In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER ROBERTJ. BLANCH.Sir Gawain andthe GreenKnight: A Reference Guide. Troy, N.Y.: WhitstonPublishingCompany, 1983.Pp. 298. $22.50. After the publication in 1979 of Malcolm Andrew's The Gawain-Poet: An Annotated Bibliography, 1839-1977, we have another annotated bibli­ ography of scholarship solely on Sir Gawain andthe Green Knight, which will be a companion volume to Pearl, Patience, and Purity: A Reference Guidethe present editor is currently preparing. RobertJ. Blanch's bookis a highly personalized, handmade work reflective of his long-standing re­ search on the Gawain poet. The book contains Introduction (pp. 1-12), Writings About Sir Gawain, 1824-1978 (pp. 13-265), Addenda (pp. 267-77), and Index (pp. 279-98). His essential aim is to provide the detailed expositions of interpretative or critical commentaries upon the work: his own indirect literary criticism on Gawain. In the Introduction, which was written in 1980, Blanch attempts to make a historical survey of Gawain scholarship up to 1978, adding a few works,such as R. E. Kaske's (1979) and W. R.J.Barron's (1980,1981),and also shows his method of compilingthe contents of the volume. Following the articles of M. W. Bloomfield (1961), R. W. Ackerman (1968), and Donald H. Howard (1971), he divides the state of Gawain studies into three periods: 1969-71, 1972-74, and 1975-77; explains the distinctive features of each period; and then suggests some new ways of approach. In the "Writings about Sir Gawain, 1824-1978," the main body of the book, all items collected on international scale are placed in chronological order from 1824 to 1978, although the coverage of the research is substan­ tially intended to be comprehensive through 1976 and the citations for 1977and 78 "constitute an important sampling" (p. 10),and the sequence of these items each yearis in alphabetical orderby name of author,running numbers affixed to each one. (The numbers 6 and 7 are missing in p. 31.) The editor states that "all annotations are represented as objective ab­ stracts" (p. 11). Each item has his critical note, and interesting or signifi­ cant articles and books are given longer annotations. Such cases as those of Elizabeth M. Wright (1906.7), 0. F. Emerson (1922.1), and H. L. Savage (1956.10) getbeyond250words.Citationsfor the nineteenthcenturyhave 39 items. In 1824, RichardPrice first mentioned the poem in his 1824 edition of Thomas Warton's History a/English Poetry, but the date 1939 has more inherent significance in that Gawain studies started with the publication of Frederic Madden's edition of Syr Gawayne. As R. W. 166 REVIEWS Ackerman's bibliography indicates, Madden minutely examined British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x, Art.3 and gave Sir Gawain and the Green Knight its title inJuly, 1829. Blanch informs that Gawain research rapidly advanced in the 1920s and 1930s and continued to develop further in the 1960s and 1970s. If the book had the date of issue on the head of each page, it might be much easier for us to consult. This volume concludes with the Index, which is very valuable for locating authors, characters, themes, motifs, allusions, topics, and explan­ atory and textual notes. Blanch would have done better to have separated authors and books from other materials in it. This bibliography, however, has made a great contribution to recent Gawain scholarship, particularly Gawain criticism. TADAHIRO lKEGAMI Seijo University PIERO BOITANI. Chaucer and the Imaginary World of Fame. Chaucer Studies, no. 10. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, Ltd.; Totowa, N. J.: Barnes & Noble, 1984. Pp. xii, 252. ;£27.50, $47.95. The House ofFame is still often regarded with a sort of benign alarm-as if it were an energetic but ill-trained shaggy dog of a poem- but the advanced critical position with regard to its purpose and procedure has clearly shifted some considerable distance from, say, Lawlor's dismissal of much of it as "clowning," or even from Muscatine's more scrupulous unease about its "undigested" elements. Piero Boitani's initial approach to thesubjectdoes not at once transform theshaggydog intoa lithe tiger, but itdoesfrom thestartinsistupon thework'simportance as a 'turning point,' both in Chaucer's career and in English literary...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 166-167
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.