By Linda Tarte Holley
This publication makes the compelling argument that Chaucer, the Perle-poet, and The Cloud of Unknowing writer exploited analogue and metaphor for marking out the pedagogical hole among technology and the mind's eye.
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Extra info for Reason and Imagination in Chaucer, the Perle-poet, and the Cloud-author: Seeing from the Center (The New Middle Ages)
Perhaps, in fact, Michel de Certeau has a particularly suggestive point when he argues that “The text was formerly found at school. Today the text is society itself ” (167). I am inclined to say that The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is a case of the windmill in a walnut shell. * * * Chaucer expects a great deal from both his reading or his listening audience for The Nun’s Priest’s Tale: he depends on a heightened sense of plain action within a physical space while asking us to consider the disposition of those events within a textspace laden with cultural expectation.
39 The astrolabe clearly is not the convenient and f lexible f lat surface Latour values, but it is a hand-held model that connects the earthbound observer and the heavens—no minor event for Chaucer and his little Lewis, as we will see. Nichols goes on to say that Chaucer’s “showing the connection of the parts of the human body with the heavenly divisions or signs of the zodiac . . also reinforced the idea of a continuum between the individual human being and the visible world” so that “to perceive the universe scientifically was to know the boundaries of one’s own being” (4), making claims, then, for observing the space between here and there.
Bachelard is arguing for the “dynamic rivalry between house and universe” so that “we are far removed from any reference to simple geometrical forms” (47). indd 17 6/22/2011 4:23:17 PM 18 R E A SON A N D I M AGI N AT ION In fact, as Bachelard argues, “A house that is as dynamic as this [those of the medieval miniatures] allows the poet [or miniaturist or magician] to inhabit the universe” (51). And later: “This coexistence of things in a space to which we add consciousness of our existence, is a very concrete thing” (203).