Louise D’Arcens
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‘In remembrance of his persone’
Transhistorical empathy and the Chaucerian face
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From the earliest manuscript images through to cinematic depictions, Chaucer’s ‘persone’, that is his face and body, has been a key focus in the pursuit of transhistorical intimacy with the author. Chaucer’s physical self has been portrayed repeatedly across subsequent centuries in an array of media. Drawing upon the hermeneutic concept of Einfühlung (‘feeling into’) to examine the long ‘empathetic afterlife’ enjoyed by Chaucer’s ‘persone’, D’Arcens explores what Chaucer’s face and body have come to mean to post-medieval audiences; she traces how these differences intersect with the constantly changing nature of Chaucer’s legacy, especially as he and his work have been deemed to reflect national literary and comic traditions.

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Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries

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