Chaucer’s Dream Visions: Courtliness and Individual Identity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Chaucer’s Dream Visions

Courtliness and Individual Identity, 1st Edition

By Michael St John

Routledge

240 pages

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Hardback: 9780754601227
pub: 2000-12-12
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pub: 2017-03-02
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Description

Chaucer used the dream device to engage with the work of French and Italian authors and to explore the philosophical content of their poetry. His four dream visions therefore represent an important conduit through which the influence of European writers was received into English, enabling a profound transition in the way in which the 'self' was conceptualized in medieval courtly literature. Chaucer's Dream Visions is the first book length study to examine the poet's considered use of Aristotelian psychology to describe the mind of the courtly subject in its social context. The study shows that by drawing upon Aristotelian psychology, derived from his reading of Boethius, Dante, and the poets of the French court, Chaucer was able to articulate precisely those aspects of the courtly identity that are determined by language and empirical experience, and those which are transcendent of this determinism. A detailed engagement with the literature, language, and behaviour of the court therefore takes place in the dream visions, which are a genuine exploration of individual subjectivity in its social context. The author of this volume demonstrates that the motivation for this exploration is a product of Chaucer's Christian beliefs and philosophical awareness. Chaucer's Dream Visions thus constitutes a major contribution to the debate concerning distinctions between medieval and early modern culture.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The Book of the Duchess; The House of Fame; The Parliament of Fowls; The Legend of Good Women; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Studies in European Cultural Transition

Studies in European Cultural Transition
The European dimension of research in the humanities has come into sharp focus over recent years, producing scholarship which ranges across disciplines and national boundaries. Until now there has been no major channel for such work. This series aims to provide one, and to unite the fields of cultural studies and traditional scholarship. It will publish the most exciting new writing in areas such as European history and literature, art history, archaeology, language and translation studies, political, cultural and gay studies, music, psychology, sociology and philosophy. The emphasis will be explicitly European and interdisciplinary, concentrating attention on the relativity of cultural perspectives, with a particular interest in issues of cultural transition.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT020000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature