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160 Reviews The design is clear and simple, with easy-to-use menus and icons presented on an elegant black screen. The 'help' screens use a very effective visual display to explain how the different options work. The images of individual pages are of excellent quality, though only the 14 'featured pages' can be blown up using a 'zoom' function. The book can be easily browsed opening-by-opening, but not page-by-page. Only images are provided, so the text cannot be searched or manipulated in any way. The digital slides are visually interesting and attractive, and the commentaries are sound and reliable, though fairly brief and aimed at the general reader rather than the scholar. The Book of Kells on CDR O M is excellent value as a facsimile reproduction of this most remarkable of medieval manuscripts. The accompanying materials will be useful and relevant to all but specialist researchers in this field. Toby Burrows Scholars' Centre The University of Western Australia Library Enders, Jody, The Medieval Theatre of Cruelty: Rhetoric, Memory, Violence, Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press, 1999; cloth; pp. xvii, 268; 3 b/w illustrations; R R P US$45. Professor Enders' previous book was the acclaimed Rhetoric and the Origins Medieval Drama (1992). This important new study returns to the topics ofrhetoric and medieval dramabut implicatesthese areas ofthis writer's interest and expertise with anothertopic about which she cares with equal passion: the historical continuity and seeming ubiquity ofviolence and cruelty. Enders explains that the appetite for the horror of torture in plays is always deplored, and also seen as new. A strong commitment to wrestle with the daunting issue ofthe perennial appetite forviolence shines steadily through the book. Her chosenfrontispieceillustration, the performance ofthe martyrdom of Saint Apollonia, complete with spectators, invites us to imagine what would be a corresponding image from today. In terms ofcurrent debates on medieval attitudes to cruelty, as suggested in partby the frequent occurrence of such scenes of pain, torture and physical violence in the plays, Enders recognises not a site of 'alterity' but a realm of troubling similarities to our own. This is a work which carries on a close discussion with recent work on violence and drama by Kubrick, Scarry, Francis Barker and others. It is also Reviews 161 impressively informed by a wide range of work by twentieth-century writers on social and literary theory and on theories of drama, including Foucault, Kenneth Burke, Artaud, Peter Brook. In bringing this body ofwork to bear on the medieval theatre, Enders makes a substantial contribution to critical analysis of violence in drama. With its frequent inclusion of contemporary references and parallels to experiences of violence and torture, whether actual or seen on television or portrayed in film or theatre, the book constitutes a suggestive and rewarding contribution to cultural studies and one which, while certain to be valued by medievalists, reaches beyond the interests of specialists in the medieval period. In addition to an introduction and a conclusion appropriately entitled 'Vicious Cycles', there are individual sections devoted to violence in the origins of the rhetoric of the aesthetics of theatre (back to the ever-troublesome catharsis); violence and pedagogy; the body in pain (by far the longest); and to the performativity of violence. As those readers familiar with Enders' earlier work will expect, the discussion of these topics is constructed on a basis of an exhaustive knowledge of rhetoricians, classical and medieval, and of plays in Latin, medieval French and English (with all the sources quoted in the original and then translated). In bringing together her three topics, Enders thus presents a discussion which is always based on specific quotations or suggestions in the works of rhetoricians and in the dramatic texts, but which in its method often depends on a mode of analogy or metaphor. Working in terms of three branches of the art of rhetoric, inventio, actio, and memoria, she presents her central contention 'that violence is very deeply embedded in the very language ofclassical and medieval rhetoric and its pedagogies' (p. 224). One discrete instance m a y stand as an illustration of her mode of argument. The discussion of 'Rhetoric and Drama, Torture and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 160-162
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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