anti-prose. random matter.
that doss cunt, of course.
Published on September 5, 2005 By crimson In Fiction
One of the books that I'm doggedly trying to complete is The Canterbury Tales, by that charming fellow Geoffrey Chaucer. It's not my first attempt, and sadly, I'm certain it's not going to be my last, either. But I'm pleased with myself for the effort, but that's precisely what it is.

And I have put forth a lot of effort in this.

I've done a fair bit of research about various publications of The Canterbury Tales and, I can agree: it's all about the translation. And this is where Welsh comes in. You know, Welsh. Irvine Welsh. That doss cunt.

I first read Welsh's 'Trainspotting' about a decade ago. And, I enjoyed it far more than the movie, but I was also frustrated with it. The same way that I'm frustated with Chaucer, both write in a style that is so far removed from my own way of expression. While Welsh's story is one that deals with junkies it is also a multi-layered work. The style of writing is precise to each character and it is all intentional. Link

And, if you check out the external url, you can see that it's a style that can't really work anywhere else.

Both books require concentration. Admittedly, once you got into the swing of things with Welsh, the progression was easier. The first reading of it was easier if spoken aloud. It's a bit more fun, however to read Irvine Welsh's words aloud than ' a myrie child he was, so God me save. Well koude he laten blood and clippe and shave, And maken a chartere on lond or acquitaunce. In twenty manere koude he trippe and daunce After the scole of Oxenforde go.' (The Miller's Tale, 3325- Chaucer, G. Everyman)

The trouble with Chaucer is firstly, trying to enounciate the wordage and make it flow, but more challenging is the cross-translation of actual words like 'scole' and 'chartere', set the meaning first, and then read aloud to comprehend, and then find the poetic genius translated.

This is no critique of either work, rather the admiration voiced in working for understanding, and then being able to accept the words as written beauty, no matter how bold.

Comments
on Sep 05, 2005
Good for you. I've never had the balls to read "The Canterbury Tales" although it's always remained a vague goal in my idea of the future. I read Joyce's "Ulysses" over the summer, for generally pretentious shits and grins, and that was daunting as well but you have to slog through it. I think a lot of great books would be better appreciated by being read with a really great class, or otherwise savvy group of people. Keep up the good reading, it's sorely needed.
on Sep 06, 2005
I think a lot of great books would be better appreciated by being read with a really great class, or otherwise savvy group of people.


Funny. I signed up for a class for 'the Oddessey' and it was horrific, at first. Too many people who didn't realize that some reading is a challenge and came to class woefully unprepared. It slowed things up even more, but once they dropped out, the remaining class had a good time. My proffessor really seemed to enjoy the work and his interest was contagious.
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