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Chaucer and the Subversion of Form

Book description

Responding to the lively resurgence of literary formalism, this volume delivers a timely and fresh exploration of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Advancing 'new formalist' approaches, medieval scholars have begun to ask what happens when structure fails to yield meaning, probing the very limits of poetic organization. While Chaucer is acknowledged as a master of form, his work also foregrounds troubling questions about formal agency: the disparate forces of narrative and poetic practice, readerly reception, intertextuality, genre, scribal attention, patronage, and historical change. This definitive collection of essays offers diverse perspectives on Chaucer and a varied analysis of these problems, asking what happens when form is resisted by author or reader, when it fails by accident or by design, and how it can be misleading, errant, or even dangerous.

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