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In Search of Chaucer

In Search of Chaucer

Bertrand H. Bronson
Copyright Date: 1960
Pages: 118
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  • Book Info
    In Search of Chaucer
    Book Description:

    This book is a study of the three worlds in Chaucer's poetry, raising questions about the kind of truth which resides in each, the literary values which can be extracted from them, their essentail relation to one another, and the perennial problem of appearance and reality.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3256-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    B. H. B.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
    (pp. 3-33)

    PROBABLY NO ENGLISH POET—not even Shakespeare—has been the subject, for at least a century, of more debate and disagreement than Geoffrey Chaucer. Himself the least contentious of men, his innocent works have ironically become the favourite plot of ground whereon scholars have met in tournament, until the lists are now so full that the numbers can scarcely try the cause, let alone hide the slain.

    Is there anything about Chaucer’s works that can be said at present to be finally settled? Even the principle of his metrical norms, which a century ago Child seemed to have established once...

    (pp. 34-59)

    WHAT, WE ARE NOW TO ASK, did Chaucer make of that world of perpetual wonder and miracle into which every one of us passes, not once or twice in a lifetime, but for some hours of every twenty-four: the world of dreams? What for him is its credit? What are its properties and proprieties? And how may its reservoirs be drawn upon for the needs of literature?

    As to credit, Chaucer perhaps never made up his mind. That dreams can be prophetic he is not prepared to deny. That they may have physiological causes he is quite ready to grant....

  6. 3. BY DAY
    (pp. 60-90)

    IT IS TIME NOW to turn our thoughts away from the dream-visions and their special problems, and to consider Chaucer’s rendition of the world he saw around him by daylight. Let us look for a while at his companions of the Tabard and the road.

    A universal chorus of praise has always been rightly accorded to the felicity of Chaucer’s devising of the Canterbury pilgrimage, on account of its capacity for bringing into unforced, dynamic association a range of representative persons, divergent in vocations, interests, and tastes. As a cross-section of society, the picture strikes every one as extraordinarily inclusive;...

    (pp. 91-117)

    OUR UNDERLYING, if not always insistent, concern has been with the different kinds or levels of experience of which Chaucer makes varying report, passing to and fro at will, from the modes of allegory to natural observation and to hearsay or written testimony, from one plane of reality to another; and with the contrasts and clashes which may develop from their intermingling. The realm of experience at second hand, of books and hearsay, is now to be our centre of attention. We shall look at some of the uses of story, and at some of its problems, and at the...

  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 118-118)