Chaucer And Langland: The Antagonistic Tradition by John M. BowersChaucer And Langland: The Antagonistic Tradition by John M. Bowers

Chaucer And Langland: The Antagonistic Tradition

byJohn M. Bowers

Paperback | May 1, 2007

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"In Chaucer and Langland: The Antagonistic Tradition, John M. Bowers advances a provocative argument in the field of Middle English literary studies while also providing a comprehensive and extremely useful overview of the most significant Langlandian and Chaucerian criticism of the last half century. This consolidation of decades of scholarship on medieval England's two central poets will provide a constant point of reference both for students and advanced scholars working in Middle English." —Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia
“The twentieth turned out not to have been the century of Deleuze, after all, but the fourteenth still could become the century of Langland. In a series of seemingly counterintuitive, yet deeply resourceful, readings, Bowers compellingly reorganizes medieval and early modern English literary history around the dual figures of Chaucer and Langland. He shows not only how an account of Langland and his readers is indispensable to a full understanding of the emergence of English literature, but that the complex literary afterlife of the fourteenth century is already inscribed in the heterogeneous beginnings of Piers Plowman. This is an important corrective to the comparative neglect of Langland in recent years.” —D. Vance Smith, Princeton University
"John Bowers has produced what is in many ways an admirable and ambitious volume of new literary history. He makes what could truly be called a master narrative by pushing to extremes the tendencies and implications of recent scholarship. This ingenious work will provoke thought, citation, and occasional outrage." —David Lawton, Washington University
Although Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland together dominate fourteenth-century English literature, their respective masterpieces, The Canterbury Tales and Piers Plowman, could not be more different. While Langland’s poem was immediately popular and influential, it was Chaucer who stood at the head of a literary tradition within a generation of his death. John Bowers asks why and how Chaucer, not Langland, was granted this position. His study reveals the political, social, and religious factors that contributed to the formation of a literary canon in fourteenth-century England.
John M. Bowers is professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the author of The Crisis of Will in “Piers Plowman” and The Politics of “Pearl”: Court Poetry in the Age of Richard II.
Title:Chaucer And Langland: The Antagonistic TraditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:424 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1 inPublished:May 1, 2007Publisher:University of Notre Dame PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:026802202X

ISBN - 13:9780268022020

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Editorial Reviews

"John M. Bowers begins his newest book with a simple question: why has Geoffrey Chaucer, not William Langland become the poet whom many, beginning with Dryden, have dubbed "the Father of English Poetry"? . . . Bowers arranges his ambitious study as a weaving together of the two poets' lives, works, and legacies. In spite of the sheer scope of his arguments, as well as the breadth of scholarly criticism he invokes in making them, he ably integrates his study of the two poets into a sweeping narrative of tradition formation and perpetuation." —Comitatus