Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Canterbury Tales
I have been thinking about The Canterbury Tales a lot lately. First, I saw "A Canterbury Tale" a few weeks ago, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's updated (ca. 1944) take on some wartime Canterbury pilgrims. There's a few soldiers, people who live in the town and a Land Girl, all thrown together by circumstance. It's beautifully shot, but pretty sentimental.
Over Christmas, I read Joan Acocella's All England: 'The Canterbury Tales' Retold in the December 21 and 28 issue of The New Yorker. I'm not sure I've looked at it much since high school (we had to memorize the prologue). It did teach me more than I knew about Chaucer; like the fact that he's buried in Westminster Abbey has nothing to do with his art, but the fact that he was an administrator there (a sad commentary)! Acocella's description of Peter Ackroyd's version (The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling) made want to skip it, but she makes Vincent Hopper's pony of it sound great.