By Stephanie Trigg
John Dryden claimed to percentage a kindred spirit, a congenial soul, with Geoffrey Chaucer, and he was once no longer by myself. examining critics studying Chaucer, Stephanie Trigg makes us aware of the certain communities-modeled at the pilgrimage to Canterbury-that rose up round the writer as commentators throughout the a while sought non secular or emotional intimacy with him. Congenial Souls surveys the serious literature from the past due center a while to the modern interval to teach how editors and critics built a variety of voices as a response-even a supplement-to Chaucer's paintings. concentrating on turning issues within the background of Chaucerian discourse and within the building of a distinct Chaucerian group, Trigg arrives on the fraught concept of a serious neighborhood in our day. What, she asks, do feminist reviews or modern cultural stories portend for such an author-based literary communion? And, if Chaucer is the unique "dead white male" writer, what is going to ensue to Chaucer experiences and medieval experiences within the subsequent millennium? the instant is propitious, Trigg indicates, for Chaucerians to envision their very own severe heritage and its inherent contradictions. Richly proficient, her paintings creates a powerful foundation for such an examination.
Stephanie Trigg is senior lecturer in English on the college of Melbourne.
Medieval Cultures sequence, quantity 30
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Extra resources for Congenial Souls: Reading Chaucer from Medieval to Postmodern (Medieval Cultures)
In this regard, the volume is typical of many celebrations of Chaucerian reception, insisting on continuity across a hotly contested field. The idea of tradition remains very attractive, bridging the historical distance between medieval and modern: an effective cure for the alterity of the Middle Ages. To undermine the totalizing grandeur of a tradition in Chaucer studies, it will be necessary to reread some of these editions and commentaries rather more symptomatically, but also to interrogate the relationship between these two foundational but contradictory ideas in medieval studies: tradition and alterity.
Christine Froula makes a similar point when defending the study of the canon against a gynocritical insistence that women's writing should replace the old canons. She argues that the basic structures, the economies of literary production, should be the object of examination. 45 There must be a way of reading the archetext of Chaucer, his reception, and accounts of that reception in ways attentive to its rhythms and social meanings, but without necessarily replicating the structure of canonicity or the authority of a homogeneous past.
By far the majority of writing and original research on Chaucer is performed by scholars whose primary institutional identity is that of medievalist and whose work is directed to each other or to students entering the field of medieval studies. Indeed, academic Chaucerians sometimes lament the sheer size and diversity of their own enterprise. "21 As Steve Ellis has recently demonstrated, however, Chaucer does have an important life in the imagination of poets and other writers outside the academy of specialists,22 though this life is rarely represented in published commentary.
Congenial Souls: Reading Chaucer from Medieval to Postmodern (Medieval Cultures) by Stephanie Trigg