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Chaucer's Feminine Subjects: Figures of Desire in The Canterbury Tales
     

Chaucer's Feminine Subjects: Figures of Desire in The Canterbury Tales

by J. Pitcher
 

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This book demonstrates how post-structuralist and psychoanalytic theory can serve to clarify structures of identity and economies of desire in medieval texts.

Overview

This book demonstrates how post-structuralist and psychoanalytic theory can serve to clarify structures of identity and economies of desire in medieval texts.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Chaucer's Feminine Subjects reanimates feminist criticism of Chaucer by scrutinizing the poet's abiding interest, even obsession, with the feminine figures in his poetry. Reading sensitively but unapologetically with a post-Freudian 'psychoanalytic optics,' Pitcher demonstrates the historical and political stakes of gender and gendered desire in some of the major narratives of The Canterbury Tales. His readings prompt us to appreciate Chaucer's attention to femininity and difference, psychology, and knowledge, as well as the shifting frontier of modernity. Recasting psychoanalysis as 'discourse of particularity,' he attends the historical terms by which Chaucer resists the totalizing claims of gender and exposes the binary gender system as an institutionalized fiction. For those of us wondering what has become of specifically feminist and gender studies of Chaucer in light of more recent attention to different forms of cultural alterity and otherness this is a welcome book indeed.' Elizabeth Scala, author of Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary Structure in Late Medieval England

'With his focus as much on psychoanalysis as on medieval poetry, Pitcher gives language its full due as the rhetorical stuff of the 'talking cure.' Here textual and psychic lives converge in the descriptions, sources, glosses, equivocations, and authorial nods that together constitute both Chaucer's poetry and his female subjects.' Valerie Allen, professor of English, John Jay College

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403973221
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Series:
New Middle Ages Series
Edition description:
2012
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

John A. Pitcher teaches medieval literature and music history at the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada, where he currently serves as Head of the Department of English.

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