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Troilus And Criseyde [Paperback]

Geoffrey Chaucer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 12 2012 0393927555 978-0393927559
This Norton Critical Edition of Chaucer's masterpiece is based on Stephen Barney's text and is accompanied by a translation of its major source, Boccaccio's "Il Filostrato". The editor's introduction, marginal glosses and explanatory annotations make it easily accessible to students with no knowledge of Chaucer or Middle English. Also included is Robert Henryson's "Testament of Cresseid". Ten essays by distinguished Chaucerians illuminate the major scholarly issues raised by this complex and challenging poem. A glossary and selected bibliography are also included.

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"This, then, is a monumental edition xxx; enormously to be admired."

Times Higher Education Supplement

"xxx; a truly major achievement, and a milestone in Chaucer studies."

English Studies

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, the son of a vintner around 1342. He is known to have been a page to the Countess of Ulster in 1357 and Edward III valued him highly enough to pay a part of his ransom in 1360, after he had been captured fighting in France. It is probably in France that Chaucer became interested in poetry; he bagan to translate the Roman de la Rose and became interested in Boccaccio on trips to Italy. The order of his works is uncertain but they include The Book of the Duchess, The Canterbury Tales and The Parliament of Fowls. He died in 1400 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Nevill Coghill held many appointments at Oxford University, where he was Merton Professor of English Literature from 1957 to 1966. He wrote several books on English Literature and was particularly interested in Shakespearean drama. His translation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is also published by Penguin Classics and is an enduring bestseller. He died in November 1980. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By tepi
CHAUCER : TROILUS AND CRISEYDE. Translated into Modern English by Nevill Coghill. 332 pp. New York : Viking Press, 1995 (Reissue). ISBN: 0140442391 (pbk.)
Nevill Coghill's brilliant modern English translation of Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales' has always been a bestseller and it's easy to understand why. Chaucer was an intensely human writer and a great comic artist, but besides the ribaldry and sheer good fun of 'The Canterbury Tales,' we also know he was capable of other things. His range was wide, and the striking thing about Coghill's translations are how amazingly faithful they are to the spirit of the originals - at times bawdy and hilariously funny, at other times more serious and moving when Chaucer shifts to a more poignant mode as in 'Troilus and Criseyde.'
But despite the brilliance of Coghill's translations, and despite the fact that they remain the best possible introduction to Chaucer for those who don't know Middle English, those who restrict themselves to Coghill are going to miss a lot - such readers are certainly going to get the stories, but they're going to lose much of the beauty those stories have in the original language. The difference is as great as that between a black-and-white movie and technicolor.
Chaucer's Middle English _looks_ difficult to many, and I think I know why. It _looks_ difficult because that in fact is what people are doing, they are _looking_ at it, they are reading silently and trying to take it in through the eye. This is a recipe for instant frustration and failure. But fortunately there is a quick and easy remedy.
So much of Chaucer's power is in the sheer music of his lines, and in their energy and thrust. He was writing when English was at its most masculine and vigorous.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the original text June 4 2004
By A Customer
Zero stars for "translations". If you enjoy Reader's Digest abridged books and the like then you might prefer a "translation" from English into English of Chaucer's epic. I read this for Chaucer's beautiful use of the English (well, okey, Middle English, but it's still English!) language. Modern writers are so superfluous! Now we write "Once you have come to possess something it is just as difficult to hold on to it as it was to get it in the first place", when once you could write, "As gret a craft is kep wel as wynne". How our language has deteriorated!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of the annals of Priam! May 31 1999
By A Customer
As usual, Chaucer has come through as the greatest poet of Middle English. This is by far the best expansion on Homer's epic poetry to appear since Publius Vergilius Maro's Æneid, and I'm sure Augustus would have enjoyed it just as much! Shakespeare's adaptation, Troilus and Cressida, is an excellent play but does not give this poem justice. I would definitely recommend it to any serious fan of English literature!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem. Nov. 4 1998
By A Customer
Chaucer's mastery of English verse and the subtlety of his narrative make this poem a rare performance. The poem's evocation of the tragedy (and humor) inherent in a first, innocent love creates a mood or atmosphere difficult to describe but wonderful to enjoy. The closest analogue is Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but this is the more subtle work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boredom Printed and Bound Feb. 28 1998
Chaucer is pretty great, but this "lytel booke" stinks.
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