Thursday, April 06, 2006

Also in my mailbox

The new book Chaucer and Women (no copyright or publication data in English, other than EIHOSHA on the title page). It was sent to me from Japan by its author, Keiko Hamaguchi. Here is my favorite quote:

If I could travel back in time to Chaucer's England, What social position would I choose to occupy? I would choose to be a silkwoman in Chaucer's London. As an artisan, I would want to work as a silk weaver; or as a merchant, I would want to sell silk products. As to marital status, I would want to be a widow. Since I do not want to be bothered by anyone, I would prefer to work as a femme sole. After I explain why I would choose to be a silkwoman in Chaucer's London, I will explain why I would not choose to be a peasant woman, noblewoman or nun in the England of that time. (p. 118)


Here I must admit the surprising (to me, at least) realization that, were I transported via backwards reincarnation to Chaucer's London, I would likewise desire to be a silk hawking widow whom no one else bothers.

5 comments:

LeVostreGC said...

BSL! Bettre a silkwyf than a custoume-hous comptrollere any daye.

-GC

JKW said...

Great to know that Japanese scholarship remains so cutting-edge. I still think that we ought to have NCS 2008 in Tokyo. We can all play dress-up and sleep in pods...

J J Cohen said...

BSL back at you, GC. But let me warn you that nothing grates more than self pity. I do have a suspicion that you won't be at the custom house forever (did I hear the word Parliament?) -- and, though I'm not an astrologer, beware of robbers later in life -- I have an apprehension of calamity there.

JKW: you mock it, but that is cutting edge scholarship. Can you honestly say you've ever seen anything like it??

Karl Steel said...

Can you honestly say you've ever seen anything like it??

Perhaps in a choose your own adventure.

You are a knight. Your myrie men offer you a choice of delicious food before you fight the geaunt.

If you choose the the gyngebreed (it is ful fyn), turn to page 24.

If you choose the lycorys, turn to page 33.

If you'd rather just chuck it all and be a widowed silkwife, turn to page 97.

JKW said...

JJ, I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like this scholarship. Perhaps because I've never read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. But now I'm determined to rip it off: witness my first post-tenure book, If I Were a Medieval King.