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Reviews397 to the theater a great deal of theory whose focus is elsewhere, with a wealth of examples not only from historical but also from contemporary experimental theater. The common thread is audience response and its manipulation, whether by the theater buildings, by the audience's generic expectations, or by elements embedded in the texts themselves such as characters' names. Carlson unwraps concepts from the jargon in which theorists have enfolded them, and when he does borrow a term he is careful to define and discuss it. While most useful to those who seek an introduction to current theoretical directions, it will be a rare reader who does not wish to pursue some of the references which Carlson's alert reading provides and who does not find his thinking clarified by the critical juxtaposition of the work of one theorist with another and of one kind of theory with another. ANTHONY GRAHAM-WHITE University of Illinois at Chicago Sidney Berger. Medieval English Drama: An Annotated Bibliography of Recent Criticism, Garland Medieval Bibliographies, 2. New York: Garland, 1990. Pp. xxii + 500. $67.00. It seems a suitable indication of the youth of the field that the first comprehensive bibliography of the drama of the Middle Ages appeared less than forty years ago. Nevertheless, those scholars who may have breathed a sigh of relief at the publication in 1954 of Carl Stratman's Bibliography of Medieval Drama were to be sorely disappointed, for the work was chaotically organized, full of lacunae, and riddled with errors. Eighteen years later, a second edition made a serious attempt to address these problems and with some considerable success, though this success was tempered somewhat by Stratman's untimely death shortly before publication. This second edition more than doubled the number of entries, adding over five thousand new citations, and reorganized the work (now expanded to two volumes) in a far more sensible fashion. A considerable number of errors and lacunae still remained. Now, a further eighteen years later, Sidney Berger has undertaken an updating of Stratman's work, listing works published from 1972 (plus a few earlier works which Stratman missed) to the present, including a few unpublished works noted as "forthcoming." Berger has, in fact, done both less and more than produce an updated version of Stratman. Less, in that he has restricted the bibliography to English drama; although Stratman's principal focus was English, he included bibliographies for most areas of continental drama as well as for Latin liturgical drama. On the whole these ranged from adequate to thin, and were really useful only to the student of English drama. In the light of these problems, Berger's decision to limit the volume to English materials is very sensible , since a full expansion of Stratman would have run to several volumes and would have been impossibly expensive, to say nothing of the length of time it would have taken to produce. On the other hand, Berger has done more than Stratman in that he has annotated each item in the bibliography with considerable care. These annotations are for the most part descriptive rather than critical, and give a clear syn- 398Comparative Drama opsis of the content of the work, the texts with which it deals, and in many cases a brief indication of the critical position it argues. Berger has also restored Stratman's practice, dropped in the second edition, of listing reviews. Even in the short time I have used the bibliography, I have found this particularly useful, though there are some omissions to the lists of reviews. The bibliography itself is divided into two sections; editions and collections of plays, items 1-87, and critical works, items 88-1744. Individual items are arranged alphabetically under the author or editor's name; collections of essays are listed both under the editor's name with a brief summary of the volume's contents, and under the names of the contributors, where summaries of the individual essays are given. Access to individual plays, playwrights, places, and themes is through the wellorganized index. Berger has surveyed foreign-language material extensively , providing citations and annotations for critical works published in French, German, Swedish, and—most usefully—Japanese...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 397-399
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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