Want to know what books Marion Turner recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Marion Turner's favorite book recommendations of all time.
These are some of the questions Paul Strohm addresses in this innovative look at the historical Chaucer. Fourteenth-century English society was, he reminds us, in a state of accelerating transition: feudalism was yielding to capitalism, and traditional... more
Marion TurnerWhen it was a very new book, it really radically changed how I thought not only about Chaucer but about what’s possible in modes of historical literary criticism. For me, I think if people were thinking about reading books of literary criticism, I would say that’s a really excellent one to start with. (Source)
Marion TurnerRefugee Tales is particularly interesting because it combines literature and activism. It shows a really idiosyncratic take on the Canterbury Tales. This group of people have recreated the Canterbury pilgrimage, and walked through the land as a group of refugees and writers. Recent refugees told their stories, and for each refugee, a writer then wrote up a version of that story. (Source)
Translated with an Introduction and Notes by G. H. McWilliam less
Marion TurnerThe Decameron specifically is a story about ten people who decide to escape the plague by going to a lovely country house with their servants. They tell stories there: ten stories a day for ten days, so there are 100 stories. The stories tend to be very, very funny. A lot of them are very rude. (Source)
Jenny DavidsonThe premise of the book is that a group of young noblemen and -women, people of great privilege who have been able to flee the plague-ridden city, are telling each other stories to while away their time together in the luxurious villa to which they’ve retreated. The description of the plague in the frame narrative is very vivid and quite horrifying; it sets a dark tone. (Source)
Marion TurnerHouse of Fame is in fact my favourite Chaucerian text. It’s a crazy text. It’s unfinished—or seemingly unfinished. It’s a dream vision. It’s also the poem of Chaucer’s that seems to be the most autobiographical—though ‘seems’ is an important word there. The main character is called Geoffrey: he’s a writer, works as an accountant (as Chaucer did in the Customs Office), and then goes home at night... (Source)
The procession that crosses Chaucer's pages is as full of life and as richly textured as a medieval tapestry. The Knight, the Miller, the Friar, the Squire, the Prioress, the Wife of Bath, and others who make up the cast of characters -- including Chaucer himself -- are real people, with human emotions and weaknesses. When it is remembered that Chaucer wrote in English at a time when Latin was the standard literary language across western Europe, the magnitude of his achievement is even more remarkable. But Chaucer's genius needs no historical introduction; it bursts forth from every page...more
Marion TurnerEach individual tale can be interpreted in so many ways—Chaucer really opens up possibilities of multiple interpretations. Even when he seems to give you a clear moral, that moral is never effective or convincing. He’s always saying: ‘Find your own moral; find your own meaning.’ (Source)
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