Early medieval literature shows little interest in emotions, let alone in the somatic signs translating them. Nevertheless, despite their relative scarcity in the texts, these somatic gestures do play a major part in the making of social relationships and in power negotiations. This article will examine their threefold function. Some of them, escaping control, such as blushing, are lapsus corporis, revealing a shameful inwardness. Others, ritualized and normative, are similar to emotional performance in the Goffmanian tradition. At last, certain smiles or tears possess a performative effect changing social relationships and establishing a new balance of power between speakers.
|Translated title of the contribution||Between lapsus corporis and performance: the functions of somatic gestures in the expression of emotions in the early Middle Ages literature|
|Number of pages||15|
|State||Published - 2011|