"A very challenging work, the product of intense study, deep insight, and considerable daring; its conclusions will spark wide debate in Chaucer studies."--J. Stephen Russell, Hofstra University
"By treating the Dream Vision poems along with the Troilus, Condren is able to shed new light on Chaucer's growth as a man and as an artist. Each poem is analyzed rewardingly."--Chauncey Wood, McMaster University
While covering all the major work produced by Geoffrey Chaucer in his pre-Canterbury Tales career, Chaucer from Prentice to Poet seeks to correct the traditional interpretations of these poems. Edward Condren provides new and provocative interpretations of the three "dream visions"--Book of the Duchess, Parliament of Fowls, and House of Fame--as well as Chaucer's early masterwork Troilus and Criseyde.
Condren draws an arresting series of portraits of Chaucer as glimpsed in his work: the fledgling poet seeking to master the artificial style of French love poetry; the passionate author attempting to rebut critics of his work; and, finally, the master of a naturalistic style entirely his own.
This book is one of the few works written in the past century that reevaluates Chaucer's early poetry and the only one that examines the Dream Visions in conjunction with the Troilus. It should frame the discourse of Chaucer scholarship for many generations to come.
Edward I. Condren is professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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"Many will probably warm to a study that makes the reader think anew, and that probes in such an insistent fashion into many puzzling aspects of Chaucer's texts and demonstrates so fervent a belief in the profundity of Chaucer's dream poems and Troilus and Criseyde." H-Net Reviews
"Closely agued. A fine challenge to some long-held assumptions about the poems. Recommended." CHOICE
"A fine challenge to some long-held assumptions about the poems." Choice
"This book demonstrates that traditional close reading can be as provacative as the cutting-edge theory of the day, and it will succeed in shocking readers more accustomed to seeing in print arguments based upon substatial evidence." Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"This is a loving study, in complete concord with Condren's conviction that Chaucer himself felt that 'poetic creation is an act of love.'" Arthuriana
I unhesitatingly number this brilliant book among the Chaucer studies one must reread many time, simply because they will alter one's whole way of approaching the poet. Medium Aevum