John Dryden considered Chaucer to the “the father of English poetry;” more recently, Francine Prose has observed that: “It has become fashionable to talk about voice in fiction as if it were a tool invented by modernism, when in fact it was being wielded, not only with skill but with genius, 600 years ago. What Chaucer always remembered— and what the intoxication of writing in voices can seduce us into forgetting—is the secret of voice: people tell stories for reasons.” Also master of plot and pacing, Chaucer combines bawdy humor with acerbic wit, a keen eye for detail, and a flawless ear to create some of the funniest, most beautiful, complex and provocative poetry in the English language. In 423 this spring, we’ll read, discuss and analyze The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde and some of Chaucer’s fantastical dream visions. Although Chaucer was writing in the fourteenth century, the questions he asks about life, love, death, power, class and gender remain utterly relevant to students in the 21st century.
***All readings will be in Modern English translation.***
Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-12:15
Contact Dr. Sharon Rowley with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org