Thread: Anne's english
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Old Sep 2 2005, 05:18 AM   #41
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Default Re: Anne's english

Originally Posted by ghyle
Not quite.

We should read, for example, Langland or Chaucer in his English, yes (to choose an extreme), however, that does not preclude the use of glosses and other aids for the lay reader I also raised the possibility of adaptions, no? It is eminently, and no doubt would be enjoyably, possible to adapt Chaucer into prose, give it a bit of a fantasy twist, and have that.

As for Rousseau, I did admit the place of translations, into English. But if the French were to read the texts, they should read them in Rousseau's French, not their own version.
Reading Chaucer in his own words in BLOODY hard work! It may be fun for people like you, but not for the average reader, who reads for enjoyment, and for whom textual purity is essential.

Try reading Hobbes' Leviathan in his own words. I have. And it RIDICULOUSLY hard. Also Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France is again full of flowery language and old-style grammar, but Burke is more modern than Hobbes to start with. For me, I had to struggle through these 'pure' works because I was reading for a specific purpose, for my uni course. But for someone else, it would have been less likely that they would have bothered to read them. I know that I would have given up had I not had to read.

Then answer is not updating the work, but adapting the work. Consider the recent series of adaptations from Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. You will notice that the settings, and situations have been contemporised, for example, and it is accessible to less determined readers than myself.
That is a complete change of the text though, rather than updating the language to make it more accessible.

I have nothing against adaptation; I encourage it. But the original text must stand as it is, and should be approached as it is.
The original text must always be available, but modifications MUST be made if it to be accessible to those who wish to read for enjoyment.
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