By Geoffrey W. Gust (auth.)
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Additional resources for Constructing Chaucer: Author and Autofiction in the Critical Tradition
162 This comment neatly demonstrates that the persona, by definition, overlaps with and functions in a manner similar to “apocryphal” voices or tones—Lawton’s preferred terms—and also resonates with critical applications of dialogism, subjectivity, homodiegetic narration, performativity, and so on. ”164 Does this conceptualization not parallel the persona-construct, with its classical roots tied into dramatic characters, multiple (false) faces, and in fact dialogue? ”166 Here again, it is difficult not to hear a distinct echo of persona-theory in these contentions, and this echo is undeniable in the following words on Stendhal’s complex narratives, which Genette describes as “highly variable” works told by a narrative “I” who “is rarely identical with the person” of the author: “the paradox of [narrative] egotism is more or less this: to speak of oneself, in the most discreet and unrestrained way, may be the best way of concealing oneself.
66 It is not surprising that, in a textual culture in which writers more explicitly asserted their own authority, a central theme of the day became authority itself. Closely associated with this motif was a thematic concern with the words and deeds of the author, as narrative speaker. By “words and deeds,” I mean the question of whether an author’s deeds actually follow his/her words, and vice versa—an idea centered on moral honesty and textual “reality” that closely corresponds with the distinctions made between reportatio and assertio.
160 Both Hughes and Rushdie recognize the importance of various personae to an author, whether for purposes of self-defense or literary creativity. ” In Chaucer Studies, there seems to be a prevailing view that Lawton’s account of Chaucer’s Narrators is perhaps the “last word” on the poet’s personae. But this could not be further from the truth. ”161 However, the fact that Lawton himself uses the term persona throughout the book signals the concept’s continuing importance. ”162 This comment neatly demonstrates that the persona, by definition, overlaps with and functions in a manner similar to “apocryphal” voices or tones—Lawton’s preferred terms—and also resonates with critical applications of dialogism, subjectivity, homodiegetic narration, performativity, and so on.
Constructing Chaucer: Author and Autofiction in the Critical Tradition by Geoffrey W. Gust (auth.)