Chaucer and the Imaginary World of Fame

Front Cover
Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1984 - History - 252 pages
is one of Chaucer's most intellectually challenging poems, drawing on diverse traditions such as dream poetry and mythology, but unified by the central concept of Fame. It is this concept, and the `imaginary world' which surrounds it, which Professor Boitani explores in this volume in the Chaucer Studies series. He begins with a brief outline and discussion of the poem, showing what problems it poses, and then turns to explore the `history and meaning of the idea of Fame, such as Chaucer might have received from tradition', a quest which leads him into Biblical, classical and Anglo-Saxon literature, into philosophy and into romance. He then examines the view of Fame in Chaucer's Italian, French and English contemporaries, and shows that it is a central theme not only in Dante'sDivine Comedybut also in the work of Boccaccio and Petrarch. The second half of the book returns to Chaucer's poem and examines the imaginary world which he constructs around Fame. Professor Boitani demonstrates thatThe House of Fameis in a sense Chaucer's creative manifesto, centred on Fame as the goddess of language, myth and poetry, with poets as her prophets. In this poem, he defines many of the themes - Love and Nature, order and disorder, fortune and chance, reality and appearance - which occupied him in his other works. Here he deals with them directly rather than obliquely, revealing the formative influences behind his own imaginary world and mythology..rates thatThe House of Fameis in a sense Chaucer's creative manifesto, centred on Fame as the goddess of language, myth and poetry, with poets as her prophets. In this poem, he defines many of the themes - Love and Nature, order and disorder, fortune and chance, reality and appearance - which occupied him in his other works. Here he deals with them directly rather than obliquely, revealing the formative influences behind his own imaginary world and mythology..rates thatThe House of Fameis in a sense Chaucer's creative manifesto, centred on Fame as the goddess of language, myth and poetry, with poets as her prophets. In this poem, he defines many of the themes - Love and Nature, order and disorder, fortune and chance, reality and appearance - which occupied him in his other works. Here he deals with them directly rather than obliquely, revealing the formative influences behind his own imaginary world and mythology..rates thatThe House of Fameis in a sense Chaucer's creative manifesto, centred on Fame as the goddess of language, myth and poetry, with poets as her prophets. In this poem, he defines many of the themes - Love and Nature, order and disorder, fortune and chance, reality and appearance - which occupied him in his other works. Here he deals with them directly rather than obliquely, revealing the formative influences behind his own imaginary world and mythology..
 

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Contents

the Poem
7
From Homer to the Scholastics
18
The FourteenthCentury Fame of Fame
72
Fame in her House
159
From Wonder to Secrecy
175
Literature and Language
189
Notes
217
Indexes
245
Copyright

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