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The Canterbury Tales in Modern Verse

The Canterbury Tales in Modern Verse
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Readers of this witty and fluent new translation of The Canterbury Tales should find themselves turning page after page: by recasting Chaucer's ten-syllable couplets into eight-syllable lines, Joseph Glaser achieves a lighter, more rapid cadence than other translators, a four-beat rhythm well-established in the English poetic tradition up to Chaucer's time. Glaser's shortened lines make compelling reading and mirror the elegance and variety of Chaucer's verse to a degree rarely met by translations that copy Chaucer beat for beat. Moreover, this translation's full, Chaucerian range of diction—from earthy to Latinate—conveys the great scope of Chaucer's interests and effects.

The selection features complete translations of the majority of the stories, including all of the more familiar tales and narrative links along with abridgments or summaries of the others. To reflect Chaucer's interest in poetic technique, Glaser presents the tales written in non-couplet stanzas in their original forms.

An Introduction, marginal glosses, bibliography, and notes are also included.

Joseph Glaser is Professor of English, Western Kentucky University. His most recent books are Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing (Oxford University Press, 2000) and a modern retelling of Le Morte D'Arthur (Pegasus Press, 2005).

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; March 2005
348 pages; ISBN 9781603842426
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