Chaucer: Contemporary Approaches

Chaucer: Contemporary Approaches

by Susanna Fein
     
 

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Chaucer was an extraordinary writer who expressed the tenor of his times with ingenious verbal facility and a profound sympathy for the human condition. Like his original work, the ongoing study of his life, writings, and culture reflects the questions, conversations, and scholarly approaches of contemporary society. A renaissance of sorts in Chaucer studies has

Overview

Chaucer was an extraordinary writer who expressed the tenor of his times with ingenious verbal facility and a profound sympathy for the human condition. Like his original work, the ongoing study of his life, writings, and culture reflects the questions, conversations, and scholarly approaches of contemporary society. A renaissance of sorts in Chaucer studies has been flourishing in recent years, led by the scholars represented in this volume. They continue to chart a course for the next generation of work on Chaucer and medieval English literary studies.

Susanna Fein and David Raybin, editors of The Chaucer Review, have organized this volume to showcase those strands of inquiry and perspectives that are yielding exhilarating new slants on the poetic records of the Middle Ages. By combining twenty-first-century theoretical orientations and material perspectives, each of the twelve essays here adds contemporary relevance to our reading of Chaucer while remaining strongly grounded in his critical legacy. Using these methods to explore Chaucer's relationship to place, his contemporary sociolinguistic environment, and issues of humor, gender, and literary and political forces in his works, Chaucer: Contemporary Approaches not only presents experienced and budding scholars alike with an overview of modern approaches, but also provides a blueprint for Chaucer studies into the future.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The book is neither intended nor suitable for beginners, and all but the most sophisticated undergraduates are likely to become lost amid many references to scholars and scholarship. But specialists with even limited familiarity with Chaucer will find this collection ideal.”

—S. Downey, Choice

“What is engaging about the essays in this collection is their analytical, speculative, sometimes contestive turns, their proposed new directions for Chaucer studies. . . . This entire collection, as a collection that points forward, is entirely welcome.”

—Leonard Koff, Journal of English and Germanic Philology

“This volume admirably achieves its goal to sketch out the scholarly successes in Chaucer studies. . . . [T]he chapters in this volume succeed in articulating the impressive contributions made by the current generations of Chaucer scholars and in offering a clear sense of the promising future that lies ahead.”

—Deanne Williams, Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271035680
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
12/18/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Susanna Fein is Professor of English at Kent State University and co-editor of The Chaucer Review.

David Raybin is Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University and co-editor of The Chaucer Review.

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