Skip to comments.Stand up for true English!
Posted on 01/14/2014 9:28:06 AM PST by WesternCulture
What was so great about Chaucer?
Some people seem to think he more or less invented the English language. Well, did he?
By no means.
Discussing authors, should anyone ever compare Chaucer to the likes of Hamlet, Petrarch or Dante?
Geoffrey's major source of influence, Giovanni Boccaccio, was a pretty good writer of short stories, but on the other hand, Western literature really could've done without him.
In style as well as content, Chaucer was an unaccomplished Boccaccio impersonator.
There are plenty of good reasons to admire Britain, but contrary to what is regarded as an axiomatic truth in the UK, Britain presently does not lead the World in English language.
America does. Check the Internet, the World of business and most books being published.
Speaking of short stories, Canadian Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature last year for her contributions to that particular form of art.
The last time Britain housed a notable writer of short stories was back in 1930, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle still was alive then.
What world-renowned cultural figure could, today, pose as Britain's major contributor to the development of the English language?
In the name of fairness and human decency, we must admit Britain, although presently lacking great authors, can pride itself of several natives in the acting business who truly have understood the greatness of English.
Fine examples are Brian Blessed, John Cleese and Stephen Fry.
Now, go ahead and comment whatever insufficiency, inadequacy or imprecision to be found in my English.
Being a Nordic brute, I have not developed a habit of going around bragging about my Scandinavian nation being a great contributor to the language discussed (or things like flamenco dancing), although my kingdom, Sweden, might display a better understanding of novellas to the keen intellect than yours.
If you know your World literature, the name of Strindberg will most certainly spring to mind at rather an instant.
You must have a good feel for the Nordic roots of the English language... have you tried to read through anglosaxon texts?
Chaucer gave me pains. I preferred Milton even though he too was a tough read.
We may need a Turing test — this sort of reads like it was auto-generated.
English English is the way to go.
I suffered through every single ‘English’ lit class in high school and college. Found them tedious and boring. Not my cup of teas, so to speak.
To this imbecilic American it always felt to me like British authors prided themselves on wordiness and far-too-proper use of the language. Damn dudes/dudettes: less is more. Stop trying to impress your deceased English instructor and say what you mean.
Prof. Jennings; "Don't write this down, but I find Milton probably as boring as you find Milton.
Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He's a little bit long-winded, he doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible."
Pinto, is that you?
FYI: Milton didn't marry until he was in his 40's so that's probably right.
Probably not Hamlet, at least. Which reminds me:
Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
"I'll draw a sketch of thee.
Which pencil should I use --
2B or not 2B?"
(From another famous author: Spike Milligan)
Do you like Kipling?
I don’t know, I’ve never kippled.
I thought he moped about in grave yards. Never realized he was an author.
Literary merit is very much in the eye of the beholder and I doubt if any two scholars' lists would completely agree. That's fine. I don't think my own list of 20 years ago would agree with its successor today, in fact, I can guarantee it. The difference between the 13th century and today is that then, there was more than you had read, and today, there is more than you can read. There's bound to be a few diamonds in that tremendous pile of dung. ;-)
I find the Canterbury Tales fun to read. His poetry is good, his stories are entertaining and his characters are believable and often sympathetic. Ive met a few of them in my life. It certainly is an easier read than the contemporary Piers Plowman (although I get a kick out of alliterative poetry; moderns should try it.)
Now, go ahead and comment /* on */ whatever insufficiency, inadequacy or imprecision /* is */ to be found in my English.
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