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Chaucer and Pagan Antiquity
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 200

Chaucer and Pagan Antiquity

Professor Minnis argues that the paganism in Troilus and Criseyde and The Knight's Taleis not simply a backdrop but must be central to our understanding of the texts. Chaucer's two great pagan poems, l>Troilus and Criseyde/l> and l>The Knight's Tale/l>, belong to the literary genre known as the `romance of antiquity' (which first appeard in the mid 12th century), in which the ancient pagan world is shown on its own terms, without the blatant Christian bias against paganism characteristic of works like the l>Chanson de Roland/l>, where the writer is concerned with present-day rather than classical forms of paganism. Chaucer's attitudes to antiquity were influenced, but not determined, by thos...

The shorter poems
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 578

The shorter poems

This third volume in the popular Oxford Guides to Chaucer series offers a much needed introduction to Chaucer's shorter poems. The introductory chapters on the social and cultural contexts of the shorter poems are supplemented by a guide to the genre they mostly exemplify--the love-vision form. The volume then provides in-depth, individual chapters on the Book of the Duchess, the House of Fame, the Parliament of Fowls, the Legend of Good Women, and the short poems, and includes an extensive appendix on Chaucer's language. Combining the best of old and new critical methods and research, this lively, provocative, and comprehensive book will make accessible a crucial portion of Chaucer's work for students and general readers.

Medieval Theory of Authorship
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 368

Medieval Theory of Authorship

It has often been held that scholasticism destroyed the literary theory that was emerging during the twelfth-century Renaissance, and hence discussion of late medieval literary works has tended to derive its critical vocabulary from modern, not medieval, theory. In Medieval Theory of Authorship, now reissued with a new preface by the author, Alastair Minnis asks, "Is it not better to search again for a conceptual equipment which is at once historically valid and theoretically illuminating?" Minnis has found such writings in the glosses and commentaries on the authoritative Latin writers studied in schools and universities between 1100 and 1400. The prologues to these commentaries provide valuable insight into the medieval theory of authorship. Of special significance is scriptural exegesis, for medieval scholars found the Bible the most difficult text to describe appropriately and accurately.

Magister Amoris: The Roman de la Rose and Vernacular Hermeneutics
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 368

Magister Amoris: The Roman de la Rose and Vernacular Hermeneutics

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2001-04-26
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  • Publisher: OUP Oxford

The Roman de la Rose was a major bestseller - largely due to its robust treatment of 'natural' sexuality. This study concentrates on the ways in which Jean de Meun, in imitation of Ovid, assumed the mock-magisterium (or mastership) of love. From Latin texts and literary theory Jean derived many hermeneutic rationales and generic categorizations, without allowing any one to dominate. Alastair J. Minnis considers allegorical versus literalistic expression in the poem, its competing discourses of allegorical covering and satiric stripping, Jean's provocative use of plain and sometimes obscene language in a widely accessible French work, the challenge of its homosocial and perhaps even homoerotic constructions, the subversive effects of coital comedy within a text characterized by intermittent aspirations to moral and scientific truth, and - placing the Rose's reception within the European history of vernacular hermeneutics - the problematic translation of literary authority from Latin into the vulgar tongue.

Historians on Chaucer
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 512

Historians on Chaucer

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2014-12-04
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  • Publisher: OUP Oxford

As literary scholars have long insisted, an interdisciplinary approach is vital if modern readers are to make sense of works of medieval literature. In particular, rather than reading the works of medieval authors as addressing us across the centuries about some timeless or ahistorical 'human condition', critics from a wide range of theoretical approaches have in recent years shown how the work of poets such as Chaucer constituted engagements with the power relations and social inequalities of their time. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, medieval historians have played little part in this 'historical turn' in the study of medieval literature. The aim of this volume is to allow historians who are e...

Translations of Authority in Medieval English Literature
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 290

Translations of Authority in Medieval English Literature

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2014-05-14
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  • Publisher: Unknown

Leading critic Alastair Minnis investigates the relationships between authority and the vernacular in the literature of late medieval England.

Handling Sin
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 219

Handling Sin

Penance and confession were an integral part of medieval religious life; essays explore literary evidence.

Essays on Ricardian literature in honour of J.A. Burrow
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 358

Essays on Ricardian literature in honour of J.A. Burrow

This collection develops issues and themes first broached in John Burrow's groundbreaking book Ricardian Poetry and incorporates a bibliography of his published writings, which have revolutionized critical appreciation of medieval literature. The contributors to this volume, all leading scholars, explore such areas as the status of Anglo-Latin and the influence of French culture on the Ricardian court, offer radical re-readings of some more familiar works, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Patience, and demonstrate how closely the literature of the period is bound up with political and social conditions.

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 1. The Middle Ages
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 352

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 1. The Middle Ages

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 1: The Middle Ages explores the richness and variety of life-writing from late Antiquity to the threshold of the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, writers from Bede to Chaucer were thinking about life and experimenting with ways to translate lives, their own and others', into literature. Their subjects included career religious, saints, celebrities, visionaries, pilgrims, princes, philosophers, poets, and even a few 'ordinary people.' They relay life stories not only in chronological narratives, but also in debates, dialogues, visions, and letters. Many medieval biographers relied on the reader's trust in their authority, but some espoused standa...

Middle Ages
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 256

Middle Ages

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 1: The Middle Ages explores the richness and variety of life-writing from late Antiquity to the threshold of the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, writers from Bede to Chaucer were thinking about life and experimenting with ways to translate lives, their own and others', into literature. Their subjects included career religious, saints, celebrities, visionaries, pilgrims, princes, philosophers, poets, and even a few 'ordinary people.' They relay life stories not only in chronological narratives, but also in debates, dialogues, visions, and letters. Many medieval biographers relied on the reader's trust in their authority, but some espoused standa...