ONLINE SEMINAR
April 19 | Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

$350.00

From bawdy flirts to noble knights, from the lowest joke to the highest parable, the tales and tellers of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales bring their complex community vividly to life. In this classic work of English literature, pilgrims from all levels of medieval society make an April journey to Canterbury. Their genial host bids “each one of you to help shorten our way along this journey,” thus drawing us into a tapestry of unforgettable characters, varied narratives and interwoven layers of meaning.

This seminar will be read-as-we-go. The seminar will include brief presentations of information and images to frame discussions, along with a website of additional optional resources.

When: Six weekly sessions on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, starting April 19, 2021

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$350 plus 13% HST (approx. US$273 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit
How: We meet on Zoom; you will receive joining instructions approx. 3 weeks before the seminar start date. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded. See full conditions at the bottom of this page.

All seminar payments are nonrefundable. If you are interested in applying your Toronto Pursuits 2020 deposit to this seminar, please contact us.

Out of stock

Description

LEADER

Long-time partners in life and learning Denise Ahlquist and JJ Patton are excited to reprise their successful Chaucer seminar in the online format. Denise’s passion for stories and years of leading Shared Inquiry discussions with the Great Books Foundation are complemented by JJ’s studies in poetry and medieval English literature, equipping them to serve as your guides for a spring pilgrimage of the imagination.

BOOK

The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated by Neville Coghill
(Penguin Classics, Revised Edition, 2003)
ISBN-13: 978-0140424386

Please be sure to obtain this edition.

In the US and the UK, try Bookshop.org World of Books, or Ebooks (electronic books only)

In the US and Canada, try Powell’s Books, IndieBound, and Thiftbooks (used books only in Canada)

In Canada, try McNally Robinson

From bawdy flirts to noble knights, from the lowest joke to the highest parable, the tales and tellers of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales bring their complex community vividly to life. In this classic work of English literature, pilgrims from all levels of medieval society make an April journey to Canterbury. Their genial host bids “each one of you to help shorten our way along this journey,” thus drawing us into a tapestry of unforgettable characters, varied narratives and interwoven layers of meaning.

For Chaucer is a true master of subtle storytelling whose experiments in perspective and genre have inspired readers and writers for centuries. Like Dante, cosmopolitan Chaucer turned the local language of his people and his time into literature. Yet readers of today can still appreciate Chaucer’s genius, even in a modern English “translation.”

The intricate artistry of Chaucer’s masterpiece will assume its proper place at the centre of our considerations. Gaining “meaning and delight” through close reading of selected tales, we see how the perspective of the teller shapes each tale, and how they respond one to another. Honour, marriage, morality, all are under question as we connect the microcosm of this gathering to the macrocosm of the pilgrims’ changing feudal world. Meanwhile the voices of the Host, and Chaucer himself, remind us that stereotypes are being both created and critiqued, while simplistic moral pieties are sometimes offered yet perhaps also undermined.

When we read and discuss these comic, yet surprisingly sophisticated stories, we sharpen our capacity to grasp the interdependencies in our own society. By immersing us in this world that at first appears so quaint, Chaucer gives us new insights into those perennial questions we encounter on our own human journey.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

Classical Pursuits does not record seminars. By participating in any seminar, registrants agree not to make their own seminar recordings and to abide by the Classical Pursuits code of conduct.

 

“Yet do not miss the moral, my good men.
For Saint Paul says that all that’s written well
Is written down some useful truth to tell.
Then take the wheat and let the chaff lie still.”

– The Nun’s Priest’s Tale

 

 

Additional information

Choose registration type

Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit