The Key of Remembrance: A Study of Chaucer's Poetics.

Author / Editor
Payne, Robert O.

The Key of Remembrance: A Study of Chaucer's Poetics.

New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press for the University of Cincinnati, 1963.

Physical Description
xii, 246 pp.

Explores how "the problems and operations of poetry and the poet are repeatedly raised into the consciousness of the reader" of Chaucer's poetry, adding a "peculiar dimension" to engaging with his works by requiring a "deliberate assent to their artifices" while pursuing meaning and ethical concerns. Surveys the classical and medieval poetic and rhetorical traditions that "provided Chaucer's fundamental assumptions about the nature of poetry," and examines LGWP as an "account of the main issues in the Chaucerian poetic," similar to BD, HF and PF in being structurally "combinative" and a variation on the "book-experience-dream formula." Treats CT as an unresolved series of experiments in form and style as means to convey and confront the "problems" and potentials of poetry, while TC is Chaucer's "most nearly satisfactory solution" to such concerns, offering "almost endlessly expanding concentric ironies which constitute Chaucer's way of reconciling human wisdom with human limitation."

Chaucer Subjects
Background and General Criticism
Style and Versification
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Book of the Duchess
House of Fame
Parliament of Fowls
Troilus and Criseyde
Legend of Good Women
Canterbury Tales--General