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Tag: Chaucer

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June 12, 2020

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Geoffrey Chaucer lived during a very tumultuous time in England. Chaucer’s patron was John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, a prince and statesman. Gaunt was the third son of Edward III, which enabled his rise to fame and fortune. Additionally, when Richard II, Gaunt’s nephew, assumed the throne at the age of ten, Gaunt handled most of the affairs of state until Richard II was prepared for the state’s business.

 » Read more about: Chaucer’s Troubled Age  »

October 4, 2019

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

In a 2014 interview with David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld says that he was inspired to create Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to play with a new format, something that could be viewed on a phone. This occurred to him at a time when recent changes to technology have really disbanded old-school structures in media. No longer must a sitcom,

 » Read more about: Comedy Hour  »

September 14, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Shakespeare is a favorite topic of mine, and of many of our students. Recently, I read and discussed Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. Though we didn’t have time to compare it to Chaucer’s poem Troilus and Criseyde, I wanted to spend a few moments doing just that. Before I do,

 » Read more about: Shakespeare’s Troilus Versus Chaucer’s Criseyde  »

July 13, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I am interested in the way(s) in which literary language intersects with language itself. By literary language, I mean language that most often occurs in writing, but not necessarily in everyday speech. A marked difference between the spoken and written word of a culture represents diglossia. In other words, a culture which has a high level of diglossia has evolved language into two distinct functions: written and spoken.

 » Read more about: Literary Language  »

May 4, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Last week’s Quarterly Discussion focused on Chaucer in translation. I opened the discussion with the question as to how one would determine what elements make a “best” translation. This seemingly generic question is actually really difficult to answer. Some authors excelled at rhyme schemes, while others performed better with word choice, for example. Truly, there is no single response and my intent in opening (and closing) the discussion with this question was to explore the benefits of having access to the primary source (and primary language).

 » Read more about: Translations of Chaucer  »

March 30, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

In April, we will be discussing two of my favorite things in the Quarterly Discussion: translation and Chaucer. I love Middle English texts because they show such difference between Old English and contemporary English. Old English was originally spoken by Germanic tribes such as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. As the Anglo-Saxons formed larger communities, Old English began to overpower Latin as the dominant language in Britain.

 » Read more about: Chaucer Translations  »

March 16, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

In a global society, we are bound to read many works in translation. Quality literature from around the world is being produced at an increasingly fast pace. In fact, it is impossible to keep up with the literature in one’s primary language, let alone international texts. This proliferation of material presents an opportunity for anyone interested in translation. More than simply studying translations,

 » Read more about: Refractions, Ideas in Translation  »

January 12, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post: from Chaucer to Chappelle

“Let fancy fly, with all her lofty graces,/ Pack wisdom in, with tenderness and passion,/ But never put good fooling out of fashion.” – Goethe

Chaucer’s wit still resonates today. In The Canterbury Tales he developed characters that might also fit straight into contemporary society.

 » Read more about: From Chaucer to Chappelle  »

December 15, 2017

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post. Also, thanks to HMU Tutor Dominique Wagner for a wonderful discussion which resulted in some of the questions posed in today’s blog.

“There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly as love.” – Erich Fromm

Listen to John Cage’s Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard while reading of love.

 » Read more about: Love in Troilus and Criseyde  »

April 1, 2016

“April is the cruellest month” – T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I hardly think that T.S. Eliot had Chaucer in mind when he wrote those lines. However, Chaucer does begin the pilgrimage in The Canterbury Tales in April, and most of the tales are relentlessly cruel. But his cruelty is also full of laugh-out-loud hilarity.

 » Read more about: Chaucer’s Jokes  »

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