By Diane Watt
"Moral Gower" he used to be referred to as by means of buddy and someday rival Geoffrey Chaucer, and his Confessio Amantis has been considered as an simple research of the universe, combining erotic narratives with moral advice and political observation. Diane Watt deals the 1st sustained analyzing of John Gower's Confessio to argue that this early vernacular textual content bargains no actual recommendations to the moral difficulties it raises-and in reality actively encourages "perverse" readings. Drawing on a mix of queer and feminist thought, moral feedback, and psychoanalytic, historicist, and textual feedback, Watt specializes in the language, intercourse, and politics in Gower's writing. How, she asks, is Gower's Confessio relating to modern controversies over vernacular translation and debates approximately language politics? How is Gower's therapy of rhetoric and language gendered and sexualized, and what bearing does this have at the moral and political constitution of the textual content? what's the courting among the erotic, moral, and political sections of Confessio Amantis? Watt demonstrates that Gower engaged within the type of serious considering most likely linked to Chaucer and William Langland whilst that she contributes to fashionable debates in regards to the ethics of feedback. Diane Watt is senior lecturer in English on the college of Wales, Aberystwyth.
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Extra resources for Amoral Gower: Language, Sex, and Politics
Linguistically then, the poem is divided; the various “voices” of the poem often contradict each other, or are at odds with one another in a number of different ways. In fact the Confessio as a whole might be viewed as an example of the carnivalesque, in which the lover’s confession to a very secular priest (Genius, as the servant of Venus) is a semiparody of a religious ritual, perhaps even a travesty of a Church sacrament. Grammatical Gender-Benders The penis riddle is just the first of many linguistic jokes in Confessio Amantis.
85). 37 2 Writing Like a Man Rhetoric and Genealogy T Dante, Brunetto Latini, and Gower In one of the best-known passages of Inferno, Dante unexpectedly encounters the Florentine magistrate, rhetorician, and poet Brunetto Latini amongst the sodomites in the innermost ring of the seventh circle of Hell. 84–85; “‘when in the world you taught me early and late / the art by which man grows eternal’”). In other words, Dante is indebted to Latini for his instruction in the art of poetry. 2 Certainly there is reason to think that Latini’s transgression may be more complex than it appears at first.
The anecdote concerning Latini in Commedia reveals Dante’s concerns about poetic inheritance, and also the link that exists in his imagination between literary pride, narcissism, and sodomy. It also suggests that the pursuit of writing, which can gain a man renown and honor, can at the 41 42 Writing Like a Man same time render him vulnerable to corruption. ” These vices were in turn associated, in contemporary texts, with the court of Richard II. I will conclude this chapter by explaining how the troubled character of Dante’s relationship with his old teacher is reflected in Gower’s own anxiety of influence.
Amoral Gower: Language, Sex, and Politics by Diane Watt