Narrative, authority, and power : the medieval exemplum and the Chaucerian tradition / Larry Scanlon.

By: Scanlon, LarryMaterial type: TextTextSeries: Cambridge studies in medieval literature: 20.Publisher: Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1994Description: xii, 378 p. ; 24 cmISBN: 0521432103 (hardback); 9780521432108 (hardback)Subject(s): English poetry -- Middle English, 1100-1500 -- History and criticism | Didactic literature, Latin (Medieval and modern) -- History and criticism | Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.) -- History -- To 1500 | Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400 -- Knowledge -- Literature | Narration (Rhetoric) -- History -- To 1500 | Power (Social sciences) in literature | Authority in literature | Exempla in literature | Rhetoric, Medieval | English poetryDDC classification: 821/.109 LOC classification: PR311 | .S33 1994Other classification: 18.05 Review: "Until now, little attention has been paid to the political and ideological significance of the medieval exemplum, a brief narrative form used to illustrate a moral. Through a study of four major works in the Chaucerian tradition (the Canterbury Tales, John Gower's Confessio Amantis, Thomas Hoccleve's Regement of Princes, and Lydgate's Fall of Princes), Professor Scanlon redefines the exemplum as "a narrative enactment of cultural authority." He traces its development through the two strands of the medieval Latin tradition which the Chaucerians appropriate: the sermon exemplum, and the public exemplum of the Mirrors of Princes. In doing so, he reveals how Chaucer and his successors used these two forms of the exemplum to explore the differences between clerical authority and lay power, and to establish the moral and cultural authority of their emergent vernacular tradition."--Jacket.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PR311 .S33 1994 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001507128
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PR291 .C5 1961 English literature at the close of the Middle Ages / PR291 .S6 1970 The age of Chaucer (1346-1400). PR311 .B8 1971 Ricardian poetry : PR311 .S33 1994 Narrative, authority, and power : PR311 .S69 1987 Readings in medieval poetry / PR311 .S69 1989 Readings in medieval poetry / PR311 .S7 1957 Medieval English poetry:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 351-366) and index.

"Until now, little attention has been paid to the political and ideological significance of the medieval exemplum, a brief narrative form used to illustrate a moral. Through a study of four major works in the Chaucerian tradition (the Canterbury Tales, John Gower's Confessio Amantis, Thomas Hoccleve's Regement of Princes, and Lydgate's Fall of Princes), Professor Scanlon redefines the exemplum as "a narrative enactment of cultural authority." He traces its development through the two strands of the medieval Latin tradition which the Chaucerians appropriate: the sermon exemplum, and the public exemplum of the Mirrors of Princes. In doing so, he reveals how Chaucer and his successors used these two forms of the exemplum to explore the differences between clerical authority and lay power, and to establish the moral and cultural authority of their emergent vernacular tradition."--Jacket.

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CHOICE Review

In this cogent study of the medieval exemplum--a short narrative form having moral purpose--the author (English, Rutgers Univ.) examines early Latin traditions and later vernacular versions by Chaucer, John Gower, Thomas Hoccleve, and John Lydgate (collectively, the Chaucerians) and discovers a dynamic evolution of the genre, previously held to be a static and repetitive form. An introduction of three chapters demonstrates the use of exempla as vehicles for Church and State control and redefines the exemplum "as a narrative form which explicitly combines narrative with cultural authority." Part 1 (in two chapters) provides close readings of the Latin sermon and public exempla used to control secular society; the five chapters of part 2 are political and cultural analyses of anticlericalism and the appropriation of clerical ideology by Chaucer and Gower, who established their own Christian authority, whereas the 15th-century authors Hoccleve and Lydgate solidified the shape of lay authority established by Chaucer. Happily, footnotes for this learned study appear at the bottom of each page, and the bibliography distinguishes between primary and secondary sources. Essential for graduate schools and scholarly libraries. F. K. Barasch; CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

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