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Chapter 5 returns to the question of the affordance and ductility of paper in Italian, Welsh and English literature. The use of paper in literary manuscripts is not just a question of production, but has implications for the reading of medieval literature itself. The interplay of Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde and his sources in their comments on the material properties of writing-supports is evidence of paper’s wider cultural acceptance, as well as literary ingenuity. In the light of the foregoing chapters’ exploration of paper books as precisely defined and individually distinctive objects, with very specific properties and effects, this chapter explores the fascinating relationship between the material aspect of book production and the literary world of medieval authors to offer nuanced readings of their works.
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