By Geoffrey W. Gust (auth.)
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Extra info for Constructing Chaucer: Author and Autofiction in the Critical Tradition
Thomas Speght, for example, addresses Chaucer’s I-persona in his important comments on Sir Thopas from 1598. 101 Speght’s comment, however, provides tangible evidence that there were some Renaissance scholars who recognized the fictional signification of Chaucer’s personae, or at least acknowledged that the persona-construct rendered the type of “autobiographical” readings described by Miskimin as theoretically problematic. A similar recognition is discernible in John Hoskins’s Directions for Speech and Style (ca.
Moreover, the persona represents a historically viable critical concept that, in fact, explicitly serves many of the very functions implicated by modern ideas of the subject, voice, and so on. Hence, although the persona-construct is no longer prevalent in twenty-first century critical discourse, its ghost still hovers in/around a variety of notions that would seem to support its continued significance. Recognizing this endurance and utility, a strong case can be made in support of a historically based, neo persona-theory for use in 36 C O N S T RU C T I N G C H AU C E R literary studies today and in the future.
172 Yet the fact is that this identity is evasive even when considering our own selves, as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and others helped to establish for modern psychology.