The "I" of the Text
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright
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This book originated as the Robert M. Conway Lectures in Medieval Studies given at the University of Notre Dame in October 2007. I was honored to be invited to give these lectures, and I am most grateful to Tom Noble, then director of the Medieval Institute...
Chapter 1: The Textual First Person
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In this book I attempt to bring into focus a category of medieval English writing that has not previously been recognized as such. I call it “autography,” and, put simply, it consists of extended, nonlyrical, fictional writings in and of the first person. A more...
Chapter 2: Autography: Prologues and Dits
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The occurrences of a narratorial first person in Wynnere and Wastoure have behind them no fictional self of which an autobiography could be imagined. That brings us back to the terminological question, the question of autography, which I hope we may now...
Chapter 3: Chaucerian Prologues and The Wife of Bath
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If, after examining two fourteenth-century dits, the anonymous Dit des monstiers and Machaut’s Dit de la fonteinne amoureuse, we now turn back to Chaucer’s prologues, we shall find that many of them, whether in whole or in part, are surprisingly similar in...
Chapter 4: Why Autography?
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What can it have been in autography that appealed to French poets and their readers from the thirteenth century on and to those writing and reading in English from the mid-fourteenth century on? Answers to such a question can only be speculative, but I think it...
Chapter 5: Hoccleve ad the Prologue
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Of Chaucer’s many fifteenth-century followers, the one who learned most from his predecessor’s autographic writings was Thomas Hoccleve. Hoccleve (circa 1367–1426), probably born in the same year as Chaucer’s son Thomas1 and sharing his baptismal...
Chapter 6: Hoccleve's Series
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The last and most peculiar of Hoccleve’s major works in English is the compilation of texts known as the Series.1 It is a montage made up of a number of distinct parts, brought together within a single written space,2 and these parts are as follows. First comes...
Chapter 7: Bokenham's Autographies
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The second fifteenth-century poet in the Chaucerian tradition whose autographic writings I wish to examine, Osbern Bokenham, is less well known than Hoccleve. To judge from the survival of manuscripts, he was far less widely read in his own time, though I...
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As I wrote in chapter 1, in this book “I am not purporting to offer a comprehensive theory of subjectivity in discourse, nor am I even proposing a program for detailed interpretation. I am only offering an invitation to try out a different kind of reading”—a way of...
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About the Author, Back Cover
Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012