In Response…

I am looking over some commentary on a paper I recently wrote. Either I didn’t make myself clear, or the purposes of my project were somehow lost to the reader.
I will attempt to offer some responses.
“Are you implying Chaucer had an intention when writing?”
I am not implying Chaucer had an intention, I am overtly stating it. In fact my entire argument rests on this.
*** Two pages later***
“Are you trying to say he intended to write the Tales?”
No, it was an accident.
“Does it matter what order they are in? Who cares if they are read backwards?”
Even though I am sure the world will not stop turning should the order of the Tales remain undetermined, it is nevertheless interesting to explore the ways in which they were transcribed, and the methodology behind each editorial edition and addition. Why else would I undertake a textual study? It is an interest like any other, amusing (to me) for its own sake. And considering the amount of scholarship on this exact topic, apparently a lot of people care, and have cared for centuries.
“You say there are 90 manuscripts. Why are you only using two?”
Manly and Rickert outlined every extant manuscript and compiled an eight volume set of books (over 4000 pages) doing so. I am writing a ten page paper. Therefore I am focusing on the two manuscripts many would agree are the most definitive and complete. Also, if you refer to page 5, I discuss the relevance of using Hengwrt as the prototype for Ellesmere as it is commonly thought that both were completed by the same scribe. The significance of this can be found on page 6.
“Sp?” next to Hengwrt. Each time.
No, that is exactly how it is spelled.
“This strikes me like you are saying Grimms’s Tales ‘should’ be in an order.”
Although I am sure there can be such an argument, and maybe one day I will make it, I have never once in this particular paper mentioned Grimms’s Tales. Therefore I cannot tell you what order they “should” be in, or if there is one.
“You mean Retraction?” Next to Retraccioun. Each time.
Yes, I mean Retraction, but I am not trying to modernize the text. If that were the case I would just change all of the spelling and create my own version.
Next to my phrase “… which was believed to have been found in his desk upon his death.” “What do you mean ‘in his desk?’ Is this a metaphor?”
No, I quite literally mean in his desk. Physically present within the man’s desk. On the table. Right there. I am not sure how I can make myself any more clear.
“A lot of your scholarship seems to look at the differences in ink type on the different sheets. Maybe the scribe just ran out of ink?”
Well yes. But the point is that he ran out of ink after having written the pieces in a certain order and then went back to complete the rest, which is why the ink is being analyzed.
“What parameters are you using on scholarship?”
I have no idea what you are asking me.


  1. Okay, I think I understand what you mean by “desk”, but what do you mean by “in”? Are you trying to say his desk was in an inn? Why is that relevant? Or do you mean it was hewn into the wood used to construct his desk?

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