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Title:The "Woman Reader": Gendering Interpretation in Boccaccio and Chaucer
Author(s):Lartigue, Rebecca Powell
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lisa Lampert
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:Boccaccio and Chaucer dramatize the interpretive process and redefine the interpretive roles of writers and audiences in the Teseida, Decameron, Legend of Good Women, and Canterbury Tales, and both writers use the "woman reader" to represent the entrance to literary audiences of not only some women but also newly-literate men from the middle social strata. Rather than responding with anxious attempts to control the interpretations of their texts by new vernacular readers, Boccaccio and Chaucer welcome and facilitate these audiences. They model interpretation within their works for these readers, reveal the inadequacies of the received interpretive approaches, and revise perceptions of the "woman reader." While Boccaccio imagines women as readers and characterizes literature's potential threat to readers primarily as a sexual one, Chaucer in contrast focuses more on women as read or represented by literary texts and characterizes a different kind of threat posed to women by texts: not a sexual one, but the spiritual threat posed by heretical interpretation and the physical threat one posed by literary misogyny.
Issue Date:2001
Description:269 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3030450
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2001

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