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viernes, 23 de abril de 2010

GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1342/43-1400)

Writer, official and bureaucrat, the outstanding English poet before William Shakespeare. Geoffrey Chaucer is remembered as the author of Canterbury Tales, which ranks as one of the greatest epic works of world literature. Chaucer made a crucial contribution to English literature in writing in English at a time when much court poetry was still composed in Anglo-Norman or Latin.
He was born in London. His name was of French origin and meant shoemaker. Chaucer was the son of a prosperous wine merchant and deputy to the kings's butler, and his wife Agnes. Little is known of his early education, but his works show that he could read French, Latin, and Italian.
Because of the political unrest of the time and Chaucer's witty, sharp, sarcasm, he wrote The Canterbury Tales, a group of fabliau and fragments, consisting of a piece of each of England's stereotypical citizen archetypes put together in a mixing pot on their pilgrimage to Canterbury. The destination is not as significant as is the action that occurs along the way. The Tales are not even finished and the destination is never even reached during the course of the writing.
"That The Canterbury Tales was left unfinished may well have been a matter of choice, not fate. It is likely that Chaucer abandoned his great literary work in the last years of his life and turned his thoughts to the salvation of his soul, as the Retraction suggests. He not only abandoned the tales but also expressed regret for having ever written them, except those explicitly religious and moral" (Halverson, xx-xxi).
Chaucer died on October 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey and was the first of the writers to be entombed there in the area known as the Poets’ Corner.

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