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Synopsis

Cawsey draws on Michel Foucault's concept of the 'author-function' to propose the idea of an 'audience function' which shows the ways critics' concepts of audience affect and condition their criticism. Focusing on six trend-setting Chaucerian scholars, Cawsey identifies the assumptions about Chaucer's audience underpinning each critic's work. In making sense of the confusing and conflicting mass of modern Chaucer criticism, Cawsey provides insights into the development of twentieth-century literary criticism and theory.

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