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The Theatre of Medieval Europe: New Research in Early Drama by Eckehard Simon

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By Eckehard Simon

The Theatre of Medieval Europe brings jointly the paintings of 13 across the world famous students of early drama to provide a entire account of modern findings within the box. when reflecting the big physique of analysis on English drama, the publication widens the focal point of its survey to symbolize the continental theatre of the interval, with a succession of essays overlaying England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, relevant Europe and the Low nations. moreover, it offers with Latin musical and liturgical drama, and addresses either the archival and stage-orientated facets of theatre study. In reviewing the sector during this method, this assortment not just bargains an account of contemporary discoveries throughout more than a few nations and kinds of drama, but in addition indicates the comparative and interdisciplinary flooring on which those fields of study might more and more come to fulfill and cross-fertilise each other sooner or later. an important characteristic of the booklet is its authoritative, chronological and fully-indexed bibliography, which should still function a useful advisor to the main major contributions within the box.

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In 1975 New Theatre Magazine (published from Bristol University) was merged with Theatre Research IRedo erches thedtrales to become Theatre Research International, edited from Glasgow University and published by Oxford Journals. Not to be outdone in this respect, Cambridge University Press, in 1984, launched New Theatre Quarterly, now known as NTQ. A striking difference between European and North American practice, implicit in the titles of the journals, is the much sharper distinction that has traditionally been observed in all European countries between dramatic literature and theatre history.

Nor are Eastern-bloc countries lacking in graphic illustrations of these performances. One such picture - beautiful in its own right - appears as Plate 4 in Volume in of my Early English Stages (726), a version of the Visitatio Sepulchri now in the Art Gallery at Cracow; another, this time from the ancient Hungarian capital city of Estergom, depicts Christ's burial and Resurrection, carved and painted on a huge three-dimensional pageant wagon, or 'tabernacle' dated c. o]). Is it unique? I do not need to labour this point any further since there are other contributors to this volume who will both make it more forcefully and supply correctives to this perspective.

In other words, the effort and skills needed to recover the visual iconography and the musical factors which originally accompanied both the devising and execution of these plays have led scholars to devote far more time and energy in recent years to the dramatic and theatrical, rather than strictly literary, qualities of these plays. The truth of this proposition becomes apparent on even the most cursory perusal of recently published bibliographies. Richard Southern's The Medieval Theatre in the Round (1957 [^2]), T.

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