The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0822 Wednesday, 5 May 1999.
Date: Tuesday, 4 May 1999 19:41:56 -0700
Subject: Violating narrative decorum
[Editor's Note: E. A. Hogue does not appear to be a member of SHAKSPER.
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(Please excuse the cross posting.)
I am a student working on a thesis on Gower's Confessio Amantis. In the
course of this poem, Gower has the allegorical characters refer to the
text of the poem in spatial terms. In the passage below, for instance,
Amans is replying to a question from Genius, both fictional characters:
Mi fader, I beknowe a part,
So as ye tolden hier above
Of Murmur and Compleignte of love,
That for I se no sped comende,
Ayein fortune compleignende (I.1376-80)
This happens at least four times. I have found one poem of Machaut that
exactly the same thing, and it happens once, I think, in Boethius. The
records no temporal senses of the word "above".
Has anyone out there noticed something like this in other prose or verse
fictions? I'd be grateful for any leads, whether in medieval literature
from any other time. Please feel free to reply privately, if you prefer.