The first book-length study of the Scottish Legendary (late 14th c.), the only extant collection of saints’ lives in the vernacular from medieval Scotland, scrutinises the dynamics of hagiographic narration, its implicit assumptions about literariness, and the functions of telling the lives of the saints. The fifty saints’ legends are remarkable for their narrative art: the enjoyment of reading the legends is heightened, while didactic and edifying content is toned down. Focusing on the role of the narrator, the depiction of the saintly characters, their interiority, as well as temporal and spatial parameters, it is demonstrated that the Scottish poet has adapted the traditional material to the needs of an audience versed in reading romance and other secular genres. The implications of the Scottish poet’s narrative strategies are analysed also with respect to the Scottishness of the legendary and its overall place in the hagiographic landscape of late medieval Britain.
Byron’s connection with Italy is one of the most familiar facts about British Romanticism. A considerable portion of his legend is linked to his many pronouncements about the country (where he lived between 1816 and 1823), its history, culture and people, as well as about his own experiences in Italy and among Italians. Offering new insights into Byron’s relation to Italy, this volume is concerned with the real, historical ‘Anglo-Italian’ Byron, and his ‘almost Italianness’ as a poet. Its essays bring together different critical perspectives to take the pulse of current debates and open up new lines of enquiry into this crucial theme in Byron Studies and Romantic-era Studies more widely. In doing so, they explore how Byron’s being in Italy affected his sense of his own individual identity and of the labile nature of the self. It affected his politics – both in theory and in practice – and, of course, his whole development as a writer of lyrics, dramas, narratives, satires and letters. Moreover, the essays show how Italy affected, changed and informed Byron’s thinking about matters far beyond Italy itself. As the book shows, the poet’s relation to the country and its culture was complicated by a pervasive dialectic between familiarity and distance, and thus neither stable nor consistent. For this reason, among many others, the topic of ‘Byron and Italy’ remains an endless source of intellectual, literary, historical and existential fascination.
functions and purposes both within and beyond the text.
Within medieval studies, the most important study for the present purpose is Anne Thompson’s suggestive study on the South
English Legendary, in which she scrutinises how the legends create narrativeart by interweaving aspects of ‘everyday life’ in their
plots.19 The South English Legendary, Thompson shows, exhibits
a ‘strong sense of rootedness in time and place’: the legends ‘both
reflect and address the intertwined threads – political, social, religious – of late thirteenth-century England’.20 Thompson compares
of what a fiction should be. His work refuses to establish a smooth narrative effect in the ‘classic’ traditions of European narrativeart. Instead, he exploits cross-mixtures which create dislocations, disrupting any supposed norms of fictional practice. As we have seen, his arrival coincided with the emergence of other writers and literary trends with which his work seems to have analogies, but he somehow escapes categorisation with any single group of them. Nevertheless, we can see connections thematically and technically. His early published work was often
Mike Leigh may well be Britain's greatest living film director; his worldview has permeated our national consciousness. This book gives detailed readings of the nine feature films he has made for the cinema, as well as an overview of his work for television. Written with the co-operation of Leigh himself, it challenges the critical privileging of realism in histories of British cinema, placing the emphasis instead on the importance of comedy and humour: of jokes and their functions; of laughter as a survival mechanism; and of characterisations and situations that disrupt our preconceptions of ‘realism’. Striving for the all-important quality of truth in everything he does, Leigh has consistently shown how ordinary lives are too complex to fit snugly into the conventions of narrative art. From the bittersweet observation of Life is Sweet or Secrets and Lies, to the blistering satire of Naked and the manifest compassion of Vera Drake, he has demonstrated a matchless ability to perceive life's funny side as well as its tragedies.
Anthropology after Gluckman places the intimate circle around Max Gluckman, his Manchester School, in the vanguard of modern social anthropology. The book discloses the School’s intense, argument-rich collaborations, developing beyond an original focus in south and central Africa. Where outsiders have seen dominating leadership by Gluckman, a common stock of problems, and much about conflict, Richard Werbner highlights how insiders were drawn to explore many new frontiers in fieldwork and in-depth, reflexive ethnography, because they themselves, in class and gender, ethnicity and national origins, were remarkably inclusive. Characteristically different anthropologists, their careers met the challenges of being a public intellectual, an international celebrity, an institutional good citizen, a social and political activist, an advocate of legal justice. Their living legacies are shown, for the first time, through interlinked social biography and intellectual history to reach broadly across politics, law, ritual, semiotics, development studies, comparative urbanism, social network analysis and mathematical sociology. Innovation – in research methods and techniques, in documenting people’s changing praxis and social relations, in comparative analysis and a destabilizing strategy of re-analysis within ethnography – became the School’s hallmark. Much of this exploration confronted troubling times in Africa, colonial and postcolonial, which put the anthropologists and their anthropological knowledge at risk. The resurgence of debate about decolonization makes the accounts of fierce, End of Empire argument and recent postcolonial anthropology all the more topical. The lessons, even in activism, for social scientists, teachers as well as graduate and undergraduate students are compelling for our own troubled times.
There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.
-conscious spokespersons. To acknowledge that life is too messy, too
complex to ﬁt comfortably within conventional parameters of narrativeart. He has created ﬁlms that can stand comparison with some of the
great cinematic works he most admires – such as Ozu’s Tokyo Story
(1953) or Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) – in avoiding dramatic
contrivance and instead appearing simply to drop in on ordinary people
and then move on, leaving them continuing to live their lives.
While pursuing his own career uncompromisingly, he has helped
the progress of a number of others. Liz Smith, who
participate in Documenta and her work was shown in Athens and Kassel – she made one showroom that was shown in both places. She made this film for Athens in particular where she basically worked with Greek actors of migrant backgrounds, she cast them to discuss where Europe is heading right now and she’s the person behind the camera. She’s the artist, as nomad behind the camera – and in front of the camera are refugees and the status is very different. Of course, the experience may be similar, or the narrativeart of lives can be very similar, but obviously they’re also
Legendary is indeed a work of narrativeart,
prototypically so in a time when ‘art’ was not set apart from its
ideological grounding, of which the poet shows a clear awareness
when he skilfully exploits narrative means in order to teach and
entertain at the same time.
1 Teresa Bridgeman, ‘Time and Space’, in David Herman (ed.), The
Cambridge Companion to Narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2007), pp. 52–65, at p. 63.
2 Jonas Grethlein, ‘The Narrative Reconfiguration of Time Beyond
Ricoeur’, Poetics Today, 31:2 (2010), pp. 313–29, at pp. 322–3; 324.