Nostalgic Temporalities in "Greenes Vision."

Cook, Megan L.

Nostalgic Temporalities in "Greenes Vision."

Cook, Megan L. "Nostalgic Temporalities in Greenes Vision." Parergon 33, no. 2 (2016): 39-56.

Cook offers a summary of and commentary on Robert Greene's dream-vision, "Greenes Vision" (1592), paying significant attention to Greene's use of Gower and Chaucer as spokesmen for two views of poetry: Gower representing moral appeal and Chaucer, ludic delight. Greene's persona "turn[s] away from ludic Chaucerianism in favour of Gowerian reform" (54), but then the debate is rendered superfluous by the appearance of Solomon who has been listening in and who abjures both views for the sake of more pure wisdom, convincing Greene's persona to turn to theology. As Cook makes clear, the very existence of the work shows that Greene has not rejected literature, and the presence of Gower and Chaucer leads her to explore the poem's engagement with literary tradition, "multifaceted temporality" (54), nostalgia, and "the limits of nostalgia itself" (39). Along the way, Cook considers the peculiarity of the Gower "avatar" espousing "anti-Ovidianism" (53), the detailed visual portraits of Gower and Chaucer, and Greene's probable familiarity with the original fifteenth-century version of Gower's tomb. In "Greenes Vision," Chaucer and Gower each tell a prose tale about marital jealousy, and Gower's is, according to Cook, more like Greene's earlier works than like Gower's own. [MA. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 38.1.]


Gower Subjects
Influence and Later Allusion