By L. Kordecki
This e-book analyzes the interplay among gender and species in Chaucer's poetry and strives to appreciate his variation of medieval discourse via an ecofeminist lens. Works that both communicate of animals, or people with animals talking, provide new insights into the medieval textual dealing with of the 'others' of society.
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Additional resources for Ecofeminist Subjectivities: Chaucer’s Talking Birds
Chaucer has the dreamer recalcitrant in the same way, looking away from the stars that become identified with fame because the truth of nature will blind him, enacting a portrait of the artist as a young bird. 38 I am not convinced that Chaucer’s dreamer is capable of actually embodying the subversive female voice that we both see in the poem, and I obviously differ in arguing that the eagle functions as another threat to patriarchal discourse. I think we both read the end, however, as a withdrawal on Chaucer’s part away from a truth glimpsed, but not fully recognized.
I will show that to find his own piece in the pluralistic puzzle of discourse, his own poetic voice, the dreamer in the House of Fame, and by extension, Geoffrey Chaucer himself, impersonates the nonperson, resonates the voice of the voiceless, that is, the restrained tones of silenced women in texts, and also and even more radically, the dumb voice of the animal. This reading raises questions about the exclusivity of a constructed “human” subjectivity and the loss effected by the shift from the orality of the contemporaneous world to the literacy of human- dominated forms of truth embodied in the text, for the medieval writer, a text “literally” etched on the bodies of animals.
What does he do then? He seeks out a fountain and then f lies up into the atmosphere of the sun, and he burns away his wings and the dimness of his eyes, and descends into the fountain and bathes himself three times and is restored and made new again. ” The later bestiary amplifications on this story introduce the tutoring aspects of the bird, in which the older eagle holds the younger one, hoping the youth will see without fear the sun’s rays. ”28 The image of eagles on the front of this book, taken from a thirteenth-century bestiary in the Bodleian Library, illustrates the eagle’s “typical” attributes: diving into the sea for fish and staring into the sun.