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Chaucer’s Comic Providence presents readings of five of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales that dramatize sexual division and the lack of rapport between the sexes. These readings are founded on the psychoanalytic thinking of Jacques Lacan in his rereading of Freud and are motivated by Thormann’s conviction that Chaucer understood what psychoanalysis would come to study as an unconscious operating in the subject that is independent of conscious control and desire. For psychoanalysis, the subject is interminably engaged with unconscious sexual difference and with what Lacan saw as the absence of sexual rapport. Chaucer’s Comic Providence analyzes Chaucer’s plots of sexual adventures, mishaps, and surprise to show how the five tales dramatize the lack of symmetry and absence of accord between the sexes.
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