rebecca Jagoe

A reading list related to Rebecca Jagoe's new commission Shiten Mouth Ful of Tordes.

Rebecca Jagoe’s practice examines how within European culture, the notion of femininity has historically been shaped at the meeting point of medical discourse and fashion aesthetics. Spanning sculpture, performance, text and drawing, their practice is project-based, and often rooted in one aspect of their own neurodiversity or experiences of mental or physical illness. They have recently shown work at CCA Goldsmiths and Jupiter Woods; their writing has recently been published in The Happy Hypocrite; and after co-editing the anthology ON VIOLENCE with Sharon Kivland, they are currently editing the forthcoming ON CARE together.

The version I have of this book, edited by Francis Young, is a parallel text with the middle English in one column and the contemporary English alongside. You may have noticed I’m kind of obsessed with parallel translation texts, even though most of the time they are in Latin or Old French or Ancient Greek and I speak not these languages, but somehow their presence feels important, as though I am closer to the author. But this is middle English, which is more easily discernible, and I am trying to learn fluently right now, so, yes friends, all the thorns and yoghs abounding, really I think this may be my favourite book in here, or, hmm ok it’s joint with Albertus Magnus. It draws a lot on Isidore of Sevile also, which ach, should I add that book to the list, this list is getting ridiculously long. Ok fine it’s going on here, Isidore of Sevile, Etymologies, very good lapidary text. But anyway, back to the Peterborough lapidary, it’s organised alphabetically by stone. Like a more exhaustive Albertus Magnus, but it’s much more rooted in medicinal cures, whereas Magnus is more to do with stones and fate and the wider world, with some reference to interior health. So in The Peterborough lapidary, for example, the entry for Beryl reads that "he allows a man to bear suffering. Also he gives good understanding, and is good against the sickness of the liver, and also against retching and vomiting. All of the stones are gendered, interestingly, and gendered as male. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it is interesting and not incidental."

The Peterborough Lapidary 

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