Download A Distinction of Stories: The Medieval Unity of Chaucer's by Judson Boyce Allen PDF

By Judson Boyce Allen

ISBN-10: 0814203108

ISBN-13: 9780814203101

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Extra info for A Distinction of Stories: The Medieval Unity of Chaucer's Fair Chain of Narratives for Canterbury

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In order to understand how the Knight's Tale functions as one of the many parts of the story collection, and how that collection, together, presents a unified picture of the human condition, it will be necessary to inquire, first, how the Middle Ages understood the category "fiction" and, second, how medieval poets adapted from their materials the techniques of arrangement which unified their works. Once these questions of the nature of fiction and the proper disposition of its parts are answered, we can begin to read the Canterbury Tales.

Naturalis quam actor innuit in divisione elementorum, moralis que attenditur in Lycaone mutato in lupum, et ideo dicitur quia prius benignus postea factus predo et improbus. Spiritualis sicut de Agave que primo discreta mutata fuit in insanam. "51 Other Axioms of Unity and Their Consequences / 19 manuscripts tend to confirm the tradition as one wavering between three and four changes. N. lat. 15136, a thirteenth-century book from St. Victor, specifies three, but a different set: "Videndum est quot sint modi mutationis tres scilicet.

By medieval standards we should ex­ pect that this schema would have some Tightness of its own, indepen­ dent of or prior to an empirical examination of the Metamorphoses; medieval schemata of classification, of which the most famous is the four causes, tend to be imposed from authority rather than discov­ ered in the course of investigation. This habit, of course, is natural to an age which believed seriously in the possibility of definition and therefore in practice tended to adapt existing forms and procedures rather than to invent new ones.

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