Doctoral thesis

Reading Gestures: exemplarity and corporeity in four Middle English texts

ContributorsIvanova, Petya
Defense date2013-11-29

This thesis examines the relevance of the epistemological concept of “paradigm” to the analysis of late medieval literary texts. The related notions of “example” and “exemplarity” are used to allow for a discussion of the rhetorical genre of the exemplum and of the gestural and linguistic cluster designating “manner”. The first chapter considers the paradigmatic relation from the perspective of Malory's authorial gestures of exemplification of his preceding Arthurian tradition in the "Morte Darthur". The second chapter examines the interaction of the theological paradigm of the glorious body with literary texts such as Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and the anonymous popular romance "Le Bone Florence of Rome". The third chapter focuses on Gower's use of “manner” in his "Confessio Amantis" from a perspective intersecting the narrative use of exempla, the literary convention of fin amor and the phenomenology of fiction and the creative imagination. The analytical frame of the work draws on conceptual approaches in philosophy (Agamben, Wittgenstein, Deleuze), literary theory (Macé, Bolens) and literary criticism.

  • Paradigm
  • Example
  • Corporeity
  • Literature, late medieval
  • Literary theory
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Popular romance
  • Manner
  • Form
  • Philosophy
Citation (ISO format)
IVANOVA, Petya. Reading Gestures: exemplarity and corporeity in four Middle English texts. 2013. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:37197
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