Contradictions: From Beowulf to Chaucer: Selected Studies of Larry Benson

1st Edition

Theodore M. Andersson, Stephen A. Barney

Routledge
Published December 21, 1995
Reference - 352 Pages
ISBN 9781859281734 - CAT# Y284629

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Summary

This volume brings together a series of key essays by Larry D Benson, well-known for his work in editing the Riverside Chaucer. Of the studies selected, the opening three deal with Old English, recasting the possibilities for the critical study of Beowulf, above all the relation between oral and written literary production. The following ten essays turn to Middle English literature, with the focus first on Chaucer, and the evolution of his works and his language, then on the social and cultural context of medieval chivalric texts. Throughout, Professor Benson approaches his subjects with a skeptical intent, even a seeming contrariness in seeking to contradict received views, but in fact with the purpose of questioning in order to understand more deeply. Scattered in their original publications, and with one hitherto unpublished, together these studies present a powerful argument for this questioning approach to fundamental issues and constitute a major contribution to the study of the literary and cultural history of the medieval world. Larry D Benson is Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English, Harvard University.

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