Pilgrim’s Prize (Pt.24): The Parson’s Tale & Retraction (Chaucer Journal)
Finally, the final tale. Well it is not a tale, just a sermon. A literal honest to God sermon.
Yeah, so the Parson’s Tale lacks a narrative. It is simply Chaucer mumbling about penitence and the Seven Deadly Sins. As the book’s explanatory notes makes clear, there is references to other tales, so Chaucer clearly had a place for it in his fiction, but the story is nowhere. So, pure Chaucer, then.
The modern tale-teller takes a great stance on this adaptation. He makes a video and blurs out his face with a black blurb. He then proceeds to lecture on the do’s and don’ts on Assholery. Meaning, he doesn’t want you to be an asshole. To drive this point home, he speaks on how people behave; a guy who wins an arm wrestling contest and boasts about it? Asshole—don’t be like him! A woman who is a team player and acknowledges everyone’s contributions? NOT an asshole—be like her! And so on.
It is a splendid video and perfectly mimics Chaucer’s sentiment. Sometimes one just needs to modernize the morality and “not being an asshole” is as perfect a modernization I could think of so bravo to our anonymous speaker. Great job!
I give this a 7/10. Good stuff.
As for Chaucer’s Retraction, once again the editor of the project, Harry Bailey, takes the guise of Chaucer and offers an apology for the weak stories if in the off chance you didn’t enjoy them. Not much to say about this, really; it has a bit of a sarcastic edge, as does Chaucer’s original (since, honestly, who wants to repent to God every time they write a book?), so it sticks closely to the source material. It is fine, in other words and a decent way as any to end this fantastic project.