Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4548
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  • Title: Privileged Knowledge: St. Cecilia and the Alchemist in the "Canterbury Tales" [The author reads the "Second Nun's Tale" against the Alchemist's Tale in order to explore Chaucer's interest in the "epistemology of artistic transformation." Title note supplied by Feminae].
  • Source: Chaucer Review 27, 1 ( 1992): Pages 87 - 96.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Cecilia, Saint in Literature Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Canon's Yeoman's Tale Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Second Nun's Tale Knowledge Literature- Verse Transformation in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: The "Canon's Yeoman's Tale" and the "Second Nun's Tale" both treat transformation. In the "Canon's Yeoman's Tale" alchemy is presented as fraud with only monetary consequences for the dupe. The Canon's Yeoman is careful to show the abuse of fundamental principles. In the "Second Nun's Tale" transformation has mortal consequences for believers, and as a result deals with a double epistemology. Believers can see what non-believers cannot. The narrator is responsible for the presentation of these two kinds of knowledge. The narrator of the "Second Nun's Tale" merely claims that he is reporting from a source, probably Jacobus de Voragine, whereas the narrator of the "Canon's Yeoman's Tale" is making a confession. [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
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  • Year of Publication: 1992.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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