Obscenity: Social Control and Artistic Creation in the European Middle Ages

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This volume contains nearly twenty essays on obscenity in medieval culture. These essays represent the most wide-ranging attempt ever to probe the natures, origins, and consequences of obscenity in medieval literature, art, theater, and law. Although a core is devoted to obscenity in medieval French literature (where the fabliaux have elicited more previous attempts to come to terms with obscenity than has any other type of medieval literature), other contributions to the volume explore manifestations of obscenity in cultures and languages of Scandinavia, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Byzantium, and even western Slavdom. The book is divided into six different sections: Introducing Obscenity; The Rhetoric of Obscenity; Visualizing Obscenity; Performing Obscenity; Legal Obscenity; and Courting Obscenity in Old French.