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228 REVIEWS an indirect reconstruction of some of the lost miracle plays, on the basis of such known sources as the Legenda Aurea and of French or Dutch miracle plays devoted to the same saints? Though requiring great caution, such an attempt surely provides the scholar with a great opportunity to fill out our picture of English miracle plays. The point I have raised may be open to debate. The same does not apply to the criticism that should be directed at the survey of the mediaeval stage in chapter IV. While this survey includes a lucid treatment of some relevant documents known to us for some time, it is now possible to give a much fuller as well as more accurate account of early actors and methods of staging than is presented here. Salter and others have brought new relevant material to light. But most disappointing of all is the absence of any discussion of mediaeval sculpture and related art forms which provide a wealth of informa~ tion about the staging of mystery and miracle plays. One looks in vain in Craig's bibliography for a reference to Emile Male or Kernodle. G. Cohen's latest work on the mutual reflection of sculpture and drama in France is not mentioned, nor is the impressive article by Hildburgh in Archaeologica on alabaster tables in England. But to end this review on a note of compliment: in his basic terminology Craig wisely follows Young, and not Chambers or Pollard whose inclusion of all mediaeval religious plays other than moralitieS under the heading of "miracle plays" has been the cause of endless muddle. The plays based on scripture and developing out of the liturgy-including the "cyclic" playsare here rightly called mysteries, just as in France they were called mysteres, for they were craft-plays (Salter). Only those plays which "treat of the lives and martyrdoms of the saints" (Craig) should be called miracle plays. And English morality plays differ markedly in kind from the French moralites (Craig, pp. 341-3). Will someone now, using Craig's sensible terminology, briog The Mediaeval Stage up to date? F. D. HOENIGER The Fading Coal Faced with the traditional problem of the relation between spontaneous invention and voluntary judgment, the poet-critic of the Romantic period is likely to solve it by insisting on their simultaneous activity within the single creative moment. For Coleridge such a moment involves "judgment ever awake and steady self~possession with enthusiasm profound or vehement," and, according to Keats, "my judgment ... is as active while I am actually writing as my imagination." Indeed (if Woodhouse's note is to be trusted), Keats goes on to decry revision in cold blood. "Shall I afterwards, when my imagination is idle, and the heat in which I wrote has gone off, sit down coldly to criticize when in possession of only one faculty ... ?" If such views are taken as a Romantic norm, what are we to think of Shelley's much more analytical and sequential view of the temporal "mind REVIEWS 229 in creation"? For Shelley the actjvity of this Ā«fading coal," despite its lofty source (and despite the fact that "the finest passages" cannot be "produced by toil and study"), needs, unfortunately. to be supported by careful observae tion of the "inspired moments" and even by conventional padding. The poet is forced to recognize "the limitedness of the poetic faculty." Shelley tells Medwin that, although "the source of poetry is native and involuntary," it "requires severe labour in its development." He shows Trelawny a chaotic page covered with the words and images which his heated brain has thrown off and adds: "in the morning, out of this rude sketch as you justly call it, I shall attempt a drawing." He reviews a novel by his friend Hogg and deplores the fact that "the author has written with fervour, but has disdained to revise at leisure." Remarks like these suggest a good deal about Shelley's poetic nature and how it worked, but without direct evidence they remain suggestive rather than convincing. And, whereas the study of Keats's poetic manuscripts is sufficiently advanced and sufficiently sophisticated to allow us to interpret with...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 228-230
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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