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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

A prophecy prompts Margery in The Book of Margery Kempe to visit the grave of her confessor Richard Caister in Norwich. Her extreme devotional style, thrusting her into the immediate reality of the divine now, contrasts with the dry chronological and institutional timekeeping of a priest there. This article examines the clash of temporalities involving Margery Kempe: in her narrative world, Margery inhabits a time zone different from the people around her. It describes Margery’s experience before the pietà in Norwich in the context of history and time, past and present, analyzing mysticism’s problematization of the body in time and exploring the potentials of multiple temporalities of queerness. It discusses the realm of queer history, with Margery Kempe, her first modern editor Hope Emily Allen, and the author as its subjects.

Keywords: The Book of Margery Kempe, Richard Caister, temporalities, history, time, mysticism, queerness, queer history, Margery Kempe, Hope Emily Allen

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