Download e-book for kindle: Constructing Chaucer: Author and Autofiction in the Critical by Geoffrey W. Gust (auth.)

By Geoffrey W. Gust (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230621619

ISBN-13: 9780230621619

ISBN-10: 1349537128

ISBN-13: 9781349537129

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Additional info for Constructing Chaucer: Author and Autofiction in the Critical Tradition

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His primary argument is that Chaucer’s voice is reduced to parity with other voices in his poetry—ultimately, the audience is not left with a speaker, but a tone. As Lawton explains, “this tone is not single or unitary. 146 Despite this view, Lawton does cite the persona-construct throughout his study (describing “open” and “closed” personae), but simply does not favor the term itself, as is seen in his discussion of Troilus and Criseyde’s complex narrator: It is unclear to what extent one may justifiably talk of a narratorial persona at all: unexpectedly, Chaucer retains a closed figure of some complexity, and makes it seem open, virtually transparent.

133 In recent years, the autobiographical inclination exemplified by Howard’s essay has been tempered significantly; for in the wake of “Chaucer the Pilgrim,” it is now more common to find discussion of Chaucer’s narrative detachment, rather than the kind of attachment adhered to by Howard. A belief in narrative detachment is variously manifest, but perhaps is most famously—and controversially—found in Chaucer’s supposedly ironic textual positioning and play. 136 Another important, controversial issue that has resulted from perceived narrative detachment is that some Chaucerians have used this sundering as a way to absolve the poet of responsibility for certain distasteful content; meanwhile, others have taken the opposite view and held the author culpable for questionable material in a manner reminiscent of the disputants of the querelle de la Rose.

It was also during these periods that Chaucer’s critical legacy extensively changed and grew, with the poet’s “I” read in an ever-widening variety of ways. The remaining chapters of this study examine these diverse interpretations of Chaucer’s personae, and thus to lay the groundwork for those discussions it is imperative that the picture of persona-theory and its historical development is completed. ” 99 There is no doubt that personae continued to be used and manipulated often during the Renaissance, but it does appear that the persona-construct was not as widely theorized in comparison to the extensive scholarly discussions of the Middle Ages.

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Constructing Chaucer: Author and Autofiction in the Critical Tradition by Geoffrey W. Gust (auth.)


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