The Poetry of Chaucer

The Poetry of Chaucer

Book - 1977
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The Poetry of Chaucer offers a reading of his poetry harmonious with the charac­ter of Chaucer as his own age knew and understood him. This new work by John Gardner is designed to comple­ment his biography of Chaucer being published by Alfred A. Knopf.



The Poetry of Chaucer is not simply one more sensitive reading of the poet’s work, nor is it, simply, a modern writ­er’s comment on the work of one of his two greatest English predecessors. Gardner’s reading of the poetry of Chaucer provides a persuasive synthesis of virtually the whole body of scholarly work done on Chaucer in the past twen­ty years?the period of the critical revo­lution in Chaucerian studies. It may well be considered, for years to come, the definitive statement on how and why Chaucer wrote verse.


One purpose of Gardner’s The Poetry of Chaucer is to make the new evidence available to the nonspecialist. But Gardner’s larger purpose is to show how the various kinds of new evidence fit to­gether, to demonstrate how, for the reader willing to look down from the mountaintop, seemingly conflicting readings of Chaucer’s poetry can be recognized as parts of a harmonious whole. Gathering and assessing the results of the past twenty years of Chau­cer studies, adding striking new evi­dence derived from his own close anal­ysis of Chaucer’s poetry, and for the first time emphasizing the importance, throughout Chaucer’s work, of the most significant philosophical movement of Chaucer’s age, so-called Nominalism, Gardner creates a coherent image of Chaucer and Chaucer’s art.

Publisher: Carbondale, Ill. : Southern Illinois University Press, c1977
ISBN: 9780809307722
Branch Call Number: 821.1 CHA
Characteristics: xxxv, 408 p. ; 25 cm


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