The Disenchanted Self

The Disenchanted Self

by H. Marshall Leicester
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520068335

ISBN-13: 9780520068339

Pub. Date: 12/19/1990

Publisher: University of California Press


The question of the "dramatic principle" in the Canterbury Tales, of whether and how the individual tales relate to the pilgrims who are supposed to tell them, has long been a central issue in the interpretation of Chaucer's work. Drawing on ideas from deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and social theory, Leicester proposes that Chaucer can lead us beyond the

Overview


The question of the "dramatic principle" in the Canterbury Tales, of whether and how the individual tales relate to the pilgrims who are supposed to tell them, has long been a central issue in the interpretation of Chaucer's work. Drawing on ideas from deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and social theory, Leicester proposes that Chaucer can lead us beyond the impasses of contemporary literary theory and suggests new approaches to questions of agency, representation, and the gendered imagination.

Leicester reads the Canterbury Tales as radically voiced and redefines concepts like "self" and "character" in the light of current discussions of language and subjectivity. He argues for Chaucer's disenchanted practical understanding of the constructed character of the self, gender, and society, building his case through close readings of the Pardoner's, Wife of Bath's, and Knight's tales. His study is among the first major treatments of Chaucer's poetry utilizing the techniques of contemporary literary theory and provides new models for reading the poems while revising many older views of them and of Chaucer's relation to his age.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520068339
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
12/19/1990
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
468
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
IntroductionI
Part 1Chaucer's Subject
1.The Pardoner as Disenchanted Consciousness and Despairing Self35
2.Self-Presentation and Disenchantment in the Wife of Bath's Prologue: A Prospective View65
3.Retrospective Revision and the Emergence of the Subject in the Wife of Bath's Prologue82
4.Janekyn's Book: The Subject as Text114
5.Subjectivity and Disenchantment: The Wife of Bath's Tale as Institutional Critique140
Part 2The Subject Engendered
6.The Pardoner as Subject: Deconstruction and Practical Consciousness161
7.From Deconstruction to Psychoanalysis and Beyond: Disenchantment and the "Masculine" Imagination178
8.The "Feminine" Imagination and Jouissance195
Part 3The Institution of the Subject: A Reading of the Knight's Tale
9.The Knight's Critique of Genre I: Ambivalence and Generic Style221
10.The Knight's Critique of Genre II: From Representation to Revision243
11.Regarding Knighthood: A Practical Critique of the "Masculine" Gaze267
12.The Unhousing of the Gods: Character, Habitus, and Necessity in Part III295
13.Choosing Manhood: The "Masculine" Imagination and the Institution of the Subject322
14.Doing Knighthood: Heroic Disenchantment and the Subject of Chivalry352
Conclusion: The Disenchanted Self383
Works Cited419
Index433

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