DURTY. It’s fou of folk kissing arses and shagging in pear trees. See, this is why you stick with classic literature, it pays off in filth.
I totally cheated on this one. I had read the Prioress’s Tale in uni for an essay on medieval antisemitism, and I remember reading and going, “This ain’t half bad. I must remember to read this when I’m done studying.” And a mere 10 years later here I am. My problem was whenever I picked up the text I either got a translation (I think the tale I read in uni was a translation once I realised the varieties of Chaucer out there) or I got the original with a bequillion footnotes and glossaries and it was generally all very distracting to read. To the rescue – audiobooks!
The one I got was really good with a brief introduction of any odd words before each tale and an outline of the story so you didn’t get lost by asking yourself “Am I losing the thread of this or did friars just fly out of Satan’s arse?” Also it meant I could read the original Chaucer without having to struggle against the spelling or pronunciation (much in the same manner I did with A Clockwork Orange). Everything becomes clear when spoken aloud and you are swept along with the story and the rhythm of normal speech.
I must state clearly, that I only see this as an introduction for me to the Canterbury Tales, so I could get into it and like it for the story, my first go-around if you will. I mean now to read the text but with more ease now I understand better how it goes.
I must also state clearly my full intent to use nis and nas instead of isn’t and wasn’t. It’s only when you stop to consider the formation of the contraction that you realise they sound so ugly, and nis and nas much preferable. You even have to screw your face up for the “n’t” where nis and nas have perfect flow. So that’s the new policy: Isn’t’s out, nis is in.
Apart from that what can I say? Read it. It’s full of shagging. It’s funny. There are fart jokes. Plus it counts as classic literature because it’s really, really old.