Gower Bibliography

Unjustified Margins: Vernacular Innovations and Latin Tradition in Gower's Confessio Amantis

Batchelor, Patricia. "Unjustified Margins: Vernacular Innovations and Latin Tradition in Gower's Confessio Amantis." PhD thesis, Marquette University, 1996.

Review

"Although most criticism of the Confessio Amantis acknowledges the Latin texts as Gower's work, studies of specific tales in the work, like its treatment in studies of medieval genres like confession, dream vision and exemplum, generally privilege the Middle English narrative. Investigation into the dynamic interaction of text and apparatus, however, reveals in Gower's project a complex exploitation and modification of medieval scholastic and literary traditions. It also illuminates Gower's artful cultivation of ambiguity throughout the work. The reciprocal influence of Latin and Middle English texts permeates the Confessio, and thereby highlights the importance of the issue of auctoritas and its sentence. "This study relies on manuscript research, evidence of scholastic commentary traditions, an investigation of literary genre, and close reading of portions of the work to argue for a re-appraisal of the Confessio Amantis. Based on interpretations that acknowledge the interaction of all of its constituent parts, it demonstrates Gower's keen sensitivity to the relationship between form and content in literature. His sophisticated manipulation of that relationship governs this dissertation's attention to the texts in the authoritative language and the ways in which they affect, and are affected by, the Middle English narrative. Acknowledging the importance of Gower's dependence on medieval literary traditions, this dissertation discovers in the Confessio Amantis evidence of his success in the creation of 'some new thing.'" Directed by Tim William Machan. Abstract provided by the author. [JGN 16.2]

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International 57 (1997): 5142A
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis
Manuscripts and Textual Studies

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