Illustrations and annotation in the margins of manuscripts can offer unique insights into the medieval reading experience. This article explores how Douai, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 373, a manuscript containing Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermones super Cantica canticorum, produced and read in late medieval England, facilitates and reflects a performative mode of reading. While a movement from reading to bodily performance is suggested, this article argues that the opposite movement is also encouraged, as part of a nonlinear mode of reading in which images function both as a starting point and as a point of return for devotional practice.
Reading experience, devotional practice, marginal illustrations, performativity, habitus, bridal mysticism, monastic theology
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