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Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational by David Wallace

By David Wallace

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Harvey Jackins and Susal Stebbins have encouraged me to think beyond academia; the late Elizabeth Salter, my first teacher of Chaucer, first taught me to think beyond national boundaries. " My intellectual debts to Rita Copeland, particularly in matters of rhetoric, hermeneutics, and translation, will become evident to anyone who persists with this book; debts personal and domestic cannot be counted. Paul Strohm, my primo amico americano, has read everything at least twice, in fragments and seriatim.

Chaucer envisions wifely rhetoric as uniquely capable of moving individual bodies, and hence social ones, to good or bad ends. His Melibee demonstrates how, through the timely exercise of ars tacendi and ars dicendithat is, silence and speechthe wife in the household may prevent masculine violence from disrupting the public domain. His Manciple's Tale, paired with the Melibee through common debts to Albertano, explores the fate of wife and household once the same artes have been misapplied. 544), represents the last poetic word of the Canterbury Tales.

3). " The chief aspiration of a literary-historiographical criticism is to make visible, through an expansion of temporal and spatial parameters, relations and developments that would otherwise remain obscured or unconnected. 22 This is achieved, in part, through the simple recognition that all historical criticism, consciously or not, takes place within the confining frame of grand historiographical metaphors; such metaphors, value-laden and genderinflected, are thereby subjected to critical examination.

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