This essay discusses how issues of otherness/identity are at the heart of Patience Agbabi’s poetry collection Telling Tales (2014). A rewriting of Geoffey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the work of the British-Nigerian author addresses alterity through the representation of a heterogeneous group of present-day pilgrims interacting with one another as they are travelling on a bus from Tabard Inn to Canterbury Cathedral. The essay investigates how Agbabi’s poems rewrite Chaucer’s work from a twenty-first century perspective, and deal with alterity in the form of an unfinished dialogue with the medieval text and in ways which encompass not only moral, ethical or social questions, but also formal and generic issues. It shows that poetry’s potential for ‘harbouring otherness’ is linked to an hybridization whose site is also the literary text: poetry, and more specifically the poetic subgenre of the dramatic monologue, is adapted by Agbabi in order to host a dialogic, heteroglossic and novelized dimension.

Alterity Remixed: Poetic Hospitality in Patience Agbabi’s Telling Tales

Eleonora Natalia Ravizza
2022-01-01

Abstract

This essay discusses how issues of otherness/identity are at the heart of Patience Agbabi’s poetry collection Telling Tales (2014). A rewriting of Geoffey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the work of the British-Nigerian author addresses alterity through the representation of a heterogeneous group of present-day pilgrims interacting with one another as they are travelling on a bus from Tabard Inn to Canterbury Cathedral. The essay investigates how Agbabi’s poems rewrite Chaucer’s work from a twenty-first century perspective, and deal with alterity in the form of an unfinished dialogue with the medieval text and in ways which encompass not only moral, ethical or social questions, but also formal and generic issues. It shows that poetry’s potential for ‘harbouring otherness’ is linked to an hybridization whose site is also the literary text: poetry, and more specifically the poetic subgenre of the dramatic monologue, is adapted by Agbabi in order to host a dialogic, heteroglossic and novelized dimension.
978-88-3369-136-7
intertextuality, transnational poetics, hospitality, otherness, dramatic monologue.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/547182
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