Philosophical Chaucer: Love, Sex, and Agency in the Canterbury Tales

Overview

While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, Mark Miller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the ...
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Overview

While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, Mark Miller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the late Middle Ages.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Philosophical Chaucer is a challenging and worthwhile book. Miller achieves a novel engagement with the philosophical content of Chaucer's later work, and he demonstrates the rich rewards of thinking through the 'moral seriousness' of that corpus anew."
-Thomas Joseph O'Donnell, UCLA

"Miller is well qualified to place into dialogue philosophical and theoretical approaches that usually remain sheltered from one another in current literary scholarship. On the one hand, he is well-informed about the best theoretically inflected medieval scholarship, especially queer theory and psychoanalysis; on the other hand, he is equally conversant with the work of contemporary analytical philosophers...It is Miller's refreshing engagement with usually hostile intellectual traditions and his lack of dogmatism that make his book so rewarding....The book is likely to exert a powerful influence on future work."
R. James Goldstein, Auburn University, Southern Humanities Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Chaucer and the problem of normativity; 1. Naturalism and its discontents in the Miller's Tale; 2. Normative longing in the Knight's Tale; 3. Agency and dialectic in the Consolation of Philosophy; 4. Sadomasochism and utopia in the Roman de la Rose; 5. Suffering love in the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale; 6. Love's promise: the Clerk's Tale and the scandal of the unconditional; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
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