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REVIEWS119 5)There ensued several victorious battles between Orléans and Paris; Joan was dragged to many prisons, along with Beaurevoir, after her capture between Compiègne and Rouen. Shirley McLaine doing her best as 'Mme de Beaurevoir'— a conflation of three real women, with 'Mme' most closely resembling Duke Jean ofLuxembourg's mother, Jeanne—would have made more sense had Gernon inserted Joan's escape attempt, her leap from the prison's 60-ft. tower, which she miraculously survived. We would then understand why Joan henceforth was no longer allowed the company of protective women like 'Mme' during future imprisonment. 6)Pierre d'Arc was not killed in battle duringJoan's mission; he lived on through the 1440S. Yet for the pathos angle, the records contain ample cases ofJoan's weeping for dead soldiers, whether French or English, including Glasdale. The poorly-written, mispunctuated intertitles do little to fill in the gaps and contain at least one misspelling ('Burgandy,' toward the end): further indicating the decline in Hollywood's concept of the public's intelligence. Accordingly, they probably hoped we wouldn't notice the snowfall during the final burning scene (late-May, supposedly in France?!). Along with a few random clever touches noted above, only the cast and costumes save the day. Leelee Sobieski often engagingly overcomes Valley-girl intonation and expressions as the first true-age Joan in cinema. Neil Patrick Harris excels as the smirking, insecure yet calculating Charles; Maximillian Schell, veteran ofthe classic Judgment at Nuremburg, rises convincingly to vice-inquisitor role; most others do the best with what they have: Chad Willett as Jean de Metz (a character actually conflated with Massieu); Jonathan Hyde, though a dead ringer for Philip of Burgundy, cast as Bedford, while Philip's interpreter resembles Bedford. NADIA MARGOT IS l.everert, Massachusetts debra N. mancoff, ed., KingArthur's Modern Return. New York: Garland Publishing, 1998. Pp. x, 234 plus 17 pp. of plates, isbn: 0-8153-2500-2. $55. 'Yet some men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of Our Lord Jesu into another place; and men say that he shall comeagain , and he shall win the holy cross.' So states Sir Thomas Malory in the Caxton edition of Le Morte D'Arthur, establishing the basic premise of Debra N. Mancoff's anrhology ofliterary and cultural criticism. The ambiguity immediately injected by Malory (? will not say that it shall be so, but rather I will say, here in this world hechanged his life') has not discouraged the futurian hope of Arthur's modern-day return among nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists and their audiences—as this volume amply demonstrates. And just as the ancient motifofeternal return has been adapted to manifold uses, so the anthology itself illustrates the current application ofpostmodern critical approaches to medievalism. Specifically, it focuses on Arthur's return as a salvation and consolidation myth by linking the rescue of Arthurian legend to that of threatened maidens and impugned characters (such as Tennyson's Vivian), a stolen painting, disadvantaged minorities, children, the 120ARTHURIANA terminally ill, occult secrets, analogous cultural icons like Saint George or even (this is a stretch) Elvis, and whole cultures—including fascist ones, for the revival has a dark side. The volume's contents show that the legend and its myth ofeternal return and rescue is appropriated to assert any local cultural values that are felt to be essential, in transition, or under attack from outside groups or influences. King Arthur's Modern Return also illustrates the trend in medieval studies away from traditional explications of text and towards cultural criticism, employing in particular the critical tools of the new historicist, feminist, and postcolonial approaches. And it confirms the eclecticism of contemporary medieval studies by encompassing popular culture, the visual arts, and film in addition to literature— frequently (Lindahl, Taylor, Kestncr, Pinder, Fox-Friedman, Harty, Campbell) within the same essay. There are also a few faults. Like many other academic texts produced on a restricted budget, it suffers from copyediting errors ranging from erratic placement of the period in relation to quote and citation (136-54) and misspellings (Himmel for Himmler, 215), to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1539
Print ISSN
1078-6279
Pages
pp. 119-122
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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