Gower Bibliography

Late medieval authorship and the prophetic tradition.

Fonzo, Kimberly L. "Late medieval authorship and the prophetic tradition." PhD thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014.

Review

"Tracing the emergence of the author function in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, during which writers began to name themselves and their other works in their own texts, this project examines the hitherto ignored role that prophetic self-representation played in the construction of medieval authorial personae. Building upon already established connections between classical authorship and prophecy, medieval authors exploited the prophetic subject position in order to clarify their function as mediators between subject and audience. More than a mask from behind which to safely advance political critiques, the persona of the prophet allowed medieval authors to define the nature of their authority and their relationships to their readers. The first half of this project examines the works of two authors, John Gower and Christine de Pizan, who use prophecy to assert their superior analytical skills. Although both authors draw heavily from the tradition of the prophet Daniel, a prophet known for his inspired interpretive abilities, they claim their inspiration from entirely different sources. Gower represents himself as being prophetically inspired by the public voice, which under the maxim, 'Vox populi,vox Dei,' is divine. Gower consistently represents himself as the public prophet of England in the 'Mirour de l'Omme,' the 'Vox Clamantis,' and the 'Confessio Amantis.' Christine de Pizan, on the other hand, promotes her career in the traditionally masculine fields of literature and politics by implying that her gender gives her prophetic intuition. . . . The second half of this project looks at the work of two authors, William Langland and Margery Kempe." [JGN 33.2]

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:DAI-A 75.07 (E) (2015).
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis
Mirour de l’Omme (Speculum Meditantis)
Vox Clamantis

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