New PDF release: Amoral Gower: Language, Sex, and Politics

By Diane Watt

ISBN-10: 0816640289

ISBN-13: 9780816640287

"Moral Gower" he was once referred to as via good friend and someday rival Geoffrey Chaucer, and his Confessio Amantis has been seen as an easy research of the universe, combining erotic narratives with moral information and political remark. Diane Watt bargains the 1st sustained analyzing of John Gower's Confessio to argue that this early vernacular textual content deals no actual strategies to the moral difficulties it raises-and actually actively encourages "perverse" readings. Drawing on a mixture of queer and feminist concept, moral feedback, and psychoanalytic, historicist, and textual feedback, Watt specializes in the language, intercourse, and politics in Gower's writing. How, she asks, is Gower's Confessio relating to modern controversies over vernacular translation and debates approximately language politics? How is Gower's remedy of rhetoric and language gendered and sexualized, and what bearing does this have at the moral and political constitution of the textual content? what's the dating among the erotic, moral, and political sections of Confessio Amantis? Watt demonstrates that Gower engaged within the type of serious pondering almost always linked to Chaucer and William Langland whilst that she contributes to fashionable debates concerning the ethics of feedback. Diane Watt is senior lecturer in English on the collage of Wales, Aberystwyth.

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Additional resources for Amoral Gower: Language, Sex, and Politics

Sample text

1390–93. 67 The second recension adds passages to Books V and VII, rearranges Book VI, replaces praise of the king in the conclusion with a prayer for the state of England, and, in some versions, changes the prefatory dedication to Henry. The third recension has the revised prologue and conclusion, but in other respects follows the original form of the poem. As mentioned above, most manuscripts in the second and third recensions also cut a coterie reference to Chaucer found in Book VIII of the first recension.

For Macaulay however the first recension can be further subdivided into three stages: unrevised, intermediary, revised; and the second recension has at least two distinct forms. 68 Just as the once widely held view that Gower oversaw the production of copies of the poem in a personal scriptorium at the Priory of St. 76 The status of the remaining two categories is less clear. 81 In contrast, revised first-recension, second-recension, and third-recension manuscripts tend to place the commentary in the margins (“Gower’s 13 14 Introduction own design for the poem” according to Emmerson82) or even to omit it altogether.

But by the time Gower came to write Confessio, that is, by the time he decided to write in the vernacular, he must also have been aware that his own poetic discourse had become a hybrid. A mixing of “high” and “low,” prestige and vernacular languages, it was itself a cacophony, a confusion of voices, a veritable Tower of Babel. Looked at from a rather different perspective, however, it might be that in implicating the multiplicity of languages, and thus his own verses in Anglo-Norman, Latin, and English (and his Latin glosses), in the Fall, Gower is again drawing a parallel between language and sexuality.

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Amoral Gower: Language, Sex, and Politics by Diane Watt


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