Thread: Anne's english
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Old Sep 2 2005, 05:38 PM   #42
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Default Re: Anne's english

Originally Posted by c_ris
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.
Reading Chaucer in the Middle English can be hard, yes, but as a result it can, for the effort, be rewarding. When you argue that the text should be made more readable for our contemporaries, and I argue that such are permissable as adaptations, we are, in essence, asking for the same thing. However, whereas you allow the possibility of Chaucer being identified as the primary author of the piece (and authorship is a far more complex situation than many realise, as we both know, no?), I allow only the possibility that Chaucer be identified as the source of the adaptations, and not the literal author of them.

We admit the same basic thing; what differs is the identificatory relationship with the original text of that modernisation.

Originally Posted by c_ris
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.
I've read Hobbes, but not Burke. I look forward to the latter. I struggled with Leviathan, yes, but that was an artefact of the argument, not the language, so much.

Originally Posted by c_ris
That is a complete change of the text though, rather than updating the language to make it more accessible.
I didn't argue that there was a complete fidelity to the original, but that it was a modernised adaptation. I've not seen it myself, though. I can understand your point: the setting, and the plot be retained, rather than the medium in which they're basically encoded, right? As in Shakespeare's work derived from Holingshead and Plutarch, no? Now there's the quintessential chap: adapted work, and in doing so created masterpieces. Salut!

Originally Posted by c_ris
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.
I can't agree. If we modify it, the original text is destroyed, no matter how. What we should do, then, is have the original text, and make adaptations from it. If we wish to make the original text more accessible, without making adaptations, then we can produce aids: glosses, etc. as I mentioned before. We can also, if you like, produce work that can lead into the original, such as popular works about Shakespeare or Chaucer. To use Leviathan, there could be an "Introduction" to that work for the general reader, setting it in its context, looking at its language, how we obtained its current form, looking in detail at its argument, and so on.

I can actually see us, mate, collaborating on suchlike works, and having a right old time in the process of doing so. Now: that would be fun, no?

BTW: I appreciate the effort that you're putting into this; I admire you for the effort you're placing, and I respect you as a result. And we haven't even started on originality....
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