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The New Middle Ages

Reading Chaucer After Auschwitz

Sovereign Power and Bare Life

Authors: McClellan, William T.

  • Draws on prominent writers, theorists, and philosophers including Primo Levi and Giorgio Agamben
  • Offers compelling readings for not only Chaucer Studies and medieval scholars but also those interested in reception studies, philosophy, and the history of literature
  • Challenges traditional readings of Chaucer through its connection of his work to the Holocaust.
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eBook £72.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54879-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £90.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56544-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Drawing on the work of Holocaust writer Primo Levi and political philosopher Giorgio Agamben McClellan introduces a critical turn in our reading of Chaucer. He argues that the unprecedented event of the Holocaust, which witnessed the total degradation and extermination of human beings, irrevocably changes how we read literature from the past. McClellan gives a thoroughgoing reading of the Man of Law’s Tale, widely regarded as one of Chaucer’s most difficult tales, interpreting it as a meditation on the horrors of sovereign power. He shows how Chaucer, through the figuration of Custance, dramatically depicts the destructive effects of power on the human subject. McClellan’s intervention, which he calls “reading-history-as-ethical-meditation,” places reception history in the context of a reception ethics and holds the promise of changing the way we read traditional texts.  

About the authors

William McClellan is Associate Professor of English at Baruch College, City University of New York, USA. He has written articles on medieval literature, the Holocaust, Giorgio Agamben, and political theory.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Political Chaucer

    McClellan, William

    Pages 1-28

  • The Man of Law’s Tale: Sovereign Abandonment of the Subject

    McClellan, William

    Pages 29-40

  • First Movement: Marriage and Exile

    McClellan, William

    Pages 41-59

  • Second Movement: Destitution of the Subject

    McClellan, William

    Pages 61-80

  • Third Movement: Return and Restitution

    McClellan, William

    Pages 81-102

Buy this book

eBook £72.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54879-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £90.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56544-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Reading Chaucer After Auschwitz
Book Subtitle
Sovereign Power and Bare Life
Authors
Series Title
The New Middle Ages
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-54879-5
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-54879-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-56544-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 123
Topics