Foster, Edward E. Books

About the author: Edward E. Foster received his PhD from the University of Rochester. He has edited King Arthur’s Death: The Alliterative Morte Arthur and The Stanzaic Mort Arthure and Amis and Amiloun, Sir Amadace, and Robert of Cisyle for Medieval Insti

Understanding Chaucer’s Intellectual and Interpretative World Nominalist Fiction
1999 0-7734-7972-4
The problem of “undecideability” has long been a major preoccupation of Chaucer criticism. This study, while noting but not trying to ‘account for’ each and every prior approach, proposes the positive alternative that in making his fictions, Chaucer gibes a shape to the Ockhamite nominalist approach to human understanding of the world. By interpreting Chaucer’s fictions, we share his imaginative attempt to understand the splendors and imponderables of God’s fictions. “Foster is conversant with medieval theology and philosophy, and this gives authority to his exposition of his largely new theory. He is also thoroughly familiar both with the Chaucerian corpus and with its voluminous secondary literature. He writes with an engaging variation of level and tone, philosophically informed or critically complex when necessary, with moments of down to earth judgment and the occasional joke which will commend the book to student and Chaucer scholar alike. It is a remarkable conspectus, drawing on mature scholarship and long and hard critical thinking, and its thesis has much to offer even the most experienced reader of Chaucer.” – Michael Alexander