Chaucer's Feminine Subjects: Figures of Desire in The Canterbury Tales - The New Middle Ages (Paperback)
  • Chaucer's Feminine Subjects: Figures of Desire in The Canterbury Tales - The New Middle Ages (Paperback)
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Chaucer's Feminine Subjects: Figures of Desire in The Canterbury Tales - The New Middle Ages (Paperback)

(author)
£61.00
Paperback 200 Pages / Published: 08/06/2012
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This study shows how contemporary theory can serve to clarify structures of identity and economies of desire in medieval texts. Bringing the resources of psychoanalytic and poststructuralist theory to bear on Chaucer's tales about women, this book addresses those registers of the Canterbury project that remain major concerns for recent feminist theory: the specificity of feminine desire, the cultural articulation of gender, the logic of sacrifice as a cultural ideal, the structure of misogyny and domestic violence. This book maps out the ways in which Chaucer's rhetoric is not merely an element of style or an instrument of persuasion but the very matrix for the representation of de-centered subjectivity.

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781349534470
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 12 mm
Edition: 1st ed. 2012


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Chaucer's Feminine Subjects reanimates feminist criticism of Chaucer by scrutinizing the poet's abiding interest, even obsession, with the feminine figures in his poetry. Reading sensitively but unapologetically with a post-Freudian 'psychoanalytic optics,' Pitcher demonstrates the historical and political stakes of gender and gendered desire in some of the major narratives of The Canterbury Tales. His readings prompt us to appreciate Chaucer's attention to femininity and difference, psychology, and knowledge, as well as the shifting frontier of modernity. Recasting psychoanalysis as 'discourse of particularity,' he attends the historical terms by which Chaucer resists the totalizing claims of gender and exposes the binary gender system as an institutionalized fiction. For those of us wondering what has become of specifically feminist and gender studies of Chaucer in light of more recent attention to different forms of cultural alterity and otherness this is a welcome book indeed.' Elizabeth Scala, author of Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary Structure in Late Medieval England

'With his focus as much on psychoanalysis as on medieval poetry, Pitcher gives language its full due as the rhetorical stuff of the 'talking cure.' Here textual and psychic lives converge in the descriptions, sources, glosses, equivocations, and authorial nods that together constitute both Chaucer's poetry and his female subjects.' Valerie Allen, professor of English, John Jay College

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