Chris's Reviews > The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling

The Canterbury Tales by Peter Ackroyd
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Dear Duke Thesus,

What is it with you and threatening women with death during your wedding? Do you think it is romantic?


Dear Wife of Bath,

You go girl!

Dear Chanticlear,

Foxes like chickens in all the wrong ways. Just saying.


Dear Mr. Ackroyd, World's Greatest Renassiance Man,

I've read Chaucer in the orignal both Tales and Trolius. I've tried to read various modern translations.

Tried being the operative word.

Yours, I finished. It's wonderful.

In part, this must due to the fact that you are a poet. You keep the poetry of the tales, but since you write in prose, the forced rhymes of translation are non-existent.

But most of it is because you kept Chaucer dirty. You didn't try to clean him up as some other translations do. Therefore we have the line about Alison (in "The Miller's Tale") - She was meant to be f**ked by a prince and wedded to a yeoman. We know precisely what Chaucer means by that. You keep all the dirty words, all the dirty stories. In bringing Chaucer back to the earth, back to the mud, you have re-established his position among the stars for those who do not read Middle English.


General Comments

The Tales is a group of stories mostly about sex and power between couples. Okay, there are other bits thrown in, but its mainly sex.

And Farting. There is lots of farting.

Little romance though. In fact, the Knight's Tale which should be the most romantic is the most sterile, perhaps Terry Jones has a point about the Knight.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Terry Jones? The Knight? Quote please?


message 2: by Manny (new)

Manny The Tales is a group of stories mostly about sex and power between couples. Okay, there are other bits thrown in, but its mainly sex.

And Farting. There is lots of farting.


What an excellent summary! I hope Mr. Cliff Notes is paying attention.


message 3: by Chris (last edited Nov 14, 2011 04:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris Terry Jones wrote a very important book of criticism about the Knight, as well as an excellent book about Chaucer and his possible murder. Yes, that Terry Jones.

The books are Chaucer's Knight and Who Murdered Chaucer?: A Medieval Mystery. Jones is actually a very dedicated historian.

Thanks Manny!


message 4: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker I think I should give the Canterbury Tales another go, but with this edition. :-)


message 5: by Niina (new)

Niina Great review, really liked reading it. :)


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