A Medieval Open Work the First Meditation of Guigo II

Rafael Simian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Guigo II is commonly known and praised among specialists of Western mysticism for his Scala claustralium, a work that presents a spiritual program for cloistered monks. His Meditations, on the other hand, have usually been relegated to the margin of attention. The First Meditation, in particular, is generally regarded as a minor piece. The paper argues, however, that a new approach can make better sense of the First Meditation, while also enabling us to recognize its specific function and value. Seen from this new perspective, Guigo's purpose with the text is to train and exercise his readers' minds according to the spiritual program laid out in the Scala. The paper shows that the First Meditation realizes that goal, surprisingly, by having the same essential features that Umberto Eco found in the 'open works' of the Western avant-garde.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-265
Number of pages38
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Brill Fink, 2021.


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