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The Riverside Chaucer af Geoffrey Chaucer

The Riverside Chaucer (udgave 1986)

af Geoffrey Chaucer (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,897178,275 (4.39)44
This edition provides the general information on Chaucer's life, language, and works that one needs for a first reading of Chaucer, and difficult words and constructions are glossed on the pages. The Appendix contains the materials, including the extensive notes and glossary, for a more thorough understanding of Chaucer's works.… (mere)
Titel:The Riverside Chaucer
Forfattere:Geoffrey Chaucer (Forfatter)
Info:Houghton Mifflin (1986), Edition: 3, 1327 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

Work Information

The Riverside Chaucer af Geoffrey Chaucer


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» Se også 44 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
If you want to learn Middle English and read Chaucer this is the book for you. You don’t need any other. I went from a standing start to reading with some ease. If you can read modern English you’re halfway there and if you also have a Romance language, three quarters. Obviously, it’s rather a large undertaking so I’ll tell you what I did as you may find it useful.

First off I read the introduction, in particular the part on pronunciation. You need to know when to pronounce sounds for the rhythm and how to pronounce for the rhyme. Obviously your pronunciation needn’t be exact, but you and Chaucer need to come to an accommodation whereby you pronounce however the hell you like, but you’re always consistent. I referred back to this section constantly as I read until I had it.

There’s also a section on grammar. I was unable to understand this section as I don’t have enough technical knowledge. If you can possibly manage it, do give it a go as it’ll be very useful. Even now I get confused by things like whether someone is doing something or having it done to them and have to go back and re-read whole sections.

That done, I started with his translation of The Consolation of Philosophy. I chose this as it being prose and quite long I could pick up some vocabulary and not have to deal with the poetry. This turned out to be a Good Idea.

Next I read The Romance of the Rose. I went for this as it’s long enough to get into the rhythm, and being a translation and not the real thing I wouldn’t miss the good stuff while still in nappies. This turned out to be a mistake. In hindsight I would have been better just jumping into The Canterbury Tales, or maybe some of the shorter lyrics. This is solely because I don’t like this poem. I seem to be in the minority on this one. It was a best-seller back in the day. You could give it a go. I think my reasoning in choosing it for training was sound.

This edition will hold your hand all the way. Þ and ȝ are modernised. There are footnoted glosses of Very Hard Words on every page and for everything else there’s an excellent glossary at the back. When things still aren’t clear (which is a lot of the time) there are explanatory notes. These are amazing. They’re worth reading even if you’ve understood the literal sense as there are usually hidden depths of meaning, and just generally they sink you deep into the Medieval world.

But is it worth the effort? Of course it is, you moron. There are lines, and they’re often quite innocuous in meaning, where there’s such a perfect union of sound and rhythm that they frightened me and the hairs shivered up on the back of my neck.

I wish I could see the look on your face when, having put all the effort in, you pick up something like Haverloc the Dane and realise that all you’ve managed it do is familiarise yourself with one dialect out of many. ( )
1 stem Lukerik | Aug 26, 2021 |
This is the edition to grab for anyone interested in studying Chaucer’s works. It contains his original pieces and his translations in Middle English. There’s a brief introduction before each work, and the more difficult words and phrases are explained at the bottom of each page and in a glossary at the back. Additional front and back notes make this the Chaucer of choice.
  A._E._Chandler | Apr 26, 2021 |
Overall, I liked these work. They’re well-written, humourous, imaginative, captivating stories—except for Boece, which is a translation of a late-Classical/early-Medieval text, which was well-written but not captivating and anyway, Chaucer doesn’t get credit for writing that one. I enjoyed seeing more of the man’s work, the different styles of poems and the range of stories, and I’m looking forward to finishing the rest of his works sometime next year.

The Book of the Duchess – I don’t remember this one having as much coherence and point as some of the later poems. It sort of wanders. Chaucer does have the language and tropes of romance down, though. So much that bits of this border on parody.

Anelida and Arcite – Again, this is in the romance genre. Again, this sort of wanders semi-coherently. Between that and the complicated stanzas, I’m not surprised he stopped writing it.

The House of Fame – So far, the most imaginative story I’ve seen him do. It’s another medieval dream vision, like The Book of the Duchess, but this time, he’s being elaborately metaphorical and satirical about fame and greed. It’s not finished either, and that’s a bit of a shame. I’d like to know where he was planning to go next with it.

The Parliament of Fowls – Oh, the glorious satire in this! Yet another dream vision, this time of birds choosing their mates and bickering about who gets which turn, who should get the most beautiful eagle, and other relatable things. Quite enjoyed it.

Boece – Originally titled Consolation of Philosophy. An interesting glimpse into the medieval mind and a good example of Platonic dialogue, but again, Chaucer doesn’t get credit for more than the translation. He did a good job with that, I thought.

Troilus and Creseyde – A pretty much perfect romance set during the siege of Troy. There’s a lot of speechifying, a lot of crying into pillows, a lot of pledges of eternal devotion, and a fair bit of convoluted sneaking around to see each other in secret. There’s also a fair amount of men telling Cresyde her opinions and desires are invalid or need to be changed but, y’know, that’s a medieval romance for you. This is a masterfully solid story, probably the best I’ve read outside the tales.

9/10 ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
The Franklin's Tale is the last of the thematically linked "Marriage Group" and apparently some critics think it is meant to be Chaucer's view on the subject; marital success comes from understanding, forgiveness and hard work. It's a "rash promise" story where-in some-one instead of making an outright refusal, instead promises something in case of meeting an apparently impossible set of conditions. This is always a mistake, since a magician or some such always comes along and achieves said goal. So, never promise to love some-one if they can make all the rocks of the Brittany coast disappear...

I liked this Tale better than most I've read, but the Knight's Miller's and Wif of Bath's Tales are better.

The Physician's Tale: short, based on the Romance of the Rose, has a weird digression on parental responsibility. Widely considered by Chaucer critics to be "a bit naff" apparently.

The Pardoner's Tale
An amusing morality tale in which greed is the undoing of a trio of gamblers who go in search of Death, who is stalking the land during an outbreak of plague. They find a man who claims he cannot die who points them toward their destination...

The Shipman's Tale
Short, bawdy and full of deceit and trickery, this is a lightweight but typically Chaucerian tale.

The Prioress's Tale
A short and simple story that fits into the Lives of Martyrs and Miracle of the Virgin genres. Hits just about every negative stereotype about Jewish people in less than four pages, using Jews as boogeymen in similar fashion to the way Islam/Muslims often are in Romances of the period.

The Tale of Sir Thopas
As told by Chaucer himself! A burlesque on popular romances of the time about knights and chivalry and three headed giants - rapidly cut off by the Host who says they don't want to hear such rubbish, do you have any alliterative verse or maybe a story in prose that's better? Seems like not just a satire on the quality of the popular tales of the day but also a little self-mockery, having chosen to put the "worst" story into his own mouth - or is he saying, "Look, I'm really way better than this popular rubbish?"

Personally, I like tales of knights and chivalry and three headed giants - but I do like them better in alliterative verse than in rhyme...

The Tale of Melibee
Despite the valient defense in the Introduction, I found this pretty naff - it's a moral debate about revenge, justice and mercy that's predictable in general and boring in execution. Lobbing Biblical and Classical quotes at one-another just isn't that exciting to a modern audience.

The Monk's Tale
A collection of short biographies of famous people of high estate, intended to show that they will be brought low eventually - thankfully interrupted by the Knight and the Host! The whole thing seems to be a bit of a joke.

The Nun's Priest's Tale

How does a nun get her own priest, anyway?

As to the tale of Chantecleer the cockerel, it's an incredibly simple thing, plotwise. Chantecleer has a nasty dream and thinks it might be prophetic; his wife thinks otherwise. They throw Authority Bombs at each other, then they go out in the yard...what happens next might tell us which side of the ferocious Mediaeval debate about whether dreams could ever be prophetic or not. It's better than the interminable Tragic Lives the Monk was telling, though, so good job, Knight and Host for shutting the Monk up!

The Second Nun's Tale

...is mercifully short. It's a "saintly life" telling the story of the martyrdom of St. Cecilia. As pointed out in the Introduction, this genre is radically out of fashion and whilst this example is considered excellent, it just doesn't appeal to me. There is an alternative style of saintly life that merges with the Mediaeval Romance genre and has all sorts of preposterous coincidences, miracles and general goings on - that's way more fun to me. This one is dully straightforward and not in the least fantastical.

The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
A random stranger rides up and tells the pilgrims more than they could ever want to know about alchemy - but including three ways con-men trick the avaricious and gullible into parting with their valuables. Which made me think about con-artists. They have to play on some character flaw to succeed e.g. greed, ego, power-seeking, or else some desperate need for something emotional or physical; love, parenthood, freedom, even basic needs like food or shelter. Scepticism and self-knowledge are the best defenses.

The Manciple's Tale
How the crow got its croak and black feathers or, don't tell tales or, don't piss off a god.

The Parson's Tale
Not really a story of any kind - instead a prose treatise on penance unlikely to appeal to many without an interest in Mediaeval Christianity.

The Book of the Duchess
An elegy commisioned from Chaucer by John of Gaunt for his wife, Blanche. It's really dull except for the part where the narrator enters a mysterious forest in a dream and gets lost, meeting a Black Knight. Once said Knight starts telling his tale of woe - snooze.

The House of Fame
Frustratingly unfinished! Don't trust reputation or rumour - it may be completely false - but said in a very pretty way with fun imagery and references to The Aenied and The Divine Comedy. Perhaps my favourite part is when the dreamer is carried by the eagle to the House of Fame, high in the sky and he has the good sense to be terrified.

Anelida and Arcite
A "lover's complaint" that is superficial as a narrative and boring as a theme. Next!

The Parliament of Fowles
Another dream vision but at least this one is finished, unlike the previous two. The dreamer ends up in a temple with murals on the walls - which is rather familiar from The House of Fame - but this temple isn't deserted: Nature personified and all the birds of Spring are there. An amusing attempt to decide who should marry the female eagle ensues. Is there some allegory at work here? Anyway, it's more fun than most poems about Love and suited to it's role as a Valentine's Day celebration - apparently the first such poem ever.

A translation of Boethius' (Boece's) "Consolation of Philosophy," which would more accurately titled, Consolation of Christianity. Boethius takes a fall from riches, privilege and power due to political exile, reminded me of Dante.) In response, like Dante, he writes a book. Unlike Dante, it's not a thinly disguised revenge fantasy, but instead a dialogue with Philosophy personified, where-in Boethius argues that he should accept his change of status with good grace, as it will be good for his soul and works through such old saws as, how can God be omniscient if free will exists? It's epically dull, except for a couple of short excursions into Greek mythic territory.

Despite the similarity (a long discussion of Christian theology), more difficult dialect and long arguments largely in Latin, Piers Plowman is vastly more fun because of its heavy use of allegorical and entertaining story-telling. If you're interested in what Boethius had to say, a modern translation of the Latin would be much more accessible. This is probably for Chaucer scholars and amateur extreme enthusiasts only.
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
In my opinion, no better edition of Chaucer has ever been published, but this is one big book. You may even think it to be too big and therefore, unwieldy, but it is a flawless production which you will be proud to have in your classics collection. ( )
  rpbell | Sep 27, 2019 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (38 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Geoffrey Chaucerprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Benson, Larry DeanRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Boitani, PieroRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Robinson, Fred NorrisRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet


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This volume, begun under the general editorship of Robert A. Pratt, was originally intended to be a revision of F. N. Robinson's Second Edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer.
This edition provides the general information on Chaucer's life, language, and works that one needs for a first reading of Chaucer, and difficult words and constructions are glossed on the pages.
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This edition provides the general information on Chaucer's life, language, and works that one needs for a first reading of Chaucer, and difficult words and constructions are glossed on the pages. The Appendix contains the materials, including the extensive notes and glossary, for a more thorough understanding of Chaucer's works.

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