Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Canterbury Tales

About a month ago I started Canterbury Tales.  I enjoyed it, for the most part.

First, the parts I enjoyed or was interested by:  Reading the original Chanticleer story.  I had read it as a little kid and loved the story of that unfortunate rooster.  It was fun to re-read it in its original form.  I enjoyed the arguments through stories.  I found them quite clever.  Many of the stories were quite engaging.   I learned a lot about medieval English culture while reading this book.  The translator, David Wright, was wonderful.  I was amazed that he actually cut out two of the stories because he said they were just long sermons that would not interest the average reader.  I appreciate taking some liberties for the sake of keeping a story engaging.

Now for the less than excellent parts- The blatant sexism throughout most of the stories aggravated me.  Even the Wife of Bath's tale, which is supposed to be a story in favor of wives having more power, seemed ridiculous through modern eyes.  I had to remind myself frequently that I was reading a book set in the medieval period where the role of women was completely different.  The sermon-like stories were quite drone-y but I read through them and was glad because it helped me to understand medieval Christianity a little better.

Overall, I am very glad that I took the time to read this book.  It was enjoyable, funny at times,  and an interesting glimpse into another time.

1 comment: