Response to Sophie's Blog

First - where did you hear about going on this walk? is it more like a hike? and did you really encounter the Prioress's Tale onstage for the first time? (I read it for a class - I guess I just assumed everyone else does that too!) I can't appreciate the Prioress's Tale for having one part that is Marian devotion (good, nice) and dislike the part that is anti-semitic (bad). To me the Marian cult part is exactly the anti-semitic part of it. Anthony Bale, in his 2006 book, speaks well about this kind of connection between Mary and anti-semitism (hope I'm not misremembering his book here). And in the tale there are Marian or Christian things or sites that work in parallel to the abjected Jewish sites or things. The song to Mary... the words of Satan. The dirty wardrobe ... the tomb of marble. (So - I was very interested in your idea of sites - this is a great way to read the Tale I think). I like that your song presents this as a sad story, or series of events. I always think of the story as implicitly charged with anger. I guess it is but anger is the other side of sadness, isn't it. I think I like the sad affect better... interesting that you read it this way. p.s. - will post next about bugs in this forum - found it impossible to actually add a comment.

Comments on Emma's Response to Retelling the Prioress's Tale

Thanks for your comments, Emma. I heard about the pilgrimage through Twitter - a follower of the Medieval Song Network Twitter feed linked to this article. The trek was a mixture of off-road and roadside walking, but we had a helpful van to transport our supplies so that we weren't over burdened! I did get into Chaucer through theatre - my school did not offer an option to study the CTs. I think that this was a good thing, in a way. It meant that I never thought of medieval literature as something dry and esoteric, but as something vibrant and living.
I am interested in your comments on Bale's The Jew in the Medieval Book. I've been planning on reading it, and its 'follow-up,' Feeling Persecuted. I only wish I'd read his work on the interaction between place, sanctity and exclusion before writing PT.
Yes, I went for a sad or elegaic tone because I was dealing with the after-shock of the events and their impact. After anger comes sad acceptance.