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Few studies of solitude in the Middle Ages have been able to transcend the influence of Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of Renaissance in Italy, in spite of the fact that it does not tackle the issue of solitude but rather that of the rise of individualism in the renaissance.. In this paper, while not questioning the central debate of Burckhardt's thesis, I wish to examine the idea of privacy as it arises in the work of Chaucer. My paper places particular emphasis on loci of solitude concerning Criseyde and Nicholas in order to argue that, as I see it, a distinctive bourgeois ideology of privacy emerged in later medieval England. By looking at what Chaucer specifically says about his characters' environment, their physical surroundings, their behavioral patterns, and their social interactions in The Miller's Tale and Troilus and Criseyde, I hope to show that in Chaucer's work collective privacy did exist, but we can detect signs of personal privacy within the collective privacy. I am particularly interested in cases where Chaucer's idea of privacy refers not merely to loci of solitude or places of “pryvetee” (say, bedchambers, gardens, or one's cold grave) but the activity of being alone, with private thought, or to access of solitude, a kind of privacy of the psyche. Such an enquiry of the idea of “pryvetee” in the late medieval time strives to open a new way to appraise the modernity of Chaucer's poetry.

KEY WORDS: Geoffrey Chaucer, Trolius and Criseyde, The Miller's Tale, privacy

摘 要

研究中世紀時期關於「孤獨」這方面的論述鮮少能超越 柏克哈在【義大利文藝復興時期的文明】宣揚文藝復興時期 個人主義的影響,儘管柏氏的主張與「中世紀獨處之道」這 個議題相去甚遠。本文無意於挑戰柏氏的核心論述,而是 順著晚近相關議題的研究脈動,檢視西方個人隱私的概念 如何呈現於喬叟詩作之中。本文特別著重喬叟「磨坊匠的故 事」及「特洛史與葵希妲」兩個作品裡角色之間的對話、互 動、獨思、獨處與其行為模式與週遭環境的交互關係。本 文主張喬氏對於「個人隱私」的看法偏重主觀的心理層面而 非客觀的環境,因而詩作中對於個人獨處冥思的意識活動 及內心世界多有著墨。喬氏詩作中注重個人隱私的概念印 證其文學作品的現代性,也間接證實關於西方個人隱私的 概念早在中世紀晚期已經形成,文藝復興時期個人主義的 興起只是其延續發展的結果。

關鍵詞:喬叟,《托愛斯勒與克萊希達》,《磨坊主人的故事》, 中世紀英國文學,獨處,個人隱私