Thursday, August 27, 2009

What would Chaucer do?

A few ?weeks? ago, I learned that A***** was interested in reading The Canterbury Tales & I was taken by a desire to read them as well. I had actually taken a semester of The Canterbury Tales, but can remember almost nothing, except the 'frame' structure, the first opening lines (which I will recite for you, in Middle English, you only have to ask) & the agony of reading the Prioress' Tale, not just the anti-semitism (which was uhhhhhmmmmm kinda the theme) but because of the overwhelming assininity of it all. I have often found myself looking at carnage (in person, in history books) & wondered how could such a stoopid idea have done this much damage? But that's me.

So earlier this month we got together over pinot grigio, some food, some more pinot grigio, had knitting lesson part deux (her not me) & mapped out the Tales. I have a stack of biographies & criticisms & spin-offs borrowed from the library & am ready to go.

How would Chaucer go about this? Well, I am only guessing but I think he might break it down into parts. & so that is what we will do. I was supposed to be thru the Miller's Tale by last this evening; as of this typing I have not finished the Prologue. I thought I was done with the Prologue a week ago but it was continued on the next disk. For those who know The Canterbury Tales, you know there is the Knight's Tale between the Prologue & the Miller's Tale. Of course, you probably also know, Chaucer never finished writing the Canterbury Tales.

//I really was not looking for a saint for this post, but in confirming how to spell 'prioress', I found one. No doubt the inspiration for her story & the source of constant conflict up to & including the present: Little Hugh of Lincoln. I will let you read the story yourself. The worst part of this particular bit of information is just the other day I read a story on the BBC that made my hair stand on end. According to one of the most widely read tabloids in Sweden, Israeli's are harvesting organs from Palestinians. The Swedish Ambassador to Israel is disgusted with the story. More than 1/2 a millennium has gone by since Little Hugh of Lincoln was canonized & stories like this are still getting play.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of years when i taught the Canterbury Tales. I got tired of the bitching about how hard it was and ran off the first part of "The Miller's Tale" in modern English. Then halfway through I switched to Middle English. I don't think any of them stopped reading.