Looking for Canterbury
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Looking for Canterbury

 EPUB
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ISBN-13:
9781465322753
Einband:
EPUB
Seiten:
203
Autor:
Jason Marks
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
EPUB
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Several Vietnam veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome strive to heal themselves by telling stories about themselves in Central Park that have nothing to do with Nam. In flight from years of unrewarding support-group therapy, all seven of them hope to work out their problems by playing roles which take off on Chaucers storytelling characters (whose personalities they strikingly resemble)--on the theory that the truth is best arrived at by indirection and through a more personal and human approach.The pilgrimage to an American Canterbury is the brainchild of one Harry Baylor, a Broadway Avenue butcher and Vietnam vet in flight from an unhappy marriage and a recurring nightmare that he killed his best buddy during an enemy attack and ran from the field of battle.A Chaucer nut, Harry got hooked on the great medieval poet while attending night-classes at City College taught by Professor Dorsett, a paraplegic who served as a medic in Nam and who, too, is a member of the support group. Nam and Chaucer fuse to form Harry Baylors dual obsession (now and then, when he is under duress, the conversation lapses into Middle English).Troubled Harry withdraws 58,178 dollars--corresponding to the number of names on the Wall of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC -- from his marital joint bank account and splurges them on his Chaucer gala; he puts up his fellow Nam vets in a plush hotel on Central Park South, outfits them in Chaucerian costumes (e.g., the former nurse in Vietnam, herself the splitting image of the flamboyant, sexy Wife of Bath, sports a heavy headdress of finely woven kerchiefs, scarlet and tightly gathered hose, and soft new shoes), and stages a medieval feast with spectacular entertainments (a la Chaucers day) and food authentic down to the last--sometimes rather unappetizing--detail.Harrys dream of finding salvation in Central Park runs into opposition. The Pilgrims take a week off from their busy jobs with some misgiving and only after he persuades them that the stark alternative is living death or continuing to live like zombies each tormented by his or her own Nam-connected demon. And when they try to tell stories about themselves free of Nam, they either fail to complete them or the tales disintegrate into chaotic reminiscences of the particular Nam horror that has preyed on the mind of each all these years.The Chaucer gala turns into a shambles; their feelings of frustration cause Harrys fellow vets to turn against him, making him their scapegoat.Why, they ask, did you get us into this?Why did you promise us so much? How come you required us to tell a tale when you declined to do so?At least we tried!Whathave you got to hide? (Harry has pleaded his scholarly integrity;--the Host in The Canterbury Tales does not tell a story). Throughout his trial by fire, Harry Baylors loving and admiiring Monica, his Wife of Bath, is tenderly supportive. (Soon Harrys divorce will come through and he will, a la Chaucer, become her sixth husband.) Like Chaucers pilgrims to Canterbury, the Nam vets underake their journey during spring, the season of redemption and rebirth. In Central Park, the Wife of Bath, for example, tells her fairy tale of wish-fulfillment while ensconced in the lap of Alice in the Alice in Wonderland statue; the rambunctious Millerand the sinister psychiatrist..."e;Jason Marks has written an accurate and thoughtful memorial to the many Vietnam Veterans who continue to suffer from the hellishness of war, and the humiliation of their homecoming. His story c
Several Vietnam veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome strive to heal themselves by telling stories about themselves in Central Park that have nothing to do with Nam. In flight from years of unrewarding support-group therapy, all seven of them hope to work out their problems by playing roles which take off on Chaucers storytelling characters (whose personalities they strikingly resemble)--on the theory that the truth is best arrived at by indirection and through a more personal and human approach.The pilgrimage to an American Canterbury is the brainchild of one Harry Baylor, a Broadway Avenue butcher and Vietnam vet in flight from an unhappy marriage and a recurring nightmare that he killed his best buddy during an enemy attack and ran from the field of battle.A Chaucer nut, Harry got hooked on the great medieval poet while attending night-classes at City College taught by Professor Dorsett, a paraplegic who served as a medic in Nam and who, too, is a member of the support group. Nam and Chaucer fuse to form Harry Baylors dual obsession (now and then, when he is under duress, the conversation lapses into Middle English).Troubled Harry withdraws 58,178 dollars--corresponding to the number of names on the Wall of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC -- from his marital joint bank account and splurges them on his Chaucer gala; he puts up his fellow Nam vets in a plush hotel on Central Park South, outfits them in Chaucerian costumes (e.g., the former nurse in Vietnam, herself the splitting image of the flamboyant, sexy Wife of Bath, sports a heavy headdress of finely woven kerchiefs, scarlet and tightly gathered hose, and soft new shoes), and stages a medieval feast with spectacular entertainments (a la Chaucers day) and food authentic down to the last--sometimes rather unappetizing--detail.Harrys dream of finding salvation in Central Park runs into opposition. The Pilgrims take a week off from their busy jobs with some misgiving and only after he persuades them that the stark alternative is living death or continuing to live like zombies each tormented by his or her own Nam-connected demon. And when they try to tell stories about themselves free of Nam, they either fail to complete them or the tales disintegrate into chaotic reminiscences of the particular Nam horror that has preyed on the mind of each all these years.The Chaucer gala turns into a shambles; their feelings of frustration cause Harrys fellow vets to turn against him, making him their scapegoat.Why, they ask, did you get us into this?Why did you promise us so much? How come you required us to tell a tale when you declined to do so?At least we tried!Whathave you got to hide? (Harry has pleaded his scholarly integrity;--the Host in The Canterbury Tales does not tell a story). Throughout his trial by fire, Harry Baylors loving and admiiring Monica, his Wife of Bath, is tenderly supportive. (Soon Harrys divorce will come through and he will, a la Chaucer, become her sixth husband.) Like Chaucers pilgrims to Canterbury, the Nam vets underake their journey during spring, the season of redemption and rebirth. In Central Park, the Wife of Bath, for example, tells her fairy tale of wish-fulfillment while ensconced in the lap of Alice in the Alice in Wonderland statue; the rambunctious Millerand the sinister psychiatrist..."e;Jason Marks has written an accurate and thoughtful memorial to the many Vietnam Veterans who continue to suffer from the hellishness of war, and the humiliation of their homecoming. His story c

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