The House of BORE!

Unfinished‽ Blasted! What a let down to an epic start! There is nothing I hate more than an unfinished tale–no ending satisfaction, my God, I am furious; I can hardly contain myself as I etch my anger into this leather.

This tale had so much potential! The description of eyes, ears, and tongues, my God what a beast ah? And almost as unjust as Lady Fortune herself. Bah! I want nothing to do with Fame. The beggars in that tale make me dread my kind. What happened to acting for the benefit of the common good? And what is this business with this whirling house full off people whispering fabricated messages to one another? The house of gossip? Bah! Useless as the sixth group who spent their lives in idleness.

But, with all this aside, what displeases me most is how the tale ends. It would have lessened my current anger immensely if it didn’t have mention of the man of authority at all! At least that way I would not be in this position of wanting to know how the tale develops from there. I would have been happier with the damned narrator being stuck in that whirling house for all eternity! Bah!

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5 thoughts on “The House of BORE!

  1. I too am disappointed… If i’m going to take time away from the fields, I’d like to at LEAST not be left hanging. What am I to do now? Make up my own ending in the fields? I’m not a very creative man… I suppose the whirling house where gossip flies out makes sense- as gossip (true or not) spreads like wildfire, and can make one famous in ways they never wanted. Victims to the fickle willy nilly Fame. I was excited to see a man of authority until, like you, we don’t get to hear what he has to say!!! Perhaps that is the point? Fame is random, there is no reason behind who becomes famous… people who deserve the spotlight may never get it, and people who should never have it- do. We become famous at random. The good and the bad.

  2. Ah I find it interesting that so many of Chaucer’s works are left unfinished, it seems as though he never completed anything! He could not possibly have died with the majority of his works unfinished! Perhaps we should be proud that we, the Canterbury Pilgrims are perhaps most famous of Chaucer’s works, thus we have conquered fame! I assume we have been given the gift of having our names etched in the shaded side of this house built on ice, and that we will outlive ourselves in fame.

  3. Friar, it’s true! You Canterbury pilgrims have been the greatest gift the Muse of Poetry could ever give to an aspiring writer like me. It’s strange, I spent much of my life trying to echo the great poets from ancient times, and sought to replicate their success in retelling their great stories, but, alack, while a writer is encouraged to recycle and find inspiration in others, I was just being repetitive. But when I met you dear pilgrims, the wild variety in your temperments and the diverse nature of your crowd reminded me how fascinating everyday, average humans are! Why repeat the old stories when there are new ones everywhere? Ah, if I had just spent more time socializing instead of being always alone, inside at my desk, straining my eyes reading until the dark, obsessing the tales of the ancient masters! True, they are undeniably great works, but they are perfect themselves and need no additions from a lowly writer like me. Even though I only copied your stories, much like I copied some of the stories and techniques of Dante and Homer, this time I did my own original work by putting your own tales into pleasing rhyme and pretty words. Who could have ever thought that a writer would find more inspiration in a belching, drunken Miller than in the epic poetry of the Illiad? Thank you pilgrims! I owe you a round of ale in the afterlife (except for you, Miller, because, thinking back on it, I truly do think you have a problem!).

    • Oh! I forgot to tell you, Canterbury pilgrims … YOU are the reason I stopped writing House of Fame! I was on this wonderful trip with all of you, and I wanted so badly not to forget your stories that I stopped immediately all my other work just to act as your own personal scribe.

      Plowman, I am sorry for leaving the tale unfinished! This great “man of auctoritee” is a man who dresses in fine clothes and seems to the world to be a very successful man! He works all day and thinks only of his own importance. He sacrifices friends and family to “get ahead,” and even cheats and tricks people out of their money! He was a very well known Summoner, in fact, and of course, we all know how morally corrupt these sort of people are! But, at the end of the day, no matter how much money you have, if you don’t have anyone who loves you, or any friends or family to come to your funeral, what point is any achieved greatness? This “man of great auctoritee” died rich and alone, and his name died with him! No, he never did achieve the same amount of fame as the lowly plowman and parson who lived nearby, who were uneducated and poor but kind and fair to everyone and lived far past their deaths in the hearts of his townspeople. Thus, the whims of Fame are unpredictable, and her capricious nature is bewildering, my friends, and her favor is sometimes only achieved by those who aren’t looking for it!

  4. Fame and Fortune are both difficult to understand; I have been struggling in my own work as of late to catch hold of Fortune long enough to finish a blasted paper! But I too, Mr. Chaucer, take interest and delight in the trials of everyday people. If you are familiar with the television show called Seinfeld (apologies for I am not sure how caught up you are quite yet!) perhaps you have noticed that the entirety of the plotlines blossom from this same tree–the idea that while the world may throw many a strange, unexpected and unfair thing at us each day it is ultimately our own attitudes and actions which determined whether we come to a happy ending or an ironic end.

    To quote a great friend of mine named Ian Isberg who passed recently (a wise young gentleman, he passed well before his time–may he rest in God’s hands in Paradise), “It’s your world, we just live in it.” Each person lives in a different universe, and while Fame can mimic it, no one’s whole life can be entirely recounted or recreated for even the most in-depth and well-researched biography; there are limits to Fame’s power, though they are few. Fortune also has its kryptonite: inner strength and virtue. Though my dear friend Mr. Isberg never published anything the world will hear of, he will be remembered nonetheless by every person he knew. Forgive me for eulogizing, but the pain of this loss still weighs heavily upon me even after 18 months, and as I have read more about your take on Fame, Mr. Chaucer, I have found myself taken with how impossible it is not to think of this one particular person over and over. It was not until I attended the funeral proceedings that I became aware of how many people respected and felt close to him; I had felt almost as if he were mine alone. But alas, it seems he was able to make many others feel this way as well; even if they did not all see him as oft as I myself did, the ripples he has made have managed to spread incredibly far in only 23 years..24 now counting the time he has been gone. Though he himself may not have acquired “real” fame, he served and will continue to serve as an inspiration for a few people who will–hopefully I myself will be one of them, but then Fame has her strange ways, doesn’t she? Maybe I too will suffer and die, leaving only my print on the hearts of those I’ve affected. I will forever hold lines 789-822 in which you describe the stone’s ripples, “Every sercle causyng other Wydder than hymselve was;…and multiplynge ever moo…”

    I admit I still begrudge Fortune for her treatment of this amazing young man, although I have begun to imagine perhaps his purpose was simply to pass through our lives and make the difference that he did–a difference that inspire,s albeit painfully so. His ailment was so rare for one of our ripe young age–a cancer of the esophagus which most often affects those who have lived for many more years. You may have called it Consumption or Wasting Disease in your day, Mr. Chaucer, and though we no longer make pilgrimmages to Canterbury Cathedral in hopes of curing such illness (if we did I would have carried him myself on my own back) he fought through his treatment journey bravely. Unfortunately it was not in Fortune’s mind to allow him to live past the date of September 30, 2010. But if what you write of her is true, he is no longer in Fortune’s hands now, although where he truly is now none of us can say. I hereby dedicate the remainder of our journey to his memory, at least for my own part, though not much is left. We are nearing our destination, and I know he has been beside me all the way.

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