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Arts of DyingLiterature and Finitude in Medieval England$
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D. Vance Smith

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226640853

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226641041.001.0001

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Lydgate’s Exquisite Corpus

Lydgate’s Exquisite Corpus

(p.191) Chapter Ten Lydgate’s Exquisite Corpus
Arts of Dying

D. Vance Smith

University of Chicago Press

John Lydgate's poetry imagines itself as an archive, and his aureate style is an attempt to unbind the paradox that, for him, Chaucer is the genius that made English poetry possible, and that poetry after Chaucer's death has seemingly become impossible. Aureation is bound up with alchemy and the historiographical imagination as an attempt to preserve a past that makes possible the reanimation of England in the Lancastrian dynastic succession.

Keywords:   John Lydgate, archive, alchemy, aureation, fifteenth-century poetry, Chaucerians, Lancastrians

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