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STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER answers. Are all the centuries before statistics premodern? Would eighteenth -century formulations of sexuality, for example, libertinism, be heterosyncratic but also modern? Is de Sade’s Gothic revivalism an identification with those strains of Catholicism that despise ‘‘nature,’’ or with an Enlightenment preference for natural law stripped of sentiment? Did Elizabeth I preserve or even extend, as well as redefine, the parameters of medieval chastity? Although Lochrie is not obliged to address matters beyond the scope of her book, one would like more guidance as to how such matters could be addressed. But Heterosyncracies is required reading nonetheless, for the growing number of ethnographers interested in sex as well as the growing number of medievalists aware of its historicity. If the eclecticism of its uses of periodicity is inadequately explored, the book is nonetheless a wonderful example of how rich historiography can become when it takes multiple timelines into account. Heterosyncracies is a curious, flexible, humane inquiry, open to anomaly on all levels, and perhaps could not have enchanted me as much as it did, or achieved so much in the arena of ‘‘re-thinking,’’ if it had insisted on dotting every methodological ‘‘i’’ and crossing every meta-discursive ‘‘t.’’ Countering the notion that significance resides in the majority, the widespread, and the enduring, Lochrie extends a generous welcome to heterogeneity, on the level of practice as well as content. The result is a marvelous challenge and addition to the way we appreciate the Middle Ages and the history of its reputation for danger. Aranye Fradenburg University of California, Santa Barbara Tim William Machan, ed., with the assistance of A. J. Minnis. Sources of the Boece. The Chaucer Library. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2005. Pp. xiv, 331. $85.00. The stated aim of the Chaucer Library is to present modern editions of the medieval works that Chaucer ‘‘knew, translated, or made use of in his writings in versions that are as close as possible to those that were in existence, circulating, and being read by him and his contemporaries’’ (p. ix). The complexities surrounding the sources of the Boece render such a task especially difficult, necessitating, in the words of general PAGE 520 520 ................. 16596$ CH13 11-01-10 14:08:37 PS REVIEWS editor Robert E. Lewis, a sort of third way in editorial procedure: a ‘‘hypothetical source text created by drawing readings from various manuscripts according to what Chaucer had in his translation’’ (p. ix). That is, working backward from the Boece, Machan creates hypothetical French and Latin source texts, using other French and Latin manuscripts to justify his emendations. Machan’s texts are based on the manuscripts apparently closest to the ones Chaucer used: for the Latin, the text in Cambridge University Library , MS Ii.3.21; for the French, both the very corrupt text in Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 434 and V. L. Dedeck-Héry’s 1952 edition, in Mediaeval Studies, based on Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale , MS Fr. 1097 (from the a tradition of manuscripts of Jean de Meun’s prose translation of Boethius’s Consolatio Philosophiae). None of these texts or any other extant French or Latin text was the exact copy Chaucer used for his translation. Further, as Machan points out, following his book-length analysis of the Boece in Techniques of Translation (1985), Chaucer’s uses of his sources are ‘‘seldom predictable’’ (p. 12). In Machan’s opinion, Chaucer viewed translation as ‘‘a fairly fluid activity ’’ (p. 13), which makes it even more challenging to reconstruct his source texts. At each point where the French or Latin texts deviate from readings in the Boece (of which, of course, there is no holograph), Machan must decide whether to emend the Latin, the French, or both, with reference to other manuscripts and, in the case of the Latin, the traditional text as opposed to the Vulgate represented in the Cambridge manuscript. For the text of the Boece, Machan uses the text in C2 (Cambridge University Library, MS Ii.3.21) as opposed to that of C1 (Cambridge University Library, MS Ii.1.38), which Ralph Hanna and Traugott Lawler used as the base for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 520-523
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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