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Record identifier : 565623
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Hoffman, Frank G
Title and statement of responsibility : The dream and the book: Chaucer's dream-poetry, faculty psychology, and the poetics of recombination [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Hoffman, Frank G, 2004
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D.
Body granting the degree : , Hoffman, Frank G
Summary or Abstract : Although the dream-poem was a remarkably popular, conventional and respected literary form in the Middle Ages, this fact alone fails to explain why Chaucer should choose to cast as dreams visions four of his most self-conscious and self-referential works: The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls , and the Prologue to The Legend of Good Women . Medieval faculty psychology offers a compelling approach to dream-poetry because of its resonance with medieval poetics--both involve the generation of new images through a recombination of old remembered ones, and both question the utility and reliability of these images. Medieval mnemonics in particular is interesting for its analogy to literary allegory as well as for its concern about the moral usefulness of mentally-constructed images. Chaucer was apparently familiar with the descriptive psychology current in his day, with its theory of three cerebral ventricles defined by intellectual function, and it provides an explanation of the dream-poem genre's special appeal to the poet and of key aspects of his poetry. The features and cognitive functions of Imagination, Cogitation and Memory help to understand, for example, the waking actions and emotional states of Chaucer's dreamer-narrators prior to their visionary experiences, the several interior and exterior settings in which the action of the dreams unfold, and what it means for these settings to be part of the "mindscape" of a narrator who is ostensibly Chaucer himself. Most significant are the ramifications of the dream-frame for the relationship of literary composition to truth in Chaucer's poetics. Although the information stored in one's memory can be increased, and almost infinitely recombined by the powers of the central ventricle to create new dreams or new poems, Chaucer seems to have been frustrated by the inherently human limits of working within one's own mental storehouse of received knowledge and experience. His dream poems are therefore not only allegorical treatments of particular subjects, but self-reflexive allegories of poetic composition itself. They reveal how Chaucer perceived the creative process of his craft as well as its inevitable irresolution in the pursuit of new knowledge..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Hoffman, Frank G
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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