I’m delighted to announce that my short article, “Number Symbolism in Pearl: Lines 720-721,” has been accepted at Studia Neophilologica. I’ll be sure to post the essay once it’s published; in the meantime, here is the abstract:
Concatenation is one of the hallmarks of the intricately wrought dream vision Pearl. However, in the transition from Section XII to XIII (lines 720–721), this structuring device fails. While several scholars have attempted to explain this breakdown of formal integrity, few have considered its numeric resonances. The crux at lines 720–721 can be read as an intensification of the symbolic numbers twelve and five. Drawing on biblical and patristic sources, medieval number theory, and critical discussions of Pearl’s structuring principles, I argue that the displacement of the link-word ryȝt by the name of Iesus is not a mere instance of carelessness on the part of author or scribe but a considered and carefully constructed comment on the distinction between the mundane and celestial planes.