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Congenial Souls: Reading Chaucer from Medieval to Postmodern

Overview

John Dryden claimed to share a kindred spirit, a congenial soul, with Geoffrey Chaucer, and he was not alone. Reading critics reading Chaucer, Stephanie Trigg makes us privy to the special communities-modeled on the pilgrimage to Canterbury-that rose up around the author as commentators through the ages sought spiritual or emotional intimacy with him.

Congenial Souls surveys the critical literature from the late Middle Ages to the contemporary period to show how editors and ...

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Overview

John Dryden claimed to share a kindred spirit, a congenial soul, with Geoffrey Chaucer, and he was not alone. Reading critics reading Chaucer, Stephanie Trigg makes us privy to the special communities-modeled on the pilgrimage to Canterbury-that rose up around the author as commentators through the ages sought spiritual or emotional intimacy with him.

Congenial Souls surveys the critical literature from the late Middle Ages to the contemporary period to show how editors and critics constructed various voices as a response-even a supplement-to Chaucer's work. Focusing on turning points in the history of Chaucerian discourse and in the construction of a special Chaucerian community, Trigg arrives at the fraught notion of a critical community in our day. What, she asks, do feminist studies or contemporary cultural studies portend for such an author-based literary communion? And, if Chaucer is the original "dead white male" author, what will happen to Chaucer studies and medieval studies in the next millennium? The moment is propitious, Trigg suggests, for Chaucerians to examine their own critical history and its inherent contradictions. Richly informed, her work creates a strong basis for such an examination.

Stephanie Trigg is senior lecturer in English at the University of Melbourne.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816638239
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Medieval Cultures Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction: The Congenial Souls of Chaucer and His Readers
1 Speaking for Chaucer: Canon and Community 1
2 Signing Geoffrey Chaucer: Models of Authorship 40
3 Writing Chaucer: The Fifteenth Century 74
4 Loving Chaucer in the Privacy of Print: The Sixteenth Century 109
5 Translating Chaucer for Modernity: John Dryden 144
6 Reading Chaucer outside the Academy: Furnivall, Woolf, and Chesterton 157
7 Reforming the Chaucerian Community: The Late Twentieth Century 195
Notes 239
Index 273
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