By V.A. Kolve
Stanford University Press, 2009
Telling Images investigates certain symbolic traditions in Geoffrey Chaucer’s major poetry and their relationship to the visual culture of his time. With more than 150 illustrations, it continues an inquiry begun in the author’s prize-winning study, Chaucer and the Imagery of Narrative: The First Five Canterbury Tales. Here, intensive readings of Troilus and Criseyde, The Legend of Good Women, and four more Canterbury Tales focus once again on imagery created by narrative itself—not on passing metaphors or similes, but on the images we create in our minds as we imagine the action of a story. Their suggestive likeness to images embedded in yet other texts, realized in illuminated manuscripts and other visual arts of the age, is shown to ground and enrich our reading of these poems.
This book won the 2010 Christian Gauss Award, sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa. Please see their video interviews with Professor Kolve:
Review by Richard K. Emmerson in Studies in the Age of Chaucer: “Telling Images, the long-awaited sequel to Chaucer and the Imagery of Narrative: The First Five Canterbury Tales (Stanford, 1984), confirms V. A. Kolve’s status as one of his generation’s preeminent scholar-critics of Middle English literature….”