Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature: Sciences and the Self in Medieval Poetry: Alan of Lille's Anticlaudianus and John Gower's Confessio Amantis Series Number 25 (Paperback)
  • Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature: Sciences and the Self in Medieval Poetry: Alan of Lille's Anticlaudianus and John Gower's Confessio Amantis Series Number 25 (Paperback)
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Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature: Sciences and the Self in Medieval Poetry: Alan of Lille's Anticlaudianus and John Gower's Confessio Amantis Series Number 25 (Paperback)

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Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 13/10/2005
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In this 1995 study James Simpson examines two great poems of the later medieval period, the Latin philosophical epic, Alan of Lille's Anticlaudianus (1181-3), and John Gower's English poem, The Confessio Amantis (1390-3). Simpson locates these works in a cultural context dominated by two kinds of literary humanism: the absolutist, whose philosophical mentor is Plato, whose literary model is Virgil and whose concept of the self is centred in the intellect, and the constitutionalist, whose classical models are Aristotle and Ovid and whose concept of the self resides in the mediatory power of the imagination. Both poems are examples of the Bildungsroman, in which the self reaches its fullness only by traversing an educational cursus in the related sciences of ethics, politics and cosmology, but as this study shows, there are very different modes of thought behind their conceptions of selfhood and education.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521021111
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 229 g
Dimensions: 229 x 150 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'The originality of the juxtaposition is one measure of the provocativeness and occasional brilliance of Simpson's vigorous and ambitious new study, which offers radically novel readings of both poems at the same time that it draws them together in an intriguing exploration of the nature of the humanist poetics of the Middle Ages.' John Gower Newsletter
"For Simpson both poems point to a sophisticated psychology of faculties that each poet sees as pedagogic purpose of reading their works. This approach to reading these particular works provides many bridges of relevance for a contemporary reader while at the same time educating one to equally important readings in other poets like Chaucer and Dante for example. Highly recommended for its lively approach to reading medieval philosophic poems." The Reader's Review
"Sciences and the Seld in Medieva Poetry is unquestionably an importnat book, a necessary book, for anyone who takes either Alan or Gower seriously. Its influence on studies of the Anticlaudianus, the Confessio, and its place in the ongoing conversation about high medieval humanism, will be significant. Simpson shows his mettle here as a scholar of the very best kind-vigorous, contrarian, and wise." R.F. Yeager, Modern Philology

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