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in general. The particular choice, constitution, and ordering of parts in the book raise methodological questions that remain unanswered. Without an overall statement of intent in the introduction and in the total absence of a conclusion at the end, the reader is left to reconstruct alone the reasons behind, for example, the authors' decision to disregard a clear progression from abstract to concrete suggested in footnote 1 on p 20, and to proceed from the concrete level of performance to the abstract level of narrative grammar and back to the more specific if not more material level of 'manifestations: The dispersal into three parts of sections dealing with character and those pointing to the problem of actoraudience relationship remains equally unexplained. As a theory of drama L'Univers is neither highly original nor balanced. Rather, it makes extensive use of other theoretical writings, presenting them in the form of succinct summarizations, and favouring works which stress performance over text (the authors prefer the tenth-century Tract.tus Coislinianus to Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism for this reason). The analysiS of dramatic language ('la parole') in Part I dwells solely on its phonetic manifestations (accent, intonation, intensity). Arguable theoretically, this shift away from the written form of a play poses problems on the level of practical application, it being virtually impossible to fix a live performance for purposes of verifiable analysis. Indeed, even in those sections of L'Univers dealing with text there are few detailed applications of the theories it presents, the study of Bremond's tripartite sequences in Tartuffe (pp '3'-5) being a notable exception. Its limitations aside, L'Univers du theatre is nevertheless a stimulating and informative book that is useful for its mapping out of the many problems one can expect to encounter in exploring the ever-shifting world of theatre. (DAVID TROIT) Alexandra F. Johnston and Margaret Rogerson, editors. York. Records of Early English Drama. 2 volumes University of Toronto Press.lii, 965. $69.95 As spin-off studies by editors Alexandra Johnston and Margaret Rogerson have already shown, the York volumes of the Records of Early English Drama (REED) will have a salubrious effect on the study of early theatrical activity and performance conditions. These first two REED volumes, computer-assembled by Johnston and Rogerson with the aid of a remarkable support staff at the University ofToronto, are a landmark in the presentation of materials for the study of theatrical entertainment in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. That they are only the first volumes of a widely inclusive series is cause to rejoice. Potential users may be assured that REED'S definition of drama is broad indeed. Historians of minstrelsy will find much to interest them here, as will those who study the pageantry of royal entries and religious ceremony . The records show many payments to local waits and visiting minstrels, and they detail the preparations for visits to York from eight English monarchs and one Queen of Scots. Regular expenditures and special arrangements for such religious events as the annual procession of Corpus Christi (not to be confused with the play) are also numerous. Users should also know that these volumes, while confined to activities in the City of York, begin what will eventually be a broad picture of theatrical activity in Britain as a whole. Already some of the larger potential can be seen, for instance in the records of visiting professional touring companies. In time, with the appearance of all the projected volumes, we should be able to assemble more detailed pictures of particular tours by London companies: who and how many they were, when they left the city, what centres they visited and in what order, when they played and how often, when they did not play (records of this are surprisingly frequent), what they were conventionally paid, what their special performing requirements might have been, and even, conceivably , something of their repertories. It would be nice to hear that ultimately there will be a cross-referenced index to the whole REED project to facilitate this kind of study. The kinds of documents sifted through for volume 1 are several: civic House Books, memorandum books and account books...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 403-407
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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