Out of Action

I’m going quiet, as I am neck deep in academic concerns. Unless you really want a post about the role of associational ideology in Chaucerian fiction, I think it best to focus my attention elsewhere. My nose is to the grindstone, my back is to the wall, and my attention is elsewhere for the next two weeks or so.

One last point: Thwip!!

5 Comments on "Out of Action"

  • You must be reading David Wallace.

  • Indeed. I’m finishing up Chaucerian Polity. I had to give a ten minute presentation on it, and I had a pretty hard time boiling down all 400 pages into digestible chunks. I wish I had read more Boccaccio and Petrarch before I started. As it stands, I just have to take Wallace’s word for all the comparisons he’s making.

  • Yeah I can see how it might be resistant to easy distillation. Not really a bullet points kind of read but great nonetheless. By the time I’d gotten to Chaucer I’d already made it through Boccaccio and Petrarch (in translation) and Wallace’s views deepened my already great appreciation for Chaucer’s accomplishments.

  • How about the historical digressions? I’m digging the way Wallace will go off on, say, the way English guild structure played into the Canterbury Tales but I feel like I wish I knew more about Italian history. Lombardy sounds like it was a really interesting place to be a poet, and I kind of get the feeling that Wallace is giving my man Petrarch the short end of the stick.

  • Machiavelli’s history of Florence can be a deeply flawed but illuminating companion to Wallace’s analysis of Trecento Italy and humanism in particular. It might be a good place to start if you haven’t already gotten to it.

    Also interesting is how Wallace syncs up with other revisionists of the medium aevum like Mumford and Kropotkin, both of whom have much to say on the English guild structure of that time.

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