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Dark Chaucer: An Assortment

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ISBN: 9780615701073 Year: Pages: 224 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0018.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:45
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Although widely beloved for its playfulness and comic sensibility, Chaucer’s poetry is also subtly shot through with dark moments that open into obscure and irresolvably haunting vistas, passages into which one might fall head-first and never reach the abyssal bottom, scenes and events where everything could possibly go horribly wrong or where everything that matters seems, if even momentarily, altogether and irretrievably lost. And then sometimes, things really do go wrong. Opting to dilate rather than cordon off this darkness, this volume assembles a variety of attempts to follow such moments into their folds of blackness and horror, to chart their endless sorrows and recursive gloom, and to take depth soundings in the darker recesses of the Chaucerian lakes in order to bring back palm- or bite-sized pieces (black jewels) of bitter Chaucer that could be shared with others . . . an “assortment,” if you will. Not that this collection finds only emptiness and non-meaning in these caves and lakes. You never know what you will discover in the dark.

Mythodologies: Methods in Medieval Studies, Chaucer, and Book History

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ISBN: 9781947447561 9781947447578 Year: Pages: 292 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0202.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:31
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Mythodologies challenges the implied methodology in contemporary studies in the humanities. We claim, at times, that we gather facts or what we will call evidence, and from that form hypotheses and conclusions. Of course, we recognize that the sum total of evidence for any argument is beyond comprehension; therefore, we construct, and we claim, preliminary hypotheses, perhaps to organize the chaos of evidence, or perhaps simply to find it; we might then see (we claim) whether that evidence challenges our tentative hypotheses. Ideally, we could work this way. Yet the history of scholarship and our own practices suggest we do nothing of the kind. Rather, we work the way we teach our composition students to write: choose or construct a thesis, then invent the evidence to support it. This book has three parts, examining such methods and pseudo-methods of invention in medieval studies, bibliography, and editing. Part One, “Noster Chaucer,” looks at examples in Chaucer studies, such as the notion that Chaucer wrote iambic pentameter, and the definition of a canon in Chaucer. “Our” Chaucer has, it seems, little to do with Chaucer himself, and in constructing this entity, Chaucerians are engaged largely in self-validation of their own tradition. Part Two, “Bibliography and Book History,” consists of three studies in the field of bibliography: the recent rise in studies of annotations; the implications of presumably neutral terminology in editing, a case-study in cataloguing. Part Three, “Cacophonies: A Bibliographical Rondo,” is a series of brief studies extending these critiques to other areas in the humanities. It seems not to matter what we talk about: meter, book history, the sex life of bonobos. In all of these discussions, we see the persistence of error, the intractability of uncritical assumptions, and the dominance of authority over evidence.

The Passenger: Medieval Texts and Transits

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ISBN: 9781947447363 9781947447370 Year: Pages: 136 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0190.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:32
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What strange transactions take place in the mobile spaces between loci? How does the flow of forces between fixed points enliven texts, suggest new connections, and map out the dizzying motion of myriad interactions? The essays in this volume were first presented at the 2014 New Chaucer Society Congress in Reykjavik, Iceland where a meeting of minds in a shared intermediate space initiated dialogue from diverse perspectives and wended its way through the invisible spaces between concrete categories, objects, and entities. The resulting volume asks a core question: what can we learn by tarrying at the nexus points and hubs through which things move in and out of texts, attempting to trace not the things themselves or their supposedly stable significations, but rather their forms of emergence and retreat, of disorder and disequilibrium? The answer is complex and intermediate, for we ourselves are emerging and retreating within our own systems of transit and experiencing our own disequilibrium. Scholarship, like transit, is never complete and yet never congeals into inertia.

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