October 26th, 2008


Desert Island Brains

Because the clocks went back last night, I've been up since 5.15. So it was very early this morning when I heard on the radio that Kirsty Young's guest on today's Desert Island Discs is the frighteningly gifted Ian Bostridge. I'm intrigued to learn that one of his picks is Bob Dylan's Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, one of my favourites. It ain't no use a' looking on the BBC web site because at the time of writing it’s out of date. The programme will be on at 11.15 this morning. I'm there.
Edit I've changed the Dylan link to the original version.

Heard any good Chaucer quotes lately? (meme)

Oh, my second post of the day already. sloopjonb has a meme to come up with a quote because yesterday was (apparently) Chaucer’s deathday. I did The Pardoner’s Tale for A-Level and this has always stuck in my head:

…for I ne can nat finde
A man, though that I walked in-to Inde,
Neither in citee nor in no village,
That wolde change his youthe for myn age;
And therefore moot I han myn age stille,
As longe time as it is goddes wille.
No deeth, allas! Ne wol not han my lyf;
Thus walke I, lyk a restless caityf,
And on the ground, which is my modres gate,
I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late,
And seye, “leve moder, leet me in!
Lo, how I vanish, flesh and blood and skin!
Allas! Whan shul my bones been at reste?...”

That knocking with the staff is such a powerful image I've never forgotten it. I get so annoyed when people use the word 'medieval' as though it meant 'primitive'.