CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

"Tee-hee!" Quod She, My Vulgar Darling: Detecting the Adolescent Female Voice through Rebellion and the Ribald in Nabokov's Lolita and Chaucer's Miller's Tale

Kathryn M. Fleishman, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Humanities

Dept/Program: English

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Dr. Rebecca Bushnell

Date of this Version: 17 April 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.

 

Abstract

Though distanced in time by centuries, Nabokov's Lolita and Chaucer's Miller's Tale are both structured around young and girlish figures, or fanciulle. Both authors, too, apply three layers of male narration to their female protagonists, inviting the reader-critic into their worlds first as a voyeur tempted by sexual stimulus and distancing him/her from the fanciulle.

However, as the reader continues, s/he must work detectively to uncover the young female figure, discovering along the way her depth of character, as expressed through ribaldry, rebellion, and the only true language with which she knows how to express herself successfully – her sexuality. The detective reader is ultimately rewarded with the discovery of Lo and Alisoun's complexity, and of an awareness of the function of such figures in the Western imagination.

Suggested Citation

Fleishman, Kathryn M., ""Tee-hee!" Quod She, My Vulgar Darling: Detecting the Adolescent Female Voice through Rebellion and the Ribald in Nabokov's Lolita and Chaucer's Miller's Tale" 17 April 2006. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania, http://repository.upenn.edu/curej/76.

Date Posted: 07 February 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.

 

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