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Their lives became even happier when Dagmar gave birth to a daughter, Princess Tiabeanie, better known by her nickname Bean. Zog shielded Bean from the sight, causing Bean to think that her mother died naturally, rather than being petrified. Zog had Dagmar placed inside the Church and lied to Bean that the statue that was really his wife was her memorial. Grief stricken by the loss of his wife, Zog vowed to create the elixir of life, believing it could revive Dagmar, completely unaware that she had tried to turn him to stone.

Without her mother around, Bean was primarily raised by her nursemaid Bunty , and drunks at local taverns.

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Lacking her mother's guidance, Bean grew into a rebellious teenager with a drinking problem which she attributes to her father. Elfo was kept around as a test subject for the Elixir but after repeated failures to create it, it was discovered that Elfo was not a real elf. Zog'a army had followed the trio to steal elf blood, which resulted in a battle. Though the trio helped the Elves defend their home, Elfo was shot by an arrow and died in Bean's arms. Bean, Zog and Luci immediately suspected that Oona was the culprit but in truth, Dagmar had been turning people to stone using the same potion that she had tried to use on Zog.

Dagmar spent more time with Bean allowing mother and daughter to bond, however it was all manipulation to get Bean to trust Dagmar. Molle saw the sense of this and they turned aside They scouted until they discovered a smaller path that diverged from the main one and followed it until they found a grove of pine trees with long trailing branches that touched the forest floor. Here they would be hidden and sheltered from the wind, which had picked up suddenly with the falling of night.

Although it was nearly November, some trees retained their leaves, mainly the oak trees, which sported golden leaves that harmonized with their silvery trunks. Some hardy maples had some crimson leaves clinging to their branches, and provided a splash of color in the somber wood. A few crickets remained, chirping a plaintive refrain. By a stream nearby the eerie croak of a bullfrog rent the stillness of the air, accompanied by the haunting song of a single loon.

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None of these From a nearby pond came the sound of splashing as if some large animal were swimming about, and she wondered if it was one that could walk on land as well. She was startled by the sound of flapping wings, and looked up to spy a great white owl flying overhead that suddenly swooped to seize prey that she could not see. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Roth Goodreads Author. How did we stumble into it when all we did was to go into the woods to fetch a healing herb for our mother?

She took considerable time before answering, as i "Be careful what you wish for: you might get it She took considerable time before answering, as if assessing Col and his ability to understand what she was about to impart. Col never flinched and stood with his feet slightly apart, determined to solve the mystery of the land into which he and his sister had stumbled.

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Seeing his resolve, Daphne at last spoke. Here all of creation is in balance and lives in harmony. It is largely unchanged from its original state, with only a few changes that have come to mar it. And those changes came after the advent of Man, who can not touch anything without spoiling it, all the while under the delusion that he improves what he changes, never seeing, never caring, that nothing needed improving except in his mind. It is my charge to care for the forest and this I love to do. What of Man?

How did he come to be here, and who lived here originally besides yourself? There are others with limited reign over their immediate domain, such as the Gnomes and the Trolls. They are not to be treated lightly, for their power to harm those who offend them is terrible, as those so foolish to do so soon discover. Always he seeks to make improvements and by his attempts he spoils what was once perfect.

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And when he discovers the secret of Incantera Sylvana he becomes more terrible still as he attempts to mold our world to his will. He does not enter often enough that we see where he found the door, and he does not tell us when he is apprehended. If we could but seal the door we should do so, but we have never been able to find it and so prevent his entrance into our world. A brother and sister on an errand stumble through the door to another world. Lacan treats these themes as "the discourse of the Other"—that is, as constructions that are imposed on the subject when it enters into language—and so will I.

But I must insist from the outset that I am neither deconstructing nor psychoanalyzing Chaucer's text. Rather, to repeat, I regard these discourses as descriptions, and to a degree as analogues, of Chaucerian practice, and I use them as part of an attempt to describe what the text of the Canterbury Tales depicts.

In what follows, especially in Part II, I will be concerned to show that not only the poet but also at least one of his characters, the Pardoner, is an active deconstructionist who deliberately mimes official discourses in such a way as to bring out their underlying contradictions. I will be concerned as well to show that these texts do not simply embody the workings of desire as Lacan describes it but represent sexuality, aggression, and gender in something very like those terms.

I am of course aware that this position represents a departure from the common practice of historically oriented medievalists and Chaucerians, on the one hand, and that of many contemporary theorists, on the other. The first group is likely to feel, as I have already suggested, that I am imputing to the poet and his characters a set of anachronistic understandings and concerns that were historically unavailable to them; the second group might accuse me of stopping short of the full theoretical rigor of the modern critique of the self by imputing a kind and degree of mastery to the subjects I analyze that looks suspiciously humanistic.

Convincing answers to these objections, if there are such here, must await the detailed analyses in the body of the book, but it seems appropriate to address them at the beginning provisionally so that the reader has at least some notion of what to expect. I will consider each in turn, beginning with the historicist objection, which I. What does it mean, for instance, to say, as I intend to, that the Pardoner is a deconstructor, that the Prioress experiences her jouissance beyond the phallus, or that the Knight has a tacit project or enterprise to demystify the ideological elements of his tale as he tells it?

What is the nature of the act of tale-telling in the Canterbury Tales such that these characterizations are, or could be, applicable to it? To begin to find answers to such questions it is necessary to define in more detail the modalities of consciousness, at least as they seem to present themselves in Chaucer's poem. We may begin with the distinction between consciousness and the unconscious, where the latter term is understood in fairly strict psychoanalytic fashion as the presumed repository of repressed material of which the subject remains entirely unaware: the drives and desires that "speak" through the gaps in representation and outside the meaning intended in communication.

Material of this sort is notoriously difficult to ascribe to a specific agent and has become more so of late. I have to posit certain structures of desire to explain at least some aspects of what I hear speaking "besides" in the text.


In the Anglo-American tradition of psychoanalytic criticism it would have been usual to assume that such explanations uncovered the unconscious in the text whether taken to mean the unconscious of its author or of a character in the mode of mastery and that the critic, or analyst, was in the position of a "subject supposed to know" with respect to it. It is hard impossible in principle, I suspect to know whether the origin of such unconscious structures is in the pilgrim narrator Chaucer consciously represents what the pilgrim is unconscious of , in Chaucer himself, or in me why not if there is anything to transference?

These are not mutually exclusive possibilities: I have occasionally tried to register this particular undecidability by noting things I have decided to leave in my own text after I have become aware of meanings I did not intend when I wrote them that still seem in some sense appropriate.

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It was pointed out by an anonymous reader, for instance, that whatever William of Ockham may have had in mind, Leicester's razor is not an altogether innocent figure for my relation to other critics, though it also seems to me to have something to do with issues of gender, competition, and castration that figure extensively in my analysis of Chaucer. In any event it is obvious that whatever its provenance, the formulation one gives of this unconscious material will itself be outside the text in the sense that it will be highly self-conscious and analytical as well as remote in terminology and style from the language of the text being described.

It will thus be an example of what I will call, following Anthony Giddens, discursive consciousness , the kind of reflexive awareness that monitors the ongoing flow of activity so as to be able to give an account or an interpretation of it in so many words. Now the very fact that a discursive account of unconscious material, of whatever origin, is possible but always after the fact, retrospectively suggests that the line between consciousness and the unconscious is not a hard and fast one.

There is any amount of evidence in Freud, from the idea of the return of the repressed to the. Further testimony to the blurred edges of the distinction is in the need Freud felt very early to posit a third, borderline category, the preconscious, to refer to the status of material that is not conscious in the descriptive or discursive sense but is not repressed, such as memories that are not immediately conscious but which the subject can recall at will.

Since the distinction between unconscious and preconscious is a function of the operation of memory [22] —if you can remember it, it was preconscious—and since the act of telling a story depends, among other things, on being able to remember it, it is perhaps not surprising that a great many of the effects of Chaucer's text in the Canterbury Tales are produced in the undecidable area between conscious and unconscious, where an interpreter finds it difficult to know which side of the division to place them on.

Chaucer is representing an activity that takes place in this area and raises these problems by its nature.

‘Disenchantment’ Had Us Disenchanted

In part because, for obvious reasons, psychoanalysis is not very interested in the preconscious, the notion has little content and is not well developed. It is more useful at this point to turn again to social theory and employ Giddens's term for the agency of the subject that manifests itself in the area between discursive consciousness and the unconscious— practical consciousness : "Practical consciousness consists of all the things which actors know tacitly about how to 'go on' in the contexts of social life without being able to give them direct discursive significance" Constitution of Society , xxii ; "[it consists of] tacit knowledge that is skilfully applied in the enactment of courses of conduct, but which the actor is not able to formulate discursively" Central Problems , From this point of view it is useful to think of telling a story—and certainly everything happens in the Canterbury Tales as if Chaucer thought of it this way—as like speaking a language of which act it is after all a subset.

It can also be likened to driving a car, an example that foregrounds the improvisatory and interactive character of practical consciousness. In driving, a set of learned skills is deployed for the most part without self-conscious reflection in a way that is continuously responsive to the unanticipated demands of the flow of conduct: gauging road and weather conditions, making on-the-spot decisions about the best route, etc.

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On the one hand, the activity is able to express or at least channel unconscious motives while it is going on without interfering substantially with its practical aims. Post-Freudian folklore about the phallic meaning of automobiles attests to this ability, as does the irrationally aggressive behavior of other drivers.

On the other hand, at the same time "the line between discursive and practical consciousness is fluctuating and permeable" Constitution of Society , 4. As a driver I may become self-conscious about what I am doing if conditions require a particularly demanding exercise of skills or I may "unconsciously" draw on resources of coordination and muscular. The interpretive techniques that work best in reading the Canterbury Tales model storytelling as an exercise of all three kinds of agency in the subject, with practical consciousness mediating between discursive consciousness and the unconscious.

Without such a mediating notion it is relatively easy to prejudge what is possible in the text according to the extreme historicist position that disallows certain kinds of ironic reading, among them the psychoanalytic, on the grounds that people could not have thought this or that back then.

The Disenchanted Self

Such a position essentially demands that the relation of medieval agents to their institutions be considered only in the mode of discursive consciousness. But as Bourdieu, Giddens, and others have shown, it is necessary to distinguish between institutional description , such as a native may produce when asked about his or her kinship system by an anthropologist, and the actual practical deployment of that same system, such as a native engages in when looking for the most advantageous marriage for his or her daughter. Drawing on his study of the North African Kabyle, he is able to show that in a society where parallel-cousin marriage is the official norm, actual kin relationships are sufficiently complex that they can be figured variously between any two individuals so that kinship can be reinterpreted according to a variety of practical needs: members can find a lineage to legitimate any marriage they make.

Pantin's classic discussion of the workings of the ecclesiastical patronage system, The English Church in the Fourteenth Century. The initial reading of the Pardoner's Tale offered here addresses this problem and offers a more detailed critique of the historicist position. By contrast, a modern objection to the kind of reading of Chaucer I propose might refer to the decentering of the subject in such writers as Foucault and Barthes in order to accuse me of reintroducing the very humanistic mystifications I purport to criticize in more traditional dramatic readings of the poem.

But the modern critique of the subject has tended to share the reductionism of traditional positivism insofar as it too has not provided a satisfactory account of the agency of the subject. The pressing task facing social theory today is not to further the conceptual elimination of the subject, but on the contrary to promote a recovery of the subject without lapsing into subjectivism.

Such a recovery, I wish to argue, involves a grasp of "what cannot be said" or thought as practice. It is. Institutions do not just work "behind the backs" of the social actors who produce and reproduce them. Every competent member of every society knows a great deal about the institutions of that society: such knowledge is not incidental to the operation of society, but is necessarily involved in it. Every social actor knows a great deal about the conditions of reproduction of the society of which he or she is a member.