Originally published in 1994. Chaucer is considered the first major humorist in English literature and is particularly interesting as he reflects the humor of predecessors and contemporaries as well as defines development for subsequent British humor. This collection presents essays that define the nature of Chaucerian humor, examine Chaucer’s works from a variety of theoretical perspectives, and consider genres of humor within his writing. This is an excellent work of critical discourse that adds important understanding of Chaucer as well as the field of comedy in literature.
Chronology of Major Events 1. Introduction Part 1: A Prolegomenon to Defining Chaucerian Humor 2. The Voice of the Past: Surveying the Reception of Chaucer’s Humor Jean E. Jost 3. The Idea of Humor Howard Rollin Patch 4. Excerpt from Chaucer G. K. Chesterton 5. A Vocabulary for Chaucerian Comedy: A Preliminary Sketch Paul G. Ruggiers 6. Chaucer and Comedy Thomas J. Garbáty 7. The Canterbury Tales II: Comedy Derek Pearsall Part 2: Critical Theories With the Comic Touch: Feminist, Freudian, Language, Social, and Bakhtinian Theories 8. Chaucer’s May, Standup Comics, and Critics Susan K. Hagen 9. Chaucer, Freud, and the Political Economy of Wit: Tendentious Jokes in the Nun’s Priest’s Tale R. James Goldstein 10. Paradoxicum Semiotica: Signs, Comedy, and Mystery in Fragment VI of the Canterbury Tales John Micheal Crafton 11. The Comedy of Innocence Alfred David 12. Metamorphic Comedy: The Shipman’s Tale William F. Woods 13. Rough Music in Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale Frederick B. Jonassen Part 3: "Generic" Humor: Lyric, Poetic, Demonic, Religious, Scatological, and Tragic 14. Chaucer’s Witty Prosody in General Prologue, Lines 1-42 Charles A. Owen, Jr. 15. Chaucer’s Dainty "Dogerel": The "Elvyssh" Prosody of Sir Thopas Alan T. Gaylord 16. "Parlous Play": Diabolic Comedy in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Robert W. Hanning 17. The Semiotics of Comedy in Chaucer’s Religious Tales Daniel P. Pigg 18. The Mind Distended: The Retraction, Miller’s Tale and Summoner’s Tale Judith Tschann 19. Chaucer’s Creative Comedy: A Study of the Miller’s Tale and the Shipman’s Tale A. Booker Thro 20. Felicity and Mutability: Boethian Framework of the Troilus John M. Steadman