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Diary

Ardis Butterfield: Who was Chaucer?, 26 August 2015

... To articulate what is past does not mean to recognise ‘how it really was’. It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger.Walter Benjamin, ‘On the Concept of History’ (1940) I am finding it​ very hard to write a Chaucer biography. Commissioned an uncomfortably long time ago, I have delayed and fussed, despaired and dithered, and rewritten the first half several times ...

Next Stop, Reims

Ardis Butterfield: Medieval Literary Itineraries, 26 April 2018

Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 
by David Wallace.
Oxford, 1591 pp., £180, April 2016, 978 0 19 873535 9
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... David Wallace​ ’s Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 contains 82 chapters by an enormous team of international contributors spanning what Wallace describes as nine ‘itineraries’: Paris to Béarn; Calais to London; St Andrews to Finistère; Basel to Danzig; Avignon to Naples; Palermo to Tunis; Cairo to Constantinople; Mount Athos to Muscovy; Venice to Prague ...

Writing French in English

Helen Cooper: Chaucer’s Language, 7 October 2010

TheFamiliar Enemy: Chaucer, Language and Nation in the Hundred Years War 
by Ardis Butterfield.
Oxford, 444 pp., £60, December 2009, 978 0 19 957486 5
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... that to think of him as an English poet verges on the inaccurate so far as language is concerned. Ardis Butterfield once said on Radio 4’s In Our Time that he was in effect speaking French in English; and at a recent conference Elizabeth Archibald suggested that he was writing macaronics – those poems that combine two or more languages within a ...

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