Beginning with the spectacle of hysteria, moving through the perversions of fetishism, masochism, and sadism, and ending with paranoia and psychosis, this book explores the ways that conflicts with the Oedipal law erupt on the body and in language in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, for Chaucer’s tales are rife with issues of mastery and control that emerge as conflicts not only between authority and experience but also between power and knowledge, word and flesh, rule books and reason, man and woman, same and other—conflicts that erupt in a macabre sprawl of broken bones, dismembered bodies, cut throats, and decapitations. Like the macabre sprawl of conflict in the Canterbury Tales, this book brings together a number of conflicting modes of thinking and writing through the surprising and perhaps disconcerting use of autobiographical “shadow” chapters that speak to or against the four “central” chapters, creating both dialogue and interruption.
Medieval Institute Publications
Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Oedipal law, autobiography
English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles | Literature in English, North America | Medieval Studies
Citation for Published Book
McLaughlin, Becky Renee. Hysteria, Perversion, and Paranoia in The Canterbury Tales: "Wild" Analysis and the Symptomatic Storyteller. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2020.