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quote 2014-10-06 06:41
His greatest if most incomplete achievement, The Canterbury Tales, is a consummation and celebration of all previous English literature. It's "general prologue," and twenty-four separate tales, cover every form from sermon to farce, from saint's life to animal fable, from heroic adventure to full-scale parody. It's twenty-eight characters (including Chaucer himself) furnish an assembly of fourteenth-century people in a medley of occupations and professions. The Divine Comedy has come to earth; The Romance of the Rose has been humanized.

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd

(from chapter on Chaucer)

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