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Bonjour Paresse: Literary Waste and Recycling in Book 4 of Gower’s <i>Confessio Amantis</i>

James Simpson

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 151, 2006 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264249
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734045 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264249.003.0009

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Bonjour Paresse: Literary Waste and Recycling in Book 4 of Gower’s Confessio Amantis

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This lecture discusses the durable hostility to idleness, particularly idle reading. It presents a claim that late medieval, pre-Reformation textual practice is not driven by a need to define and expel cultural waste; rather, idle reading is an important part of a cultural economy. The lecture concludes that a literary education can easily feed the psyche's capacity for delusive satisfaction.

Keywords: idleness; idle reading; textual practice; cultural waste; cultural economy; literary education; delusive satisfaction

Chapter.  12300 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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