Carol Falvo Heffernan, The Melancholy Muse

In The Melancholy Muse, Carol Falvo Heffernan’s central argument is that Chaucer and Shakespeare, as emblematic authors of their respective periods, had extensive knowledge of the medical discourse of their day and used that experience when writing. Her central point is that Chaucer and Shakespeare are taking the knowledge of their time about melancholy and… Continue reading Carol Falvo Heffernan, The Melancholy Muse

Cvetkovich, Depression: A Public Feeling

Frederic Jamison’s statement that it is impossible to imagine alternatives to capitalism under capitalism hangs behind this book, which seems to assert that responses to adverse events (including capitalism, but also wage theft, disenfranchisement, and its other results) can and should bring about feelings of change, even if they also bring despair. Cvetcovich begins her… Continue reading Cvetkovich, Depression: A Public Feeling

Lydgate, Compleynte of a Lovers Lyfe

I am reading this immediately after Book of the Duchess, so I guess it’s inevitable that there will be some crossover between the two. The most immediate difference from that poem, although they begin almost identically, is that the narrator of this poem isn’t in a dream. He is also suffering from a “sekenes” that… Continue reading Lydgate, Compleynte of a Lovers Lyfe

Fowler, Mourning, Melancholia and Masculinity in Medieval Literature

Following are my notes on Rebekah M. Fowler’s dissertation “Mourning, Melancholia and Masculinity in English Literature”. Fowler wants to explore a pattern of emotion that consists of love, loss, grief madness and/or melancholy, wilderness lament/consolation, and synthesis and application of information gleaned from the grieving process, which is found in diverse texts from the twelfth… Continue reading Fowler, Mourning, Melancholia and Masculinity in Medieval Literature

Lydgate, “The Fifteen Joys and Sorrows of Mary”

This poem appears in a volume titled “The Minor Poems of John Lydgate”, and it is indeed minor (about 12 pages). I know next to nothing about Lydgate, but learned that he was a prodigious poet and friends with Chaucer’s son, Thomas. I’m reading Book of the Duchess in a few months and think I… Continue reading Lydgate, “The Fifteen Joys and Sorrows of Mary”

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