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Paul Strohm - Author

About the Author

Paul Strohm isProfessor Emeritus of the Humanities at Columbia University, and has previously been J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford.

Books by Paul Strohm

Hochon's Arrow The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts

Hochon's Arrow The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/04/2016

The paradox of the lie that might as well be true, writes Paul Strohm, must interest anyone who seeks to understand texts in history or the historical influence of texts. In these seven essays, all recent and most published here for the first time, the author examines historical and literary texts from fourteenth-century England. He not only demonstrates the fictionality of narrative and documentary sources, but also argues that these fictions are themselves fully historical. Together the essays institute a dialogue between texts and events that restores historical documents and literary works to their larger environments. Strohm begins by inspecting legal records that accuse Hochon of Liverpool in 1384 of threatening to shoot an arrow at a political adversary urinating against a wall, and shows how the text embodies and interconnects language, social space, and historical interpretation itself. Throughout his analyses, which cover such topics as Chaucer's verses on the accession of Henry IV, Froissart's account of Queen Philippa interceding for the burghers of Calais, and Thomas Usk's accusations against John Northampton, Strohm alerts us to the distortions of textuality itself while challenging our notions of invented and true. Originally published in 1992. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

The Poet's Tale Chaucer and the year that made The Canterbury Tales

The Poet's Tale Chaucer and the year that made The Canterbury Tales

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/01/2016

As the year 1386 began, Geoffrey Chaucer was a middle-aged bureaucrat and sometime poet, living in London and enjoying the perks that came with his close connections to its booming wool trade. When it ended, he was jobless, homeless, out of favour with his friends and living in exile. Such a reversal might have spelled the end of his career; but instead, at the loneliest time of his life, Chaucer made the revolutionary decision to 'maken vertu of necessitee' and keep writing. The result - The Canterbury Tales - was a radically new form of poetry that would make his reputation, bring him to a national audience, and preserve his work for posterity. In The Poet's Tale, Paul Strohm brings Chaucer's world to vivid life, from the streets and taverns of crowded medieval London to rural seclusion in Kent, and reveals this crucial year as a turning point in the fortunes of England's most important poet.

Hochon's Arrow The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts

Hochon's Arrow The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/07/2014

The paradox of the lie that might as well be true, writes Paul Strohm, must interest anyone who seeks to understand texts in history or the historical influence of texts. In these seven essays, all recent and most published here for the first time, the author examines historical and literary texts from fourteenth-century England. He not only demonstrates the fictionality of narrative and documentary sources, but also argues that these fictions are themselves fully historical. Together the essays institute a dialogue between texts and events that restores historical documents and literary works to their larger environments. Strohm begins by inspecting legal records that accuse Hochon of Liverpool in 1384 of threatening to shoot an arrow at a political adversary urinating against a wall, and shows how the text embodies and interconnects language, social space, and historical interpretation itself. Throughout his analyses, which cover such topics as Chaucer's verses on the accession of Henry IV, Froissart's account of Queen Philippa interceding for the burghers of Calais, and Thomas Usk's accusations against John Northampton, Strohm alerts us to the distortions of textuality itself while challenging our notions of invented and true. Originally published in 1992. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

England's Empty Throne Usurpation and the Language of Legitimacy 1399-1422

England's Empty Throne Usurpation and the Language of Legitimacy 1399-1422

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2013

After the dethronement and subsequent murder of Richard II, the usurping Lancastrian dynasty faced an exceptional challenge. Interrupting a long period of Plantagenet rule, Henry IV and Henry V needed not only to establish physical possession of the English throne, but to occupy it symbolically as well. In this boldly revisionary book, Paul Strohm provides a new account of the Lancastrian revolution and its aftermath. Integrating techniques of literary and historical analysis, he explores the new dynasty's quest for legitimacy and the importance of symbolic activity to the making of kingship. Strohm reveals the Lancastrian monarchs as masters of outward display, persuasively 'performing' their kingship in a variety of novel ceremonies. Henry IV is crowned with a newly discovered coronation oil. The murdered Richard II is elaborately reburied. Opinion is courted and deceived with invented chronicles, false prophecies, and bogus genealogies. Opponents of the new regime are subject to novel forms of trial and punishment. Far-reaching Lancastrian experiments in domination include the proscription of prophecy; the enlistment of poetry; the use of spies and hired informers; and, most ambitiously, the redefinition of treason to cover not only overt deeds but also things said and even thought. Strohm's account of the Lancastrian quest for legitimacy, and the uses of symbolic power, illuminates - indeed, recasts - our understanding of a period of unprecedented political upheaval. 'Intriguing and required reading for any historian or serious student of England in the later Middle Ages and Tudor period' Miri Rubin, University of Oxford Paul Strohm was J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and was formerly Professor of English at Indiana University. Among his publications are 'Social Chaucer' and 'Hochon's Arrow: The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts'. He was President of The New Chaucer Society.

Conscience: A Very Short Introduction

Conscience: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2011

Where does our conscience come from? How reliable is it? In the West conscience has been relied upon for two thousand years as a judgement that distinguishes right from wrong. It has effortlessly moved through every period division and timeline between the ancient, medieval, and modern. The Romans identified it, the early Christians appropriated it, and Reformation Protestants and loyal Catholics relied upon its advice and admonition. Today it is embraced with equal conviction by non-religious and religious alike. Considering its deep historical roots and exploring what it has meant to successive generations, Paul Strohm highlights why this particularly European concept deserves its reputation as 'one of the prouder Western contributions to human rights and human dignity throughout the world.' Using examples from popular culture including the Disney classic Pinocchio, as well as examples from contemporary politics, he explores the work of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Aquinas, to show how and why conscience remains a motivating and important principle in the contemporary world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Middle English Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature

Middle English Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/02/2009

These original essays mean to provoke rather than reassure, to challenge rather than codify. Instead of summarizing existing knowledge after the fashion of the now-ubiquitous literary 'companions,' these essays aim at opening fresh discussion; instead of emphasizing settled consensus they direct their readers to areas of enlivened and unresolved debate. Although 'major authors' such as Chaucer and Langland are richly represented, many little-known and neglected texts are considered as well. Analysis is devoted not only to self-sufficient works, but to the general conditions of textual production and reception. Contributors to this collection include some recognized and admired names, but also a good many newer faces: younger scholars whose groundbreaking research is just coming into full view, and whose perspectives will influence the terms of literary discussion in the decades to come. Encouraged to speculate, they have addressed topics that unsettle previous categories of investigation. Each is oriented toward the emergent, the unfinalized, the yet-to-be-done. Each essay stirs new questions and concludes with suggestions for further reading and investigation that will allow readers to extend their own research into the questions it has raised.

Middle English

Middle English

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/04/2007

These original essays mean to provoke rather than reassure, to challenge rather than codify. Instead of summarizing existing knowledge after the fashion of the now-ubiquitous literary 'companions,' these essays aim at opening fresh discussion; instead of emphasizing settled consensus they direct their readers to areas of enlivened and unresolved debate. Although 'major authors' such as Chaucer and Langland are richly represented, many little-known and neglected texts are considered as well. Analysis is devoted not only to self-sufficient works, but to the general conditions of textual production and reception. Contributors to this collection include some recognized and admired names, but also a good many newer faces: younger scholars whose groundbreaking research is just coming into full view, and whose perspectives will influence the terms of literary discussion in the decades to come. Encouraged to speculate, they have addressed topics that unsettle previous categories of investigation. Each is oriented toward the emergent, the unfinalized, the yet-to-be-done. Each essay stirs new questions and concludes with suggestions for further reading and investigation that will allow readers to extend their own research into the questions it has raised.

Politique Languages of Statecraft Between Chaucer and Shakespeare

Politique Languages of Statecraft Between Chaucer and Shakespeare

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/05/2005

In this book Paul Strohm shifts his recognized talent for textual and cultural analysis to the second half of the latter part of the fifteenth century, arguing that England experienced its own pre-Machiavellian moment between 1450 and 1485. These turbulent decades encouraged new pragmatic discussions of political policies of a sort not previously seen and not to be seen again until the middle of the sixteenth century. Strohm contends that England had no need to await the writings of Machiavelli to find its voice in matters of practical statecraft and political calculation. In support of this thesis, he analyzes a range of mainly vernacular fifteenth-century English political texts along with several contemporary writings from Burgundy, France, and Italy. The writers of these texts are unsentimental, shrewdly informed, and keenly concerned with political practice in the world. Intricately connected with this new discussion of worldly politics is a revised, and more hopeful, view of the individual's relation to Fortune and her operations. Emergent in the English fifteenth century is the possibility that the prudent prince can effectively Fortune-proof himself by the exercise of foresight and the qualities of vertue - a trait remarkably anticipatory of its Italian and Machiavellian counterpart, virtu. This view is introduced to England by the poet John Lydgate and flourishes in the second half of the fifteenth century. In addition to Lydgate, Strohm considers the imaginative accomplishments of other undercredited writers of the period, such as Fortescue, Pecock, Whethamstede, Warkworth, and the unnamed authors of Somnium Vigilantis, Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV, and the Great Chronicle of London. He also offers an appreciation of the collective linguistic and symbolic endeavors of those in the fifteenth-century public sphere. This detailed and rich study, which is based on the 2003 Conway Lectures Strohm delivered at the University of Notre Dame, contributes to the fields of medieval and early modern studies, medieval literary criticism, and political philosophy.

Theory And The Premodern Text

Theory And The Premodern Text

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/12/2000

Strohen's collection of 13 papers, most published here for the first time, aims to reunite literary theory with the text and proposes a form of practical theory' which places the text at the centre of analysis and allows the text a relationship with the outside world. From this refreshing perspective and in well-written and often light-hearted prose, Stohn reassesses works of dissent, notably by Lollards, Chaucerian narrative, chronicles, Shakespearean characterisation and the relationship between medieval studies and psychoanalysis.

Theory And The Premodern Text

Theory And The Premodern Text

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2000

Strohen's collection of 13 papers, most published here for the first time, aims to reunite literary theory with the text and proposes a form of practical theory' which places the text at the centre of analysis and allows the text a relationship with the outside world. From this refreshing perspective and in well-written and often light-hearted prose, Stohn reassesses works of dissent, notably by Lollards, Chaucerian narrative, chronicles, Shakespearean characterisation and the relationship between medieval studies and psychoanalysis.

Social Chaucer

Social Chaucer

Author: Paul Strohm Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/04/1994

Each generation finds in Chaucer's works the concerns and themes of its own era. But what of Chaucer's contemporaries? For whom was he writing? With what expectations would his original audience have approached his works? In what terms did he and his audience understand their society, and how does his poetry embody a view of society? These are some of the questions Paul Strohm addresses in this innovative look at the historical Chaucer. Fourteenth-century English society was, he reminds us, in a state of accelerating transition: feudalism was yielding to capitalism, and traditional ways of understanding one's place in society were contending with new social paradigms. Those like Chaucer who lived on the fringe of gentility were particularly sensitive to these changes. Their social position opened the way to attractive possibilities, even as it exposed them to special perils. Strohm draws on seldom-considered documents to describe Chaucer's social circle and its experiences, and he relates this circle to implied and fictional audiences in the texts. Moving between major works like the Canterbury Tales and less frequently discussed works like Complaint of Mars, he suggests that Chaucer's poetry not only reproduces social tensions of the time but also proposes conciliatory alternatives. His analysis yields a fuller understanding of Chaucer's world and new insight into the social implications of literary forms and styles.

Author Info

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http://english.columbia.edu/people/profile/440

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