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By Elizabeth Scala

ISBN-10: 0312240430

ISBN-13: 9780312240431

Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary constitution in overdue Medieval England is a e-book concerning the defining distinction among medieval and sleek tales. In chapters dedicated to the main writers of the overdue medieval period--Chaucer, Gower, the Gawain-poet and Malory--it provides after which analyzes a suite of specific and omitted phenomena in medieval narrative, specifically the power visual appeal of lacking tales: tales implied, alluded to, or fragmented by means of a bigger narrative. faraway from being trivial digressions or passing curiosities, those "absent narratives" end up principal to the best way those medieval works functionality and to why they've got affected readers particularly methods. routinely unseen, neglected, or defined away via critics, absent narratives supply a invaluable new technique for studying medieval texts and the traditionally particular textual tradition during which they have been written.

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None of these stories directly parallels another, but neither do they contradict each other or set up stark oppositions. 54 As terms germane to the desires and ideologies of elegy, these psychic operations have as much to tell us about the operations of narrative as they do about the elegy’s work of consolation. The dream-vision opens with a sleepless narrator who reads Ovid’s Metamorphoses as a soporific aid. But this narrator does more than simply set his sleeplessness, reading, and dream into a dynamic that ultimately accounts for the existence of the poem.

The tension between beginnings and endings in the Book of the Duchess extends beyond this brief scene. Thus, after briefly explaining his own insomnia and the frustrated romance that would account for it, the narrator’s claim “that is don” deceptively points to what the poem is actually doing, the poem as performance. While these words indicate that something has been finished—by marking a point to which we need no longer return—the statement operates throughout the Book of the Duchess in the opposite manner.

By including both his awakening and his inspiration to write contiguously with the events of the dream itself, Chaucer’s narrator offers us an up-to-theminute report. ”This ending concludes a self-conclusory narrative—a narrative whose only terms of reflection are those inscribed within its recounted borders. This activity has begun before the narrator begins “I have gret wonder,” and ends sometime after he “thought to put it in ryme,” a point in time contained and elided silently within its structure.

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Absent narratives, manuscript textuality, and literary structure in late medieval England by Elizabeth Scala


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