Gower’s classicizing vocations

Authored by: Andrew Galloway

The Routledge Research Companion to John Gower

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472435804
eBook ISBN: 9781315613109
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043034

10.4324/9781315613109.ch20

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Abstract

What good are old books? The question simmers around everything medievalists do, not only because our pursuits usually seem strange to those around us, but also because the writers we study, as beholden to auctorite as they were concerned with its correct or incorrect processing, often thought about this question. In some ways Gower is in a long tradition by taking this up in his opening sentence of the Confessio Amantis: Of hem that writen ous tofore The bokes duelle, and we therfore Ben tawht of that was write tho: Forthi good is that we also In oure tyme among ous hiere Do wryte of new som matiere, Essampled of these olde wyse So that it myhte in such a wyse, Whan we ben dede and elleswhere, Beleve to the worldes eere In tyme comende after this. (CA Prol. 1–11) 1

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