Teaching the Wife of Bath through Adaptation

pagbabi:

Loved this article on teaching The Wife of Bath by Jonathan Hsy. Enjoy.

Originally posted on Global Chaucers:

by JONATHAN HSY

Reading Agbabi and Breeze

Reading Agbabi and Watching Breeze

Here on the Global Chaucers blog we’ve addressed how Chaucerian material moves across time and space, and the variety of voices featured in this venue have explored academic research methods, translation studies, artistic creation, and online community. In this posting, I offer some thoughts on how the Global Chaucers project can shape undergraduate teaching.

A few weeks ago (in my introductory survey of literature of the early British Isles), we spent our class session discussing modern-day adaptations of Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue (WBP) and Wife of Bath’s Tale (WBT). Here was the assignment posted on the course blog:

This week we discussed the description of the Wife of Bath in the General Prologue as well as her entire performance. Before our next class, please view these short online videos (modern-day adaptations of the Wife of Bath’s performance). As you watch these adaptations, consider these questions:…

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Telling Tales Tour Update

Slam at the Albany, Deptford

Slam at the Albany, Deptford

B-side

B-side

I have a lovely reading coming up Friday 16 May at Lyric Sheffield. Not part of the official tour but a translation workshop where I talk about what I did with the original Chaucer followed by an evening performance with the supremely talented Sinead Morrissey.

Then Lo Deptford! Wednesday 21 May, a gig very close to my heart: the Albany staged slam. Eight carefully selected poets performing Telling Tales poems in their inimitable styles. When I wrote the work I imagined a huge range of voices from ‘every shires end’ and that’s what you’re going to get. This event is the embodiment of the book. ‘May the best poet lose, as the saying goes…’

Happy Publication Day!

The Litel Boke

The Litel Boke

Today is the official publication day for Telling Tales. Hooray!

The photo was taken by the wonderfully talented Lyndon Douglas at The George Inn, Southwark. It’s the previous version of the cover but I think it looks rather good if I say so myself. Credit must go to the Canongate inhouse designer, Peter Adlington.

Below is the link for the first of a sequence of films to celebrate the creation of the book. As you will see, the camera chose to freeze on a particularly poetic grimace. The featured poem, Sharps an Flats, isn’t mentioned in this film but it gives you a flavour of one of the many voices in the book.

http://www.canongate.tv/discover/patience-agbabi-introduces-telling-tales/

Whan that Aprill…

To celebrate #Whanthataprilleday I don my medieval hoodie and read the opening of the Book of the Tales of Caunterbury. The birds are singing in the trees, the blossom is out and my hay fever is raging. But I am happy to lose myself in the mellifluous Middle English, to pay homage to my favourite poet, Chaucer, who inspired Telling Tales. Happy Whanthataprilleday everyone!

Prologue (Grime Mix)

626 years ago to the day, Chaucer’s pilgrims began their pilgrimage from London to Canterbury. Here’s a video of me peforming the opening to my version of The Canterbury Tales at the English and Media emagazine conference last year. The audience was 700 enthusiastic A ‘Level students!