The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Bornstein, Diane. "Chaucer's Tale of Melibee as an Example of the Style Clergial." 12 (1978): 236-54.
In order to develop a uniquely English prose style, translators during Chaucer's time followed methods popular in France such as the style clergial or the style curial (237), since an English poetry had developed by following, then diverging from, continental models. Examination of the text (as indicated in a table following the article) shows that Chaucer deviated from the French Livre de Melibee et Prudence, deliberately adding phrases and making other changes in order to develop a chancery style.
Eisner, Sigmund. "Chaucer as Technical Writer." 19 (1985): 179-201.
Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe shows his ability to communicate technical information to readers at all levels of knowledge, especially when compared to his contemporaries who wrote for those already possessing a basic knowledge of the subject. When translating, Chaucer adds specific details to the original work as he did when he translated the Livre de Melibee et de Prudence. Such details allow Chaucer to teach by example and to help his readers to remember the information.
Matthews, Lloyd J. "The Date of Chaucer's Melibee and the Stages of the Tale's Incorporation in the Canterbury Tales." 20 (1986): 221-34.
Given Chaucer's omission of a passage from his source, de Louhans's Livre de Mellibee et Prudence, referring to the rule of children, scholars can date the Tale of Melibee at approximately 1373. This early date clarifies the resemblance of many of the Canterbury Tales to Melibee.
Olson, Glending. "A Reading of the Thopas-Melibee Link." 10 (1975): 147-53.
Chaucer expands his moral tale but does not substantially change its content from Renaude de Louens's Livre de Mellibee et Prudence. The word "treyts" refers to the ways in which the different versions Melibee have been circulating. Chaucer uses more proverbs in Melibee than appear in his sources, but the meaning is the same as the other versions of the tale.
Waterhouse, Ruth, and Gwen Griffiths. "'Sweete wordes' of Non-Sense: The Deconstruction of the Moral Melibee (Part I)." 23 (1989): 338-61.
Chaucer's alterations of Louhans's Livre de Mellibee et Prudence make clear to the reader that determining the "sentence" of the tale is impossible, but that it is not a "lapse" (339). Melibee shares a number of elements with the other tales, and it must be read in that context. The juxtaposition of Melibee with Thopas suggests that the two oppose each other. In Thopas the discourse is subordinate to the story line, which makes Thopas a parody; in Melibee the story is obscured by the discourse, underlined by the distance readers recognize between allegory and story line. In both tales signifiers refer to competing sets of signifieds, creating a sense that appearances cannot be trusted.