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Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog: Medieval Studies and New Media (New Middle Ages) Paperback – May 25, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0230105072 ISBN-10: 0230105076

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Product Details

  • Series: New Middle Ages
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230105076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230105072
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This study, in its learned laughter, should be snapped up by anybody who wondered, back in class, where all the devout or dirty jokes in Chaucer were buried."—Popmatters.com

“There is a tendency to assume that anything that happened in history is not funny. Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog performs the vital service of showing that the Middle Ages can be fun, and, as a side effect, reminding us that people were as capable of laughing in the fourteenth century as we are today . . . maybe more so.”—Terry Jones, Director of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and author of Chaucer’s Knight: The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary

“While disappointed to discover that I am not the Chaucer blogger, I nonetheless commend this edifying tome.”—David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor, University of Pennsylvania

About the Author

Geoffrey “LeVostreGC” Chaucer blogs at houseoffame.blogspot.com and is working on a forthcoming poem collecting the “tales” of a group of pilgrims on the way to Canterbury.

Bonnie Wheeler is Professor of English at Southern Methodist University where she directs the Medieval Studies Program. She has edited and co-edited fourteen books, among them The Letters of Heloise and Abelard and Heloise and the Paraclete (with Mary Martin McLaughlin).

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is Associate Professor of English at George Washington University. He blogs at “In the Middle” (http://www.inthemedievalmiddle.com) and is the author of The Postcolonial Middle Ages; Hybridity, Identity, Monstrosity and Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages.

Robert W. Hanning is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of The Vision of History in Early Britain and The Individual in Twelfth-Century Romance.


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By CBarrington on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
It was a long semester, so when I managed to reach the end of the term with no student essays to grade or committee reports to write, I planned to devote a day to things non-academic, say a massage and pedicure. Then, quite happily, I picked up my copy of *Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog*, and I'm happy to report that the laughter it triggered provided the perfect antidote to the semester's travails. As a result, I just might skip that massage and pedicure.

The book is based on the hilarious blog, "Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog." I admit to being a long-time, avid reader of the blog, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Chaucerian who is not. In addition to presenting the best of the blog entries, the book includes essays which put the blog in context.

The blog entries themselves are funny. Very funny. They "explore connections between Chaucer's literary and historical background and the obsessions of contemporary popular culture." Thus, travel to the Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, Michigan, prompts our blogger to provide a list of pick up lines for one of the notorious wine socials sponsored by OVP (Oxford Vniversity Press). Or a spate of email spam triggers parodies with a pitch-perfect congruence of 21st- and 14th-century vices. Or the MLA--with its attendant job interviews, academic paper presentations, anxious graduate students, and pompous professors--becomes Margery Kempe's penitential destination while on one of her hapless pilgrimages.

Some might claim that GCHB relies too heavily on insider knowledge of the profession. Or that the Chaucer Blogger's universe--whether in the 14th or 21st century--is narrowly defined by the academic interests of late-medieval scholars. I would not. In fact, that is one of the book's virtues.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Cope on June 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As any Chaucerian scholar knows, Geoffrey Chaucer was the greatest master of irony and understated wit in all literature; he had a superb eye for detail and his stories master an enormous variety of genres. More so than with other literary masters, I suggest that Chaucerian scholarship appropriately should mix careful observation with humor, an awareness of our own absurdity, and a delight in the play of language. Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog does just that, exploring the current state of scholarship (with a proper nod to the famed International Congress of Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University) even as the authors compose new works in faux-Middle English, ranging from the mock envy of a modern John Gower's "Why Ye Should Nat Rede This Booke," to "A Pyrates Lyf for Chaucer" and "Serpentes on a Shippe," an hilarious send-up of Snakes on a Plane. Our pyrate tale here has Chaucer taken by the great pyrate Robertson (influential Chaucer critic)who was "terrible for to looke vpon, . . . wyth a skulle and bones y-crossede and a pegge leg and a copye of the De Doctrina Christiana by Seynt Augustine." When Robertson learns of Chaucer's tale-telling ability, he forces him to recite tales each night, with the warning that "yt most likely shal happe that yn the morning Ich shal slaye thee." Eventually, the Drede Pyrate Robertson's ship Cupiditas is taken by the Feerede Buccaneer Donaldson (another critic), and Chaucer is put ashore to tell the tale. There are many other jewels in this book of rare scholarship, both serious and divinely funny, and if you love Chaucer, it's a must-buy.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you wondered where the sniggers in Chaucer lurk, this may be the book for you. It started on Friendster as a fakester, a grad student's "pop culture parody written in cod-Middle English by a Chaucerian persona." It morphed into a blog followed by thousands of medievalists, "nice smart people," witty pranksters, and professorial jesters. Brantley L. Bryant unmasks himself as "LeVostreGC," or "your GC", and my having to explain that reference exemplifies the fun, and the erudition, of his creation.

The blog and book's title itself combines "hath" in the archaic usage with "blog" as our current use. This chronologically unbound "central conceit" revives Chaucer as participant in this variation on "fan fiction." Certainly the mash-up results-- clever, learned, and engagingly arcane-- merit their own surprising study in this installment of "The New Middle Ages" series from a scholarly press. This anthology recounts the impact of this and related websites by medievalists over the past fifteen years in popular culture, academic circles, and via social networking. Ironically, this book allows us all affordable and permanent consultation of this Chaucer blog, even if Bryant shuts it down.

After introductory chapters study the pros and cons of cultural contexts for this technology, the other eighty percent of these pages share actual contents. Robert W. Hanning (Bryant's professor) teases and torments us with fifteen pages crammed with outrageously recondite puns, limericks, parodies, songs, smut, and bumper sticker slogans. This "comic diary," he tells us, is fifty years in the making. Hanning's section's titled "Chaucerians Do It with Pronounced E's." If that sparks a smile, read on. It's that kind of book.
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