Crossing borders
Northumberland bodies unbound
in Transporting Chaucer
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Through examination of codicology and editorial procedure Chapter Two shows how The Canterbury Interlude and The Tale of Beryn (companion texts found two thirds of the way through MS Northumberland 455), upset chronological linearity and confound normative co-ordinates of time and place. The signs of personhood (especially props and names) in all these texts, and the Anglo-Norman source, Bérinus are radically unstable. In their Canterbury setting, narrated by a Merchant pilgrim, preceded by a Chaucerian Prologue, and in the midst of a codex of The Canterbury Tales, the foreign bodies of Bérinus become persons rather familiar from the works of Chaucer, especially Gioffrey and the inconsistent cameo appearances of ‘Chaucer himself’. The borders of narrative text and literary history unravel.


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