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Obras de Vincent F. Hopper

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Selected): An Interlinear Translation (1948) — Editor and translator; Tradutor; Tradutor, algumas edições403 cópias
Essentials of English (1973) 270 cópias
Barron's English Verbs (1991) 15 cópias

Associated Works

She Stoops to Conquer (1771) — Editor, algumas edições1,534 cópias
The Rivals (1775) — Editor, algumas edições529 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Hopper, Grace Murray (wife)



Note that this is a review of Vincent F. Hopper's Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Selected): An Interlinear Translation. Most of the other reviews on this page are of The Canterbury Tales in general, in editions which should have been linked to that work, not to this interlinear Chaucer. As far as I'm concerned, the Canterbury Tales is a five star work, but the Hoppner version is about two stars.

This is an idea that works a lot better in theory than in practice. I have quite a few interlinear editions of various works -- the Greek Bible, Beowulf, others. For a language that is not English, the benefits of an interlinear are obvious and the detriments relatively few (unless you're trying to force yourself to become truly fluent in the source language, anyway). I had hoped that that would be true of Chaucer, too.

It isn't. Period. End of story.

Part of that is the way this interlinear is done. A good interlinear presents the main text continuously, usually with the translated text in smaller type below the main one. There is a clear main text and a clear subordinate text. This isn't done that way. Chaucer's text and Hopper's are placed one above the other, with Chaucer's text in roman type and Hopper's in italic, then a blank line. Thus the first three lines are:

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
When April with his showers sweet

The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
The drought of March has pierced to the root,

And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
And bathed every vein in such liquor,

This format makes it much too easy to read both lines by accident, when one really wants to read only Chaucer and refer to the interlinear only when necessary. Particularly since the modern English text is pedestrian. What's more, the modern English text sometimes is literal and sometimes is pretty free, which doesn't really help with understanding the Middle English. Hopper's is really a text that belongs as a parallel, not an interlinear. That would save paper, too, and let Hopper include more tales.

And therein lies the other problem: This isn't really the Canterbury Tales. This thing has truly pressed most of the life out of the Tales. As well as misrepresenting them.

Oh, it's no great loss to drop a few tales. The Physician's Tale is no loss, and the Squire's Tale is enough to make your head spin. And the greatest of the Tales -- the Knight's, the Franklin's, the Wife of Bath's, the Pardoner's, the Nun's Priest's -- are here.

But so is the Prioress's Tale, and if any tale should be suppressed, it's that horrid racist one! And the Miller's Tale is gone, and so is "Sir Thopas"! You can't do Chaucer without Sir Thopas! I'd really like to have the Canon's Yeoman's Tale, too.

Now I understand why the Miller's Tale is gone -- it was too dirty for 1948. But if you don't have the Miller's Tale, then you don't have the link between the Knight's Tale and the Miller's Tale, and you miss much of the point of the Canterbury Tales, which often is not the tales themselves but the links. Yes, the greatest of the tales -- the five I listed above, in particular -- can stand on their own, but the fun of the rest lies in the links. Hopper turned a continuous work, even if one that was never completed and lacks many connections -- into a mere anthology.

Another strange effect of the interlinear translation is that it prevents Hopper from providing an adequate set of notes. There are only about six pages. So the note on "at the Tabard as I lay" says only that the Tabard is "The name of the inn." Which is true, but not particularly useful. It's important to know that the Tabard was a real inn, in a real Southwark, managed by a real Harry Bailly, from which actual pilgrims set out to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. (By the way, there is no gloss at all on "The holy blisful martir for to seek" -- no explanation of the cult of Becket!)

A few other comments: The introduction is pretty weak, though that's not all Hopper's fault; Chaucer Studies have come a long way since his time. But it's still not adequate, and there really isn't enough information about what Middle English edition Hopper used as his base.

All in all, a dreadful disappointment. Admittedly I read Middle English a lot better than most -- I can often go many lines of Chaucer without needing a gloss. But I genuinely think that anyone who wants to read Chaucer (which should be every native speaker of English -- we're talking about the man who made English a great literary language!) would do better with the Riverside Chaucer or its equivalent: You get all the Chaucer, all the notes, and all the meaning.
… (mais)
waltzmn | outras 5 resenhas | Oct 16, 2023 |
This book is a gem for those wanting to improve their writing ability. It is different from a style book (such as Turabian and MLA), because it explains by word and example many different ways to form a cohesive paragraph. It discusses emphasis, cohesiveness, and appropriateness. There is also an excellent discussion of the weaknesses and strengths of both inductive and deductive reasoning. The authors provide numerous examples of bad writing as well as excellent writing to illustrate what they are explaining. The Glossary of words and phrases frequently misused was both entertaining and lucid. I recommend this to both emerging and experienced authors.… (mais)
larrydellis | Aug 4, 2015 |
Terribly hard to get used to the writing, initially. But once you pick it up, you realize that Chaucer was one saucy dog. His tales are riddled with jokes that would make playboy blush. Seriously. Take a look at the kinds of jokes people told at bars in the 14th century.
Rosenstern | outras 5 resenhas | Sep 14, 2014 |

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