23 Dec Geoffrey Chaucer
sometime in 1343 – 25 October 1400
As we actually approach Christmas and I’ve had my peace on earth rant and all the other politically correct ramblings jotted in the past 22 days I thought it is definitely time to lighten up. Time to focus on good times and good things which leads me to start rambling on about Chaucer.
Like most people I had to read a whole of of turgid drivel when I was at school. Even now we are encouraged to read valued volumes and appreciate the beauty of the language and the wonderful descriptive skills of the writer. All very praiseworthy and intellectually stimulating and frequently about as exciting as watching paint dry, especially if you are fourteen and have a pulse.
The sheer joy of having to read Chaucer has lasted for many years and is unabated. Not only are the stories of the pilgrimage bawdy, rude, salacious and coarse they are also very funny and, this is the best bit, you can buy a translation into modern English. It’s great to go back and have a look at the text when you are old enough to have stifled the laughter but for now just think of the pure vulgarity of the ‘tales’ and remember how to laugh. Laugh like to could when you were fourteen.