Academic journal article Medium Aevum

'The Farce of the Fart' and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

'The Farce of the Fart' and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English

Article excerpt

'The Farce of the Fart' and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English, ed. and trans. Jody Enders, The Middle Ages Series (Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). xv + 496 pp. ISBN 978-0-8122-4323-9. $49.95/^32.50. In this volume Jody Enders presents modern, colloquial translations of twelve fifteenthcentury French farces, along with an informative introduction, critical notes, and comments about performance strategies. The introduction outlines briefly the origins of medieval theatre, often seen as arising purely from liturgical drama. While acknowledging the pervasive influence of the liturgy and of Passion, miracle, and mystery plays in medieval culture, Enders is quick to point out the importance of other more secular traditions as well. Delving more specifically into the farce, she sketches the legalistic framework that informs many of these plays and reminds the reader that they were often composed and performed by members of the Basoche, a late medieval society of barristers. …

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