• =?UTF-8?Q?_Chaucer=E2=80=99s_=5BAs=5D_and_the_Loose_Fit_of_Meaning?=

    From HenHanna@21:1/5 to All on Fri May 24 16:59:10 2024
    XPost: sci.lang, alt.usage.english

    a usage of "as" in "As grief tightens its grip."
    (Kay saying to Rose:) "Just tell me what I can do." As grief tightens
    its grip. ("Bood of the Dead" by Patricia Cornwell, p.204)
    ---------- better to give us more text , before and after.

    i can't follow the following passage....

    What's so interesting or notable here ???


    title of paper:
    Chaucer’s [As] and the Loose Fit of Meaning
    by Daniel M. Murtaugh
    The Chaucer Review, Volume 44, Number 4, 2010, pp. 461-470

    As she that hadde hire herte and al hire mynde
    On Troilus iset so wonder faste
    That al this world ne myghte hire love unbynde,
    Ne Troilus out of hire herte caste.

    (in regular English)

    Since she had set her heart and all her mind
    On Troilus so incredibly firmly,
    That all this world could not loosen her love,
    Nor could Troilus be cast out of her heart.


    The simile in Chaucer is a more emphatic version of a simile in his
    source, Boccaccio’s Il Filostrato, where we are told that the news of
    the proposed exchange

    forte le noiava
    come a colei ch’avea volto il disio
    a Troiolo il quale piú ch’altro amava.
    (IV, 79)

    was sharply painful to her as to one who has turned her desire
    to Troilus whom she loved more than any other.

    There is good reason to believe that Chaucer learned this figure from
    his Italian masters Boccaccio and Dante, because it does not appear in
    the poetry that precedes his “Italian period.”

    He uses it in a variety of contexts and with a
    varying degree of attention to that little wedge of difference that it introduces between what it says and what it might mean.

    In Italian, the simile customarily begins “come colui” or, as in the instance just cited, “come a colei” or other variants, depending on the relative pronoun.

    In Chaucer’s English this becomes “as he (or she) that.”

    Sometimes in Chaucer, but not in his Italian models, the simile is
    attenuated to its first word, [as], which drifts away from its
    syntactic mooring to function as a “grammatical particle” or “discourse particle,” as it distances ever so slightly the utterance from its
    speaker (for it always occurs in this form in the speech of a character).

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