Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Dérision Au Moyen ÂGe: De la Pratique Sociale Au Rituel Politique

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Dérision Au Moyen ÂGe: De la Pratique Sociale Au Rituel Politique

Article excerpt

La Dérision au Moyen Âge: De la pratique sociale au rituel politique, ed. Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan and Jacques Verger, Cultures et civilisations médiévales (Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2007). 292 pp.; 13 colour plates. ISBN 978-2-84050-449-8. euro28.00. This collection presents sixteen essays in French stemming from a Sorbonne colloquium of late 2003. While a few appear close to what one would assume to be their original oral form (Maire Vigueur, Ménard), others have been significantly expanded and fully referenced. While the editors' tripartite organization of the contributions seeks to impose a sense of typology and system in the various treatments of their unifying theme, there is relatively little theoretical engagement with the medieval concept of derision, with most authors either taking its nature as a given, or briefly defining it with recourse to authorities such as Bergson, before concentrating on specific instances of derisive practice depicted predominandy (but not exclusively) in written sources. The principal geographical areas covered are northern France and the Low Countries, Italy, and Byzantium, with the main focus being on the high and late medieval period. Although all the contributions have their own merits, some deserve particular mention. …

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