HOUSE OF FAME                 

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

867. ALLEN, ROBERT J. "A Recurring Motif in Chaucer's House of Fame." JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 55 (1956):393-405.

A seminal discussion of Chaucer's literary self-consciousness which traces the "sustained interest in the nature of literary art" throughout House of Fame. Through the dream of Troy, the contrast between Geffrey and the eagle, and the houses of Fame and Rumor, Chaucer explores the literary artist's "indifference to the world of facts."

868. BENNETT, J.A.W. Chaucer's "Book of Fame": An Exposition of the "House of Fame." Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968, 205 pp.

Explicates Chaucer's House of Fame by identifying the imagery, allusions, and verbal echoes he derived from preceding literature, especially Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Alain de Lille's Anticlaudianus, and Dante's Commedia. Colored by "Boethian sentiments," Chaucer's manipulation of this poetry and his iconography of poetic authority in Book III constitute a "vindication of poetry" on one level, even though he ironically proposes to "eschew the poetic art" within his fiction. The Dreamer's passage through the temple of Venus and the palace of Fame suggest a quest for "new poetic matiere," resolved perhaps in the house of Rumor where he encounters the "ceaseless movement and miscellanity of the ordinary life"--the subject matter of Chaucer's later poetry.

869. BOITANI, PIERO. Chaucer and the Imaginery World of Fame. Chaucer Studies, no. 10. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer; Totowa, N.J.: Barnes & Noble, 1984, 263 pp.

Studies Chaucer's House of Fame in the context of an analysis of the Western idea of fame, emphasizing the imagery that accrued to fame, its etymological similarity to fate and fable, and its network of associations ranging from glory to vainglory. Traces the idea of fame from Gilgamesh to the scholastics and isolates the importance of Vergil's Aeneid to the fourteenth-century Italian explosion of concern with fame. Identifies French and English medieval traditions of fame, but focuses upon Chaucer's relation to Italian tradition. The poem appropriates many images from the tradition of fame: wind, labyrinth, letters written in ice, etc. Its dream-vision frame and self-conscious concern with poetry derives from the same. House of Fame follows the tradition of fame in its imagery, mythography, and association of subjects; it goes beyond tradition by investigating the role fame as a linguistic phenonmenon has as a repository and arbitor of human culture.

870. DAVID, ALFRED. "A Literary Satire in the House of Fame." PMLA 75 (1960):333-39.

Examines the "planned chaos" of House of Fame to show how "one major purpose of the poem is literary satire." Chaucer satirizes the dream vision by substituting the palace of Fame for the court of Love and modifying the conventions of invocation, the lover-narrator, and courtly atmosphere.

871. DELANY, SHEILA. "Chaucer's House of Fame and the Ovide Moralise." Comparative Literature 20 (1968):254-64.

Documents verbal parallels between Chaucer's House of Fame and the early fourteenth-century Ovide Moralise and suggests that this allegorization of Ovid inspired Chaucer's characterization of Fame as a judge and influenced his poem's concern with conflicting literary authorities.

872. DELANY, SHEILA. Chaucer's "House of Fame": The Poetics of Skeptical Fideism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972, 143 pp.

Describes the incongruities of Chaucer's House of Fame, attributes them to the narrator's skeptical inability to find truth, and argues that the poem transcends such skepticism in fideistic fashion. The medieval philosophical tradition of "double truth"-- logical vs. religious--parallels the poem's epistemological issues: the truth of dreams, the validity of the classical tale of Dido and Aeneas, the accuracy of science, and the conflicting claims of history and fiction. Such issues reflect the narrator's anxieties in the poem, clarifying Chaucer's notion of the "potential sterility of being unable to choose." Traces the presence of similar concerns in Chaucer's later works.

873. DICKERSON, A. INSKIP. "Chaucer's House of Fame: A Skeptical Epistemology of Love." Texas Studies in Language and Literature 18 (1976):171-83.

Argues that House of Fame poses a skeptical view about the reliability of love rumors and hypothesizes that the poem was written to answer some "accusation against Chaucer as a lover."

874. FRY, DONALD K. "The Ending of the House of Fame." In Chaucer at Albany. Edited by Rossell Hope Robbins. New York: Burt Franklin & Co., 1975, pp. 27-40.

Argues that Chaucer ended House of Fame with the man of "gret auctorite" to undercut humorously literature and other kinds of traditonalism. The Dido episode and the Eagle's disquisition establish the distorted and unreliable nature of Fame's minions.

875. GRENNEN. JOSEPH E. "Chaucer and Calcidius: The Platonic Origins of the House of Fame." Viator 15 (1984):237-62.

Reads House of Fame as a parody of the philosophical epic, specifically Chalcidius's version of Plato's Timaeus, identifying verbal echoes and similarities of detail that anticipate, for example, Chaucer's wicker house of Rumor and the rock beneath Fame's castle. Chaucer substitutes unpredictibility and confusion for the "arithmetical harmony of Timaeus."

876. JEFFREY, DAVID LYLE. "Sacred and Secular Scripture: Authority and Interpretation in the House of Fame." Chaucer and Scriptural Tradition. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984, pp. 207-228.

Reads House of Fame as an exploration of the authority of history. The poem's three-part structure, its concern with epistemology, and its lack of conclusion reflect its included version of the story of Aeneas and the vision of Ezechial to which it alludes. Like the Biblical vision, the poem offers the eschatological hope of knowing truth, but it asserts the futility of pursuing truth through secular authority.

877. JOYNER, WILLIAM. "Parallel Journeys in Chaucer's House of Fame." Papers on Language and Literature 12 (1976):3-19.

Compares the similarities of pattern and detail in Geffrey's journey in House of Fame and the journey of Aeneas recalled at the beginning of the poem, noting echoes of Dante's Divine Comedy in the parallels, and comparing Aeneas's diversion from his goal to Geffrey's diversion in the court of Fame and the digressive technique of the poem.

878. KELLEY, MICHAEL R. "Chaucer's House of Fame: England's Earliest Science Fiction." Extrapolation 16 (1974):7-16.

Demonstrates that the Eagle's disquisition on sound and his ascent with Geffrey in House of Fame accord with medieval acoustical and cosmological science, suggesting that by virtue of this contemporary plausibility the work can be read as science fiction. Reflects the range of Chaucer's learning.

879. KENDRICK, LAURA. "Chaucer's House of Fame and the French Palais de Justice." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 6 (1984):121-33.

Demonstrates several similarities between the architecture of the French Palias de Justice, which Chaucer visited, and the architectural details in House of Fame, especially the pillars surmounted by statues in Fame's court.

880. KOONCE, B.G. Chaucer and the Tradition of Fame: Symbolism in the "House of Fame." Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966, 293 pp.

Reads House of Fame as an allegorical exploration of the "vanity of worldly fame," establishing the literary and theological tradition of fame in the Middle Ages, interpreting the poem's pattern of scriptural and literary allusions, and assessing the influence of Dante's Divine Comedy upon it. The dream-vision frame of the poem, its "symbolic date," and its invocation of Dante's work signal allegory. The Aeneas/Dido episode initiates thematic contrast between heavenly and earthly varieties of love and fame, represented in the traditionally dualistic figure of Venus. The flight of the eagle suggests the pursuit of true love and true fame by grace-aided reason. Fame's court is rich with apocalyptic symbolism, and the love tidings pursued by Geoffrey are the twofold tidings of spiritual and earthly love.

881. LEYERLE, JOHN. "Chaucer's Windy Eagle." University of Toronto Quarterly 40 (1971):247-65.

Assesses the function and significance of the eagle in Chaucer's House of Fame. The eagle's associations with December 10--the internal date of the poem--are many, and it has roots in mythology, bestiaries, Dante, Boethius, and the iconography of St. John. Its disquisition on sound, including scatological puns, unifies the poem by emphasizing the irrepressibility of sound, and, therefore, of private or secret love.

882. OVERBECK, PAT TREFZGER. "The 'Man of Gret Auctorite' in Chaucer's House of Fame." Modern Philology 73 (1975):157-61.

Proposes that the "man of gret auctorite" at the conclusion of House of Fame is the God of Love. Petrarch's Triumph of Love is an analogue, perhaps a source.

883. ROWLAND, BERYL. "The Art of Memory and the Art of Poetry in the House of Fame." Revue de l'Universite d'Ottawa 51 (1981):162-71.

Summarizes classical and medieval techniques of visual memory and argues for their structural importance in Chaucer's House of Fame. The poem externalizes the poet's journey through his memory, showing how memory creates poetry, and how it mediates between authority and experience.

884. STEVENSON, KAY. "The Endings of Chaucer's House of Fame." English Studies 59 (1978):10-26.

Surveys the various suggestions and theories about Chaucer's ending of House of Fame, assessing them in light of the oppositions in the earlier portions of the poem and in light of Chaucer's endings in other poems. Argues that the most "inconsequential" ending is most appropriate to the rest of the poem.

885. TISDALE, CHARLES P. "The House of Fame: Virgilian Reason and Boethian Philosophy." Comparative Literature 25 (1973):247-61.

Investigates the unifying combination of Vergilian narrative and Boethian thought in Chaucer's House of Fame. The dreamer of Fame "reenacts" the role of Aeneas from Book IV of the Aeneid, extending the "narrative implications" of Vergil's epic into a Boethian rejection of fascination with the world.

886. WATTS, ANN C[HALMERS]. "Amor gloriae in Chaucer's House of Fame." Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 3 (1973):87-113.

Identifies the Christian and classical attitudes towards fame expressed in House of Fame, Book III: fame as a desire of the proud, as the just reward for great poetry, and as a neutral record of the past. Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy may be the source of the poem's "ambivalent attitude," but the autobiographical references in the work indicate the attitude is Chaucer's own.

See also entries 3, 7-9, 47, 154, 157, 190, 192, 249, 806-07, 809-10, 812. For persona: 67, 84-85; literary relations: 166-67, 225, 373, 811.

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