Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary Structure in Late Medieval England
Absent Narratives, Manuscript Textuality, and Literary Structure in Late Medieval England is a book about the defining difference between medieval and modern stories. In chapters devoted to the major writers of the late medieval period--Chaucer, Gower, the Gawain-poet and Malory--it presents and then analyzes a set of unique and unnoticed phenomena in medieval narrative, namely the persistent appearance of missing stories: stories implied, alluded to, or fragmented by a larger narrative. Far from being trivial digressions or passing curiosities, these "absent narratives" prove central to the way these medieval works function and to why they have affected readers in particular ways. Traditionally unseen, ignored, or explained away by critics, absent narratives offer a valuable new strategy for reading medieval texts and the historically specific textual culture in which they were written.
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