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Author Harkins, Jessica Lara Lawrence
Title Translations of Griselda
book jacket
Descript 365 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-05, Section: A, page: 1772
Adviser: David Lawton
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Washington University in St. Louis, 2008
This project addresses three standard critical claims about the Clerk's Tale and Decameron 10.10: that Griselda is a Hieronymian image, that Boccaccio derived his story from a folktale, and that Chaucer was ignorant of Boccaccio's version. I contextually read versions and antecedents of Griselda in St. Jerome, Apuleius, Boccaccio, Petrarch and Chaucer in order to assess how her figure changes in translation. I begin with an examination of the metaphor of the woman-as-text as it first appears in the epistles of St. Jerome. Though scholarship frequently refers to this metaphor as an evident point of reference, I argue that the metaphor is mercurial in Jerome's usage, and demonstrate both how the figure's referentiality changes in all four of the letters in which it appears and how the metaphor is inherently unstable at any given point
My second chapter turns to how the folklore claim---ubiquitous in contemporary Clerk's Tale criticism---ignores the material basis for Boccaccio's knowledge of Apuleius' The Metamorphoses, arguing that Apuleius' literary version of Cupid and Psyche comprises a second possible source for Boccaccio's Decameron 10.10 (and so for Petrarch and Chaucer). The third chapter examines the figure of Griselda in Decameron 10.10, considering Boccaccio's response to Jerome in the Genealogy and the Decameron in order to illuminate the contradictions that occur if Griselda is a "Hieronymian image." Additionally this chapter evaluates Griselda within the context of the Decameron's project and Boccaccio's other writings on the female anatomy, and provides a reading of the Griselda story in the Decameron as a "truth" which has been heavily obscured by Petrarch's reading. I illustrate precisely how Petrarch changes the exemplum of Griselda and establishes the grounds for an interpretative debate about the story to which Chaucer (and other, later authors) will respond. The details of Petrarch's changes have immense bearing on the Clerk's Tale
In my fourth chapter, I demonstrate, by newly comparing the manuscripts in question, that Chaucer knows Boccaccio's Decameron 10.10. I consider the ramifications of this knowledge in my conclusion, describing how Chaucer's familiarity with the Decameron resituates Chaucer's translations of Griselda within the fuller context of his reading
School code: 0252
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 69-05A
Subject Literature, Comparative
Literature, Medieval
Alt Author Washington University in St. Louis
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