Gower Bibliography

Familiar estrangements: Reading family in Middle English romance

Lim, Gary. "Familiar estrangements: Reading family in Middle English romance." PhD thesis, City University of New York, 2009.


"This dissertation, 'Familiar Estrangements: Reading Family in Middle English Romance,' explores the varied representations of marriage and family in Middle English romance. While Middle English romances often act with disciplinary force to cultivate and popularize ideals about the family, many romances also stand in ambivalent relationship to this disciplinary function. Even if they end up valorizing the nuclear family, they do so through circuitous routes--such as depicting surrogate father-child relationships, interracial marriages, the loss of family members, and adultery--as they imagine alternatives means by which families cohere. The chapters take up each of these themes in turn, through readings that are historicized against political and social realities, and informed by psychoanalytic theory. . . . Chapter four focuses on a single romance--Gower's "Apollonius of Tyre"--arguing that how the loss of family members is memorialized creates a "virtual" family that is turned towards political ends. . . . In general, the thesis argues that while ecclesiastical ideas about the family in the high and late Middle Ages began to produce what we would now recognize as nuclear families, the Middle English romance remained a vigorous site where alternatives to doctrinal ideals about the family were imagined."

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:DAI-A 70.8 (2011)
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

Gower Bibliography Editors Only: edit metadata