Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary by Elizabeth Scala

By Elizabeth Scala

Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary constitution in overdue Medieval England is a e-book in regards to the defining distinction among medieval and smooth tales. In chapters dedicated to the foremost writers of the overdue medieval period--Chaucer, Gower, the Gawain-poet and Malory--it offers after which analyzes a collection of designated and overlooked phenomena in medieval narrative, specifically the continual visual appeal of lacking tales: tales implied, alluded to, or fragmented via a bigger narrative. faraway from being trivial digressions or passing curiosities, those "absent narratives" turn out critical to the best way those medieval works functionality and to why they've got affected readers specifically methods. typically unseen, missed, or defined away via critics, absent narratives supply a helpful new process for analyzing medieval texts and the traditionally particular textual tradition within which they have been written.

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The gesture of “passing over” itself is a significant and repeated action in the poem. ”Yet that matter is certainly not “don”—rather, it is undone by the rest of the poem. Colin Wilcockson’s Riverside gloss,“What won’t come about must be done without,” nicely puts the Middle English platitude by which the narrator consoles himself into aphoristic modern parlance that emphasizes its renunciation in terms of doing. The narrator does not simply state the conditions of the past but performs the act of locating those desires in the past, leaving them behind (“left”).

The narrator’s opening comments orient us away from a direction that the poem itself continues to follow. By indicating what is not the subject of the poem, the absent narrative defines itself as an unconscious subject of narrative—a missing story structurally central to the Book of the Duchess. As we shall see in the next section, however, the Book of the Duchess has borne the signs of its absent narratives more visibly than its modern readers have been aware. 2. The foregoing critical discussion of the poem may cast significant light on the poem’s relatively simple textual history.

Emphasizing his own lack of self-understanding, his question indicates both his conviction that speech remains useless at this point and his need, even if unconscious, to speak his sorrow through the description of his past happiness. However, the Book of the Duchess tells us that elegy remembers by creating art out of an experience of loss that needs to be forgotten. Here elegy is about replacing memories with memorializations. ”59 The Duchess dramatizes this “work” in its own narrative: The experience of the dreamer follows the process of narrativizing his experience, which in turn involves the Black Knight’s articulation of his own loss.

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