In Chaucer's Dead Body, Thomas Prendergast looks at the material reasons behind Chaucer's transformation into a touchstone for the whole of the Anglophone Middle Ages. This book weaves an intricate argument about the ways that the body, death, and representation come together in the recuperation and reception of Chaucer over the centuries, and proposes a deeply compelling logic that links memorialization and canon formation. Making a persuasive and intriguing case that the status of Chaucer's physical body is an index of the status of Chaucer's work, and furthermore that there continues to be a link between corpse and corpus in all of our assertions of positive and negative literary values from Chaucer's time on, Prendergast organizes his study of Chaucer's literary legacy around Chaucer's tomb - around the history of attempts to restore it, to determine its authenticity, and to establish its exact location.

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