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Chaucer's Sexual Poetics [Paperback]

Carolyn Dinshaw


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Book Description

Feb. 15 1990

Through an analysis of the poems Chaucers wordes Unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn, Troilus and Criseyde, the Legend of Good Women, the Man of Law’s Tale, the Wife of Bath’s Tale and its Prologue, the Clerk’s Tale, and the Pardoner’s Tale, Carolyn Dinshaw offers a provocative argument on medieval sexual constructs and Chaucer’s role in shaping them. Operating under the assumption that people read and write certain ways based upon society’s demands, Dinshaw examines gender identity and the effects of a patriarchal society. The focal point of Dinshaw’s argument is the idea that the literary text can be seen as the female body while any literary activities upon the text are decidedly male. Through a series of six provocative essays, Dinshaw argues that Chaucer was not only aware that gender is a social construction, but that he self-consciously worked to oppose the dominance of masculinity that a patriarchal society places on texts by creating works in which gender identity and hierarchy were more fluid.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press (Feb. 15 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299122743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299122744
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,408,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaucer Exhumed and Explained July 28 2007
By Christine Hamm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dinshaw's book is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the new critiques of Medieval writers. Her ideas are clearly elucidated and thought out. She explores the most important of Chaucer's works from a feminist position that takes the whole of the middle ages into consideration. Her elucidation of "Adam, The Scribe" was especially helpful.
4.0 out of 5 stars Important work for medieval scholarship July 5 2014
By Anne Babson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This text may be out of fashion right now, but its importance to late medieval scholarship will endure. She's a post-modernist and believes that "reading like a woman" is not an essentialist expression. Given the establishmentarian patriarchal environment in which she was reading medieval literature, how could she not see gender as a material issue in textual analysis and the issue of authorship in Chaucer's work?

She writes fluently and passionately. Read this, and even if you reject her approach, you will learn something.

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