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Discussion - Canterbury Tales > Reading Schedule - Canterbury Tales

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message 1: by Everyman (last edited Dec 29, 2010 05:49PM) (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Although the discussion doesn't start until January 5, I'm posting the discussion schedule a bit early for planning purposes.

The first week will be a short reading -- the General Prologue -- but I think it'll be valuable to take some time to set the stage and get some terms and concepts clear. Also, Chaucer led an interesting life in interesting times (his dates were abt. 1343-1400; this was the time of Edward III, Richard II, and the overthrow of Richard and enthronement of Henry IV; Chaucer knew and worked with some of the people who are prominent in the Shakespearean plays of those times), so we'll want to talk a bit about that (Madge, how's your memory of your school classes in English history?)

I took the reading schedule out to 9 instead of 8 weeks because it seemed to work better with fairly equal divisions of the readings.

The schedule follows the sequence of the ELF website, at http://www.canterburytales.org/canter...

Jan 5-11: General Prologue, start posting on Chaucer’s Life and Times
Jan 12-18: Knight’s Tale
Jan 19-25: Miller’s Prologue & Tale
Jan 26-Feb 1 Reeve’s Prologue & Tale
Cooks Prologue & Tale
Lawyer’s Introduction, Prologue, & Tale
Feb 2-8: Sailor’s Prologue & Tale
Words of Host to Prioress, Prioress’s Prologue & Tale
Sir Thopas Prologue & Tale
Melibeus Prologue & Tale
Monk’s Prologue & Tale
Feb 9-15: Nun’s Priest’s Prologue, Tale, & Epilogue
Physician’s Tale, Words of the Host
Pardoner’s Prologue & Tale
Feb 16-22: Wife of Bath’s Prologue & Tale
Friar’s Prologue & Tale
Summoner’s Prologue & Tale
Clerks Prologue & Tale
Feb 23-Mar 1: Merchant’s Prologue, Tale, & Epilogue
Squire’s Prologue & Tale
Mar 2 - 8 Franklin’s Prologue & Tale
Second Nun’s Prologue & Tale
Canon’s Yeoman’s Prologue & Tale
Manciple’s Prologue & Tale
Parson’s Prologue & Tale



message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Staten (mstatenstuffandthings) | 67 comments exciting, can't wait to start


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) | 186 comments Mike wrote: "exciting, can't wait to start"

nor me


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, good! I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to participate, but with this spread-out schedule, I'm starting to think I can keep up. Now instead of daunting the book is starting to look like fun. Thanks, Everyman!


message 5: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Mangis | 163 comments New Year's resolution--keep up with the reading and discussion of The Canterbury Tales. (I only have to last 9 weeks, not an entire year).


message 6: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments I have been considering how best to structure the discussion. Normally, I would set up one discussion thread for each week's reading. But in this case, that would lump discussion of several tales in one thread, which seems confusing.

OTOH, to set up a separate thread for each tale means a proliferation of threads which might also be confusing. This is my current thinking, but if there are strong opinions that this is not the best way to go, I'll certainly want to consider them and the reasons for them.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd vote for a discussion thread for each tale. That matches the structure of the story and makes more sense to me than lumping several tales together based on a reading schedule. I don't think it would be confusing. You'd just have more individual threads than usual.


message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 2438 comments Kate Mc. wrote: "I'd vote for a discussion thread for each tale. That matches the structure of the story and makes more sense to me than lumping several tales together based on a reading schedule. I don't think i..."

Me too. Things are organized pretty well here on GoodReads, so I don't think multiple threads would be a problem.


message 9: by Selina (new)

Selina (selinatng) | 62 comments Having one discussion thread per tale is also my preference.


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 02, 2011 05:17AM) (new)

I agree that a thread for each tale makes sense--even if they overlap somehow on the reading schedule.

From the little bit I have seen so far in CT, I thought this quotation might be worth keeping in mind as we begin:


The man of science, like the man of letters, is too apt to view mankind only in the abstract, selecting in his consideration only a single side of our complex and many-sided being.

- James G. Frazer, born on this dare in 1854

Without meaning to jump start the discussion, it seems to me that Chaucer may contradict this comment.


message 11: by Michael (last edited Jan 01, 2011 07:56PM) (new)

Michael Staten (mstatenstuffandthings) | 67 comments I agree that each tale should have its own thread.

I wonder if it makes sense to set up two group folders though? Threads could become buried easily because only five threads show up by default without expanding the group at a time. With an A group and a B group we could have 10 threads visible by default and discussion would be encouraged for more than just one week. I say put our first week's reading in group A and our second in group B, third in group A and so on. The drawback to this approach is not knowing (after a few weeks) in which thread a given tale is located. Maybe when we move on from these tales the two groups can be combined?


message 12: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Mike wrote: "I agree that each tale should have its own thread.

I wonder if it makes sense to set up two group folders though? Threads could become buried easily because only five threads show up by default..."


That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure it is necessary if everybody recognizes the value of the "unread" option which shows up at the top of the listing of discussion boards. It will show all the threads in which there are posts you haven't read yet (or, to be more technically accurate, in which there have been posts made since the last time you visited the thread; once you visit a thread it doesn't know whether or not you've read all the new posts).

The first time you click on it, unless you've been with the group a long time, you'll get a massive number of such threads, but once you have looked at the ones that interest you, you can go to the bottom and click on "mark all as read." (You may have to do the "unread" and "mark all as read" several times, but you'll soon get a "clean" board.) After that, you can either look at the discussion topic (I set it up so that the current week's threads float to the top), then click on "discussions" and "unread" to see whether there area any threads not showing up on your first page that have new posts.

In groups I belong to where I'm only interested in some of the discussions, I automatically click on "unread," go to the threads that interest me, then "mark all as unread" to get rid of the threads I don't care about. It works very well for me, and might for others who aren't yet using those options.


message 13: by Michael (last edited Jan 01, 2011 09:47PM) (new)

Michael Staten (mstatenstuffandthings) | 67 comments Your solution work well too Everyman. It is purely a usability concern.

That being said, I just noticed that this group currently displays 7 threads per group. I checked a few others and noticed they have different amounts (5, 6, 10). I hadn't realized it was configurable. I would suggest setting it that figure to 10 or 12 while we read CT so that discussions from the last 2-3 weeks in our reading schedule are more likely to show up.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Mike wrote: "Your solution work well too Everyman. It is purely a usability concern.

That being said, I just noticed that this group currently displays 7 threads per group. I checked a few others and notice..."


It isn't configurable. Goodreads shows up to 8 (I think) depending on how recent the activity is on the thread. If there isn't a new posting after a certain number of hours (24? 48?) the thread isn't displayed.


message 15: by Michael (last edited Jan 01, 2011 10:36PM) (new)

Michael Staten (mstatenstuffandthings) | 67 comments On this group's main page the old discussion groupings still show 7 threads, even Don Quixote and Les Mis which haven't been updated since 2009. Do others see this differently?


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Mike wrote: "On this group's main page the old discussion groupings still show 7 threads, even Don Quixote and Les Mis which haven't been updated since 2009. Do others see this differently?"

You're right that they show the most recent 7 topics on the group page. I thought you were talking about your own home page. It's still not configurable, though.


message 17: by Linda2 (last edited Jan 01, 2011 10:50PM) (new)

Linda2 Everyman wrote: "In groups I belong to where I'm only interested in some of the discussions, I automatically click on "unread," go to the threads that interest me, then "mark all as unread" to get rid of the threads I don't care about. It works very well for me, and might for others who aren't yet using those options. ."

How do you mark threads here as "read" and "unread"?


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael Staten (mstatenstuffandthings) | 67 comments Kate Mc. wrote: "You're right that they show the most recent 7 topics on the group page. I thought you were talking about your own home page. It's still not configurable, though."

My bad, I wasn't very clear and used incorrect terminology.

I think it must be configurable by the group moderator because different groups show different numbers of topics (what I've been calling threads). This group shows 7 per discussion (what I've been calling group). Constant Reader shows 5 per discussion. The Victorians shows 6. Goodreads Feedback shows 10.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 01, 2011 11:19PM) (new)

Mike wrote: "Kate Mc. wrote: "You're right that they show the most recent 7 topics on the group page. I thought you were talking about your own home page. It's still not configurable, though."

My bad, I wasn..."


You're right Mike. After searching the group settings page on the 2 groups I moderate, there is a way to do it. It's hiding under a very tiny "advanced settings" link at the bottom of the page. Thanks for the lesson learned. :D.

It's a blanket configuration so it will change the number of topics showing for all folders, not just the one you're interested in. Up to Eman how many he wants showing.


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Staten (mstatenstuffandthings) | 67 comments Rochelle wrote: "How do you mark threads here as "read" and "unread"?"


Once you view a thread/topic Goodreads assumes you've read all the comments on that page. If there are multiple pages of comments and you only view one of them then the count of unread comments will be reduced but you'll still see some red numbers for that thread.


message 21: by Everyman (last edited Jan 02, 2011 09:24AM) (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Rochelle wrote: "How do you mark threads here as "read" and "unread"? "

I don't think you can "mark" a thread as read or unread. But if you choose "unread" in the discussions listing, then click on the read "new" next to a thread, immediately all the new posts in that thread will become new. Try that, then click your browser's "back" button, then click your browser's "refresh" button, and that thread will no longer show up with new posts.

You can mark every thread as read if you use the "mark all as read" button on the bottom of the unread list.

Okay, all that was confusing, but just play with the process.

Edit: I don't know for sure whether when you go to the "new" threads Goodreads assumes you have read all the new posts, or just those on the current page.


message 22: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Mike wrote: "Kate Mc. wrote: "You're right that they show the most recent 7 topics on the group page. I thought you were talking about your own home page. It's still not configurable, though."

My bad, I wasn..."


If it's configurable by the moderator, I don't know where or how because I've never done it.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Everyman wrote: "Mike wrote: "Kate Mc. wrote: "You're right that they show the most recent 7 topics on the group page. I thought you were talking about your own home page. It's still not configurable, though."

My ..."


On the group home page, click on "group settings" on the upper right corner. At the very bottom of that page there is a link for "advanced settings". If you click on the link it shows some display options that can be changed.


message 24: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Kate Mc. wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Mike wrote: "Kate Mc. wrote: "You're right that they show the most recent 7 topics on the group page. I thought you were talking about your own home page. It's still not configurab..."

Thanks. I had found that for posting the description and rules for the group, but hadn't gone to the advanced settings, which do indeed allow me to decide how many threads appear in folders. Currently set for seven.

Power! Dictatory authority! I'm almost giddy with the prospect of absolute power. [g] But Mike has a point; I'll keep an eye out as to whether I should increase this for the CT discussion.


message 25: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 Everyman wrote: "Rochelle wrote: "How do you mark threads here as "read" and "unread"? "

I don't think you can "mark" a thread as read or unread. But if you choose "unread" in the discussions listing, then click ..."


I don't have "read-new." I have "unread-viewed." Their system is too crazy. I usually just rely on my emails for the threads I'm following, and check all my groups nightly for new ones that might interest me.


message 26: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 232 comments Yay, I'm back for the Canterbury Tales! The end of my semester and finals hit hard, so I totally dropped out of discussion, though I did finish HF over Christmas. But now I am back and enthusiastic.

I also like the idea of a thread for each tale.

Totally different topic: I bought an edition with the Middle English and a Modern English verse translation interleafed. What are others doing?


message 27: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 The discussion on editions is here:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/4...


message 28: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 232 comments Thanks!


message 29: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 43 comments I never worry about read/unread. If I'm coming late to a discussion (story of my life),I simply click on 'view all' on the book discussion I want to follow and select the thread I'm after by title.
I never bother with emails...I prefer to go to each group and scroll down to see what's new, then choose a topic that I'm most interested in or feel I have time to read.


message 30: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Jan wrote: "I never bother with emails...I prefer to go to each group and scroll down to see what's new, then choose a topic that I'm most interested in or feel I have time to read. "

I don't use the email option, either. Just go to the site and to the groups I'm interested in. (You can choose whether or not to get emails through your profile.)


message 31: by Nick (new)

Nick A.B. | 3 comments My first book participation on this website hope its fun :).


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

I use the email option----'cause I don't want to miss a single pearl of wisdom!


message 33: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 They're not all pearls of wisdom :)


message 34: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Nick wrote: "My first book participation on this website hope its fun :)."

We look forward to having you, and all our new or recently joined members, with us for this exciting journey to 14th Century England.


message 35: by Laura (new)

Laura (thatlibrarianlady) I think I'm finally going to participate in this one! I was so sad I couldn't find time to participate in the Paradise Lost reading. College can be so hectic.


message 36: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Laura Ashlee wrote: "I think I'm finally going to participate in this one! I was so sad I couldn't find time to participate in the Paradise Lost reading. College can be so hectic."

Sorry you had to miss PL; it was a great discussion. But excellent that you can join us for CT.


message 37: by MjerrieT (new)

MjerrieT | 3 comments Hi, I've been following the groups discussions on the canterbury tales which will be the first time ever reading the book. Sorry, I will not be able to participate in any of the discussions because I'm unfamiliar with Geoffrey Chaucer's work. Reading the groups thread has given me a clear understanding of the stories language and dialectic.


message 38: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Without meaning to point any specific fingers, there have been several posts in the past few days which revealed, if only peripherally, some of the nature or content of tales which we haven't yet reached in our reading schedule.

For those who know the Tales, these comments are certainly innocuous and harmless. But for those who are "Chaucer Virgins," they have the right under the principles of this group to approach these tales fresh and without any idea what sort of content they might contain or other information about them.

I ask that all members be respectful of those who are new to Chaucer and want to encounter the specific tales with fresh eyes.

This comment, of course, does not apply to general postings about Chaucer's life and times, and any content in the General Prologue or any tales already encountered in the schedule are fully open for discussion. But if you know the Tales from past readings or have read past the point of the discussion postings, please keep your knowledge of future tales, their nature and content, completely under wraps until we reach those tales in our reading schedule.

Thank you.


message 39: by Everyman (last edited Feb 01, 2011 10:53AM) (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Keep an eye on the reading schedule. I just noticed that Ackroyd has the Wife of Bath's tale right after the Man of Law's tale. This is not the order followed by the online text the schedule is drawn from, and is not the order of most of the texts I have, including the one I consider most definitive, that of the Great Books of the Western World series. But it IS the order given in the Everyman's Library edition (my namesake has deserted me!).

So check your own text and if it has the Wife of Bath's tale next, if you want to stick with the discussion, skip ahead to the scheduled tales for this week:

Sailor’s Prologue & Tale
Words of Host to Prioress,
(Are mostly about Sailor's tale, so will be with that)
Prioress’s Prologue & Tale
Sir Thopas Prologue & Tale
Melibeus Prologue & Tale
Monk’s Prologue & Tale


message 40: by MadgeUK (last edited Feb 01, 2011 11:34AM) (new)

MadgeUK Thanks Everyman, I love the gentle way you crack your whip!:).


message 41: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Just a note; I have increased the number of threads shown per folder from itus usual 7 to 10 because of the number of threads from the past two weeks' discussion. If people feel the need for showing even more threads in the Canterbury folder, let me know. Each week's tales are shown at the top of the topic list; below that, the topics are shown with those with the most recent posts floating to the top. But you always have the option to "view all," and I advise making liberal use of the "unread" selection to see what threads have posts which you haven't read yet. I find that incredibly useful, because it will bring up posts in threads that otherwise would be not shown in the regular window.


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