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390Comparative Drama volatile issues, which he explored fairly and thoroughly but without necessarily attempting to mediate between contending factions. Patterson, who champions the principles of authorship and individual agency against Foucault and Lacan, might well find a too artistically detached Shakespeare to be nothing more than a mere entertainer or a passive register of competing discourses. If these two books do not fully define Shakespeare's political and social stance, they place the problem back on the agenda and demand that any such definition should address Shakespeare's abiding skepticism of political authority and his sympathetic deployment of the popular voice. Writing in vigorous and jargon-free prose, Cox and Patterson have made it harder to see Shakespeare as an apologist for established authority, its unwitting pawn, or a naive reflector of contemporary controversy. Instead, they have proposed a Shakespeare who, in different ways, was a politically engaged if nonaligned participant in debates over questions of social justice. MICHAEL SHAPIRO University of Illinois E. Catherine Dunn. The Gallican Saint's Life and the Late Roman Dramatic Tradition. Washington, D. C: The Catholic University of America Press, 1989. Pp. ? + 164. $29.95. For more than half a century, critics and historians of drama have largely accepted the theory of origins propounded in Karl Young's The Drama of the Medieval Church (1933). Young held that medieval drama appeared independently from other literary sources, in the musical tropes of monastic liturgical offices, notably those for Easter. The late O. B. Hardison, Jr., challenged Young's theory to some extent in his Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages (1965), disputing the chronology and liturgical placement of the tropes and drawing attention to the allegorical descriptions of the Mass as sacred drama by Amalarius of Metz and Honorius of Autun. In a series of articles from the same period E. Catherine Dunn formulated a different sort of challenge to Young's theory, and her work culminates now in The Gallican Saint's Life and the Late Roman Dramatic Tradition. Dunn essentially argues that mimed and recitative performance, translated from classical pagan sources and secular texts to Christian devotional practices, preserved the continuity of dramatic tradition from the late Empire through the High Middle Ages. The Gallican liturgy of the sixth through the eighth centuries, she holds, was a key element of this continuity. For her the public recitation of saints' lives at major feasts in the Gallican liturgy represents a form of drama that incorporated mimed performance. Thus, she concludes it is a mistake to regard the tropes as an exclusive point of origin for the medieval drama. Dunn makes her case from two sources of evidence. She works from the same historical record available to Young and other scholars but rejected by them as evidence of an early medieval dramatic tradition growing out of late classical forms. Dunn rightly describes her book as Reviews391 "a reinterpretation of records and documents from late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, and a study of Gallican liturgical texts in a new light" (p. 2). Her second source is a running review of scholarship, shaped in many respects by her sense of the historical questions ignored or discounted by the dominant critical tradition. Dunn analyzes the work of Young and his successors on Latin drama for its suppositions about what counts as drama. She surveys the histories of Byzantine theater and the specialist literature of medieval liturgical practices for indications of performance. Her own method for dealing with the primary texts and the scholarship she characterizes as "partly deductive" (p. 2), but it is perhaps more accurate to regard it as broadly inferential, for she sets up a chain of influence and analogy connecting a fairly broad range of ludic performance. The first two chapters of the book reconstruct the liturgical context of Gallican worship from surviving materials and significant parallels in Hispanic (Mozarabic) liturgy. Gallican liturgy was abolished by the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 789, which heeded Charlemagne's injunction "Return to the fountain of Saint Gregory" and reinstituted the Roman rite. Jean Mabillon's De Liturgia Gallicana Libri Tres (1685), which revived study of this suppressed liturgy, remains an important...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 390-393
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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