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Hjalti

Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 1 ratings
  • 30 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • The Life and Writings of Geoffrey Chaucer

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Seth Lerer
    • Narrated By Professor Seth Lerer
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    Geoffrey Chaucer is one of our grandest and most enduring poets; an architect of our vocabulary and our literary style. By examining the English writer's texts, from his short love lyrics to the copious profusion of character and incident that is The Canterbury Tales, these 12 lectures will prepare you for the challenges of Chaucer's oeuvre, and will provide an understanding of what makes him the true "father" of English poetry.

    Hjalti says: "A complete waste of time"
    "A complete waste of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I can't think of a better target group than myself for this kind of course, since I desperately wanted an overview of Chaucer's life and writings. There is, however, no indication that the course supervisor has any clear idea of how to put things in context. The focus is always to narrow, so this feels like a series of footnotes on obscure details instead of a general overview.


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Rethought the whole thing from scratch, presented things differently - found someone else to do it.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The course supervisor spends most of his time on the microphone citing passages from Chaucer, verbatim and directly in Middle English in a funny Jim Carrey-esque voice. Then he reads the same passages again in Modern English, commenting freely and spontaneously on what he has just said. Usually, the meaning is clear already so the commenting is superfluous. This is an extreme case of bad time management.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope!


    Any additional comments?

    I'd love to get another course on Chaucer and I will consider buying it if it becomes available.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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