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Author: Caitlin Flynn

This book introduces a new critical framework for reading medieval texts. The narrative grotesque decentres critical discourse by turning focus to points at which literary texts distort and rupture conventional narratological and poetic boundaries. These boundary-warping grotesques are crystallised at moments affective horror and humour. Two seminal Older Scots works are used to exemplify the multivalent applications of the narrative grotesque: Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour (c. 1501) and William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo (c. 1507). These texts create manifold textual hybridisations, transfigurations, and ruptures in order to interrogate modes of discourse, narratological subjectivities, and medieval genre conventions. Within the liminal space opened up by these textual (de)constructions, it is possible to reconceptualise the ways in which poets engaged with concepts of authenticity, veracity, subjectivity, and eloquence in literary writing during the late medieval period.

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The narrative grotesque
Caitlin Flynn

philosophical and aesthetic concerns in literary narratives. This study considers two Older Scots poems that exemplify the narrative grotesque, namely Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour ( c . 1501) and William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo ( c . 1507). Narrowing focus to these two texts allows for a forensic examination of the multivalent forms and outcomes of the narrative grotesque. When it is applied as a framework for reading medieval texts the narrative grotesque will be shown to be an

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Grotesquing the dream vision
Caitlin Flynn

the discovery of two salamanders at the bottom of the cup!’ 2 Connelly’s remarks highlight the striking relationship between creator, creation, and audience in the grotesque object. The grotesque fluidity and improvisation of the object is possible only by means of the extreme ingenuity and control of its creator. And, even when the insistent viewer crushes the unruly form into conventional categorisation, it resists belligerently. Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour ( c . 1501) achieves a similarly

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
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Temporal dissonance and narrative voice
Caitlin Flynn

Borghesi, Michael Papio, and Massimo Riva (eBook: Cambridge University Press, 2003) , p. 135. 4 Bawcutt, Gavin Douglas , esp. pp. 32–5. 5 Parkinson (ed.), Palyce , note to line 1. Ficino describes dawn as the ideal time for productive contemplation and scholarly pursuit (Kaske and Clark (trans. and eds), Three Books on Life , I.VII, esp. [500–1] pp. 125–9). 6 See Ficino on environmental factors conducive to

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
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Classical and Christian divinity in Palyce
Caitlin Flynn

In the final chapter on The Palyce of Honour the narrative strands are brought together by examining the ways in which Gavin Douglas weaves together pagan allegory with Christianity. The poem is demonstrated to create multiple intersecting hierarchies that highlight Douglas’s humanist-complected understanding of poetics as a mode of divine illumination. The figure of Venus in medieval cosmology and astrology is especially important to this phase of the discussion. Meanwhile, the motifs of are developed from their introduction in the previous chapter. Lastly, Douglas the poet is integrated as contributing yet another subjectivity through his dedication to James IV of Scotland which brings the Scottish king into the hierarchies discovered by the dreamer-narrator.

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
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The supernatural and the textual
Janet Hadley Williams

-orthodox religious beliefs. In Sir Colling the Knycht , it is the ‘alreche svord’ (134, 187), won in battle from the ‘alreche knycht’ (96, 102), 11 that equips the ‘kirsin [Christian]’ (10) Sir Colin to defeat the dark power of a three-headed giant (152–5). 12 In the prologue to Book VI of his translation of Virgil’s Aeneid (1513), Gavin Douglas imagines a detractor who sees Virgil simply as pagan, his work ‘ful of leys and ald ydolatryis’, of ‘gaistis and elrich fantasyis’; who condemns those paying heed to ‘browneis’ and ‘bogillis’ as ‘mangit [misguided]’, influenced by

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
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Caitlin Flynn

moments which reveal the intersection of ideas, affect, and form. In Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour and William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo new correspondences were discovered by means of the narrative grotesque: they share a concern with poetic making that is expressed in weird and wonderful new shapes and patterns; their self-conscious interrogations of medieval forms and perspectives create an unlikely blend of genres, voices, and structures that, in turn, materialise into

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry

This book is the first ever concordance to the rhymes of Spenser’s epic. It gives the reader unparalleled access to the formal nuts and bolts of this massive poem: the rhymes which he used to structure its intricate stanzas.

As well as the main concordance to the rhymes, the volume features a wealth of ancillary materials, which will be of value to both professional Spenserians and students, including distribution lists and an alphabetical listing of all the words in The Faerie Queene. The volume breaks new ground by including two studies by Richard Danson Brown and J. B. Lethbridge, so that the reader is given provocative analyses alongside the raw data about Spenser as a rhymer. Brown considers the reception of rhyme, theoretical models and how Spenser’s rhymes may be reading for meaning. Lethbridge in contrast discusses the formulaic and rhetorical character of the rhymes.

The Shepheardes Calender, The House of Fame and ‘La Compleynt’
Helen Barr

Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1975 ), 230–97 is especially insightful on the relationship between Chaucer and Spenser. 6 Helen Cooper notes that there are several poets in play here. Spenser borrowed these lines from The House of Fame , and ‘Lydgate developed the musical idea further in his lines on the daisy’, Pastoral: Medieval into Renaissance (Ipswich: Brewer, 1977 ), 56. Space prohibits consideration of Cooper’s third poet: Gavin Douglas, whose ‘silly scheip and thar litil

in Rereading Chaucer and Spenser
Mairi Cowan

and saul’. 13 Some poets described heaven in courtly terms, as a ‘palice of licht’, a ‘Court Celestial’, complete with princes in armour of burnished gold inset with precious stones. 14 Though Gavin Douglas insisted that only virtue mattered to those in heaven, not the pomp and might of earthly estate, this chivalrous vision was likely appealing to aristocrats if not to burgesses or the urban

in Death, life, and religious change in Scottish towns, c.1350–1560