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Medieval Comic Tales [Hardcover]

D. S. Brewer


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Book Description

7 Mar 1996
During the middle ages, a common fund of comic tales circulated throughout Europe. Writers such as Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rabelais and Cervantes drew on this material, and used it for their own purposes, but the brilliant medieval versions also deserve to be known in their own right. They are of great cultural interest and considerable entertainment value, varying from humour to farce, from sophisticated literary parody to blunt crudeness. Piety jostles blasphemy, and sex and death are everywhere good for a joke. The tales presented here, translated into clear modern English by experts in their fields, are from French, Spanish, Dutch, German, medieval Latin, Italian and English. This second edition contains more comic tales and has benefitted from recent scholarship; there is a substantial new introduction by Derek Brewer. Scholars and students in many disciplines, and general readers, will find the book accessible, useful and enjoyable. DEREK BREWER is Professor Emeritus of English Literature, University of Cambridge.The contributors are: PETER RICKARD, ALAN DEYERMOND, DAVID JOHNSON, DAVID BLAMIRES, MICHAEL LAPIDGE, DEREK BREWER

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Radically changed from the first edition, this new version contains ten French tales (Rickard), ten Spanish (Deyermond), thirteen English and six Italian (Brewer), ten German (Blamires), six Dutch (Johnson), and twenty-five Latin (Lapidge). Brewer's wide-ranging introduction covers everything from the function of humour to the persistence of folk-tale motifs in the 20th century. MEDIUM AEVUM The highlight of the book is Brewer's introduction. In his survey of forms of humor and the nature of comic tales in European literature, he displays his uncommon learning and even more uuncommon common sense. ARTHURIANA

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