Neighboring Text: Chaucer, Boccaccio, Henryson


Neighboring Text: Chaucer, Boccaccio, Henryson

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Most medieval texts were not really texts in the modern sense of printed, bound, stand-alone volumes, but were instead scribal productions that circulated in manuscript form, often alongside unrelated writings, thereby producing what seem to be haphazard compilations. In The Neighboring Text: Chaucer, Boccaccio, Henryson, George Edmondson argues that we have tended to apply a vertical, linear model of literary history to this late medieval manuscript culture. By contrast, he brings recent work in the fields of psychoanalysis and political philosophy to bear on the question of literary history in order to develop a countermodel informed by a horizontal ethos of “neighborliness.”

Edmondson analyzes the different ways that three canonical texts–Chaucer s Troilus and Criseyde; its source, Boccaccio s Il Filostrato; and its fifteenth-century Scottish derivative, Robert Henryson s Testament of Cresseid–treat two figures, Troilus and Criseyde, and how those