By James Lee Burke
“It’s most unlikely to consider the Louisiana bayou with no conjuring up James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux books” (Chicago Tribune), together with this early masterwork that pits the Cajun police detective opposed to one of many New South’s so much twisted and robust forces. Oil speculator Weldon Sonnier is the patriarch of a afflicted kin in detail sure to the CIA, the Mob, and the Klan. Now, the homicide of a cop and a strange assassination test pull Robicheaux into the Sonniers’ hellish international of insanity, homicide, and incest. yet Robicheaux has devils of his own— they usually may smash the tormented investigator and the 2 humans he holds most useful.
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Extra info for A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux)
But among the ‘sondry thynges’ which books treat of are women, and here we not only have ‘other preve’, but we find the books themselves at variance; in opposition to the antifeminist tradition which is represented in the Legend’s Prologue by the Troilus, there are the ‘sixty bokes olde and newe’ in Chaucer’s possession which the God of Love cites as containing innumerable stories of women who chose to die rather than be unfaithful (G 273–310). How can the notion of literary authority survive such contradictions?
Chaucer must have known perfectly well that Troilus and Criseyde, for the reasons I have already outlined, is not an antifeminist work. Yet he also knew (as his picture of Jankin’s use of his ‘book of wikked wyves’ makes clear) that the subtleties of authorial intention are all too often submerged in the crude interpretations of the reading public. This being so, he both is and is not contributing to the antifeminist tradition in telling of Criseyde. He therefore avails himself of the conventional polarities of the ‘woman debate’ in order to make an equivalent contribution to the opposing stereotype of the suffering ‘good woman’.
At the end of Troilus and Criseyde, he not only apologizes for his story to the female members of his audience12 – Bysechyng every lady bright of hewe, And every gentil womman, what she be, That al be that Criseyde was untrewe, That for that gilt she be nat wroth with me. Ye may hire gilt in other bokes se; 12 The audience addressed may be the implied rather than the actual audience, since Richard Green (1983–4) has shown that the number of women at court was probably small. Such apologies to women for anti-feminist material are frequent enough in medieval literature to be regarded as conventional (Mann, 1991); but Chaucer’s use of the convention is differentiated from that of other writers by his immediate addition of remarks critical of men.
A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux) by James Lee Burke