Stimmen schreibender Frauen in der Mystik des 15. Jahrhunderts: Der Fall Anna Eybins

Translated title of the contribution: Voices of writing women in fifteenth century mysticism: The case of Anna Eybin

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The general rule for female writers of late medieval German manuscripts is that they hardly ever make themselves heard, or so it seems. Occasionally, however, we are lucky enough to encounter a manuscript or parts of a manuscript that can be definitively attributed to a female scribe. In this essay, I discuss one such case. Anna Eybin, who wrote and produced <many books> (according to her sisters in the reformed Augustinian convent near Nuremberg), which are witness to her written <multi-vocality>. She signs her name in two different compilations that circulated among Southern German observant religious houses in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Taking into account the exchange of texts between different observant religious houses, the investigation shows that on different levels Eybin's work can be understood as part of a conversation between several voices. Further, analyzing the shared texts in these compilations, in particular the mystical dialogue known as the Sister Catherine-Treatise, allows us the unusual opportunity to witness a female scribe in action and thus to mark and isolate a specific voice of a female author. That is, Eybin not only reproduces texts, but also, between one manuscript and the next, edits and improves them. Although Eybin's changes to the text are subtle, they nevertheless suggest the presence of a (veiled) female authorial voice. This analysis then leads to a reconsideration of what it means to be an author for women in this context.

Translated title of the contributionVoices of writing women in fifteenth century mysticism: The case of Anna Eybin
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)104-121
Number of pages18
JournalZeitschrift fur Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik
Issue number171
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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