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    Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages: Ethics and the Mixed Form in Chaucer, Gower, Usk, and Hoccleve (Hardback) By (author) Eleanor Johnson

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    DescriptionLiterary scholars often avoid the category of the aesthetic in discussions of ethics, believing that purely aesthetic judgments can vitiate analyses of a literary work's sociopolitical heft and meaning. In "Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages", Eleanor Johnson reveals that aesthetics - the formal aspects of literary language that make it senseperceptible - are indeed inextricable from ethics in the writing of medieval literature. Johnson brings a keen formalist eye to bear on the prosimetric form: the mixing of prose with lyrical poetry. This form descends from the writings of the sixth-century Christian philosopher Boethius - specifically his famous prison text, "Consolation of Philosophy" - to the late-medieval English tradition. Johnson argues that Boethius' text had a broad influence not simply on the thematic and philosophical content of subsequent literary writing, but also on the specific aesthetic construction of several vernacular traditions. She demonstrates the underlying prosimetric structures in a variety of Middle English texts - including Chaucer's "Troilus and Criseyde and portions of the Canterbury Tales", Thomas Usk's "Testament of Love", John Gower's "Confessio Amantis", and Thomas Hoccleve's autobiographical poetry - and asks how particular formal choices work, how they resonate with medieval literary-theoretical ideas, and how particular poems and prose works mediate the tricky business of modeling ethical transformation for a readership.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages

    Title
    Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages
    Subtitle
    Ethics and the Mixed Form in Chaucer, Gower, Usk, and Hoccleve
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Eleanor Johnson
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 248
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 25 mm
    Weight: 522 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780226015842
    ISBN 10: 022601584X
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: LIT
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET030
    Ingram Theme: CULT/BRITIS
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 04
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T3.6
    BIC subject category V2: DSA, DSBB
    Ingram Subject Code: LC
    Libri: I-LC
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/MEDIVL
    BISAC V2.8: LIT004120
    LC subject heading:
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15740
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T General Subject: 495
    BISAC V2.8: LIT014000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BIC subject category V2: HPN
    BISAC V2.8: LIT011000
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    DC22: 820.9001, 820.9/001
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    BISAC region code: 1.1.2.0.0.0.0
    DC23: 801
    LC classification: PR275.E77 J64 2013
    Thema V1.0: QDTN, DSBB, DSA
    Publisher
    The University of Chicago Press
    Imprint name
    University of Chicago Press
    Publication date
    11 May 2013
    Publication City/Country
    Chicago, IL
    Author Information
    Eleanor Johnson is assistant professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.
    Review quote
    "Eleanor Johnson is a kind of literary-critical mechanic, revealing with brilliance and skill how particular formal and rhetorical elements work discretely and together to shape the readerly process - not for its own sake, but for the larger premodern project of personal ethical transformation. The research is first-rate and the arguments are original. The book will have an immediate and lasting effect on the study of medieval literature." (Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia)"