Monday, May 21, 2007

Hoccleve, where art thou?

Just preparing tomorrow's lecture on Hoccleve and ... oh! on his return to public life from illness!! ... and wondering why, in all the proliferation of medieval blogs, there is no Hoccleve blog. I had nearly written "why Hoccleve hasn't started a blog"! But seriously, we have Chaucer (and John Mandeville and Tremulous Aescgar and the crew), Gower, Katherine Swynford and Langland, though his heart doesn't really seem to be in it. But why is not Hoccleve in the company? He has the ideal personality for a blogger: he writes about writing a lot; he's confessional and racy; and even seeks advice from friends about whether to go public with his problems or not (and when they say, no, don't do it, he blogs it anyway!). It would be very interesting to see what kind of voice a Hoccleve blog would adopt vis-a-vis Chaucer's....

3 comments:

WhatLadder said...

Sounds like you gave yourself a new project. Because you know, if a Hoccleve blog does appear, no one is going to believe it isn't you, now. :-)

Stephanie Trigg said...

Yeah, I thought of that - that people might think I was going to start one, not of starting one. And then I thought for a while about how to respond to your comment, in such a way that made it clear I wasn't going to, and opening up a space for someone else to do it, while also keeping open a little ambiguity in case they wanted to shelter behind the prospect you raise of me doing it, in order to protect their own anonymity, you know?

I think T.H. puts it best:

Ay, what is me, that to my self, thus longe,
Clappid have I, I trowe that I rave.

Le Male Regle, 393-94

Thomas Hoccleve said...

To the worshypfulle Dame Stephanie Trygge dwellynge in Millebrunne (terra australis incognita)- be this lettir delyveryd in haste.

Ryght reverent Dame Stephanie, I habbe yhered that ye haue ben sechyng for me, urgyn me to blogge on the webbemundi. My penne nys that of the grete Maistyr Chaucer and my mynde is sumwhat confundyd of late (a certeyne Occleve has enioynyd my persone to som confusion) but a ryght merveillous sweven in whyche the sayd Occleve hath apperyd and entryd myn mynde (that of Hoccleve, I mene) has ychaungyd me and yhelpyd to moeven me out of myn maladye. The shorte for to seyn, he - thise Occleve - hath recommaundyd me that by weye of amendynge myn trotevale lyf at Chauncery a blogge Ichuld commence. It is but a small werke to-daye and hyt yclepyd is "Westmynstre blues" to uoyce out my troublyd lyf of wrytyng nyce documentys and rollys by daye (and redynge the grete Chaucer by nyghte). Hyt can by yfound on the webbemundi at http://hoccleve.blogspot.com/ but I begge youre pacience - hyt is oonly a begynnynge.

Wretyn at Westmynstre on the thridde daye of Juli. By yowre humble servaunt Thomas Hoccleve