The Idea of Medieval Literature: Essays on Chaucer and Medieval Culture in Honor of Donald R.Howard

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9780874134407: The Idea of Medieval Literature: Essays on Chaucer and Medieval Culture in Honor of Donald R.Howard
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The essays collected in this volume are by colleagues and students of Donald R. Howard - all noted authorities on Geoffrey Chaucer and late medieval English literature. The essay subjects range from a study of Chaucer's Edwardian period to the writings of Margery of Kempe.
Alfred David begins the section on Chaucer's culture with an exploration of Chaucer's earliest poetry, linking it with the culture of Edward III's reign. Lee Patterson analyzes Chaucer's several ventures into the complaint form, showing the interconnections between and among complaint, lyric, and narrative. Glending Olson treats the Canterbury Tales as a game, with games and gamemanship as normative rather than extraneous, while Sherron E. Knopp examines the relations between Augustinian poetic theory and Chaucer's use of the imagination of the Book of the Duchess. R. W. Hanning assesses the role of "pryvetee," or privacy, in Chaucer's poetics.
In the section devoted to Chaucer and his writings, Paul Strohm studies the ideological language of historical documents that harmonize especially well with Chaucer's short poem Lak of Stedfastnesse. John M. Fyler traces the influence of the House of Fame on Alexander Pope's writings. Florence H. Ridley offers a comprehensive history of criticism of the Friar's Tale. Ralph Hanna III examines affiliations between and among important manuscript groupings of Troilus and Criseyde, while Karla Taylor evaluates the significance of the Merchant as a "reticent" storyteller.
John M. Ganim begins the third section, Medieval Culture and Society, with an evaluation of the Annales school and its importance for the study of medieval culture and literature. Anne Middleton scrutinizes the meaning and significance of Langland's "life" as it is represented in and through Piers Plowman. Thomas Moser analyzes the interpretive context of a short Middle English lyric on "inordinate love" from Copenhagen Thott 110. Sue Ellen Holbrook argues against previous biographical and psychological readings of The Boke of Margery Kempe, while George H. Brown discusses the use and abuse of Scripture by medieval writers. Finally, Steven F. Kruger treats the issue of the bodies of Jews, including bodily injury, in the Prioress's Tale and the Play of the Sacrament.

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