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Abstract

This essay considers the ways in which incompleteness – the de facto status of virtually all of Middle English literature – is both a type of failure and a special characteristic of this literature. The discussion is framed around the incomplete Cook's Tale from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and the Tale of Gamelyn, a romance frequently misattributed to Chaucer that circulated with the Canterbury Tales, often to fill the gap left by the incomplete Cook's Tale.

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