Saturday, August 8, 2009

MMSM: New books from McFarland (2006-2009)

Here are the details on five recent books from McFarland and three recent updates. All eight can be ordered directly from McFarland.

The Literature of Hope in the Middle Ages and Today: Connections in Medieval Romance, Modern Fantasy, and Science Fiction
Flo Keyes

ISBN 978-0-7864-2596-9
bibliography, index
205pp. softcover 2006
Price: $39.95

The influence of medieval literature is instantly apparent in modern fantasy literature, where knights and wizards populate castle-strewn landscapes. Less obvious but still recognizable is the influence in science fiction, which draws on medieval story structure and themes. Beyond these superficial similarities, deeper connections become evident through an analysis of the literature’s social function. Like the fantasy and science fiction of today, the romances of the Middle Ages were written in times of extreme and prolonged social upheaval. In all three genres, the storytellers draw on the same archetypes—the hero, the quest, the transformation—for stories whose goal is to provide hope.

Using Jungian theory and comparative analysis, this book explores the connections between the three genres. It finds common ground among them in plots that often reflect the recurring cycle of life and the elements of psychological rather than literal realism. Representative texts such as Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, the Witch World series by Andre Norton and More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon are examined in depth, and the use of archetypes in each is thoroughly explored. Analysis reveals similarities in images, structures, and the pervasive belief that a perfectible universe is within man’s capabilities—if not now, then someday.

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5

1. In Pursuit of the Elusive Literary Definition 11
2. What Need of a Candle Unless It Is Dark 21
3. Pawns in the Game of Kings 29
4. Five Centuries Later, Still Looking for the Light 38
5. The Hero 50
6. Lights, Camera, Action 63
7. Archetypes, or Why Does This Seem Familiar? 75
8. There and Back Again: The Archetypal Journey 85
9. Will Wonders Never Cease? 101
10. And a Little Child Shall Lead Them 116
11. The Voice of Experience: The Wise Old Man 128
12. Cutting the Apron Strings: The Great Mother 141
13. Phoenix from the Ashes: The Transformation 155
14. A Light in the Darkness 167
15. Hope Springs Eternal 178

Bibliography 187
Index 193

About the Author
Flo Keyes is an assistant professor in the English department at Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont. She lives in Poultney, Vermont.

Pasolini, Chaucer and Boccaccio: Two Medieval Texts and Their Translation to Film Agnès Blandeau

ISBN 978-0-7864-2247-0
appendices, notes, bibliography, index
218pp. softcover 2006
Price: $35.00
Pier Pasolini’s “trilogy of life” is a series of film adaptations of major texts of the past: The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and One Thousand and One Nights. The movies demonstrate a film author’s acute aesthetic sensibility through a highly original cinematic rendering of the sources. The first two films, closely examined in this book, offer a personal, purposefully stylized vision of the Middle Ages, as though Pasolini were dreaming Boccaccio’s and Chaucer’s texts through the filter of his “heretic” consciousness. The unusual poetic visualization of the source works, which could be described as irreverent cinematic homage, has the potential to renew the traditional reading of such literature.

This book shows how cinema becomes an alternative form of storytelling. It first studies the two films in detail, putting them in perspective within the trilogy. Next it interprets them, recounting misinterpretations and expounding upon Pasolini’s ideological perception, and defends the oft-criticized adaptations. Finally, it discusses how the films represent innovation over strict adaptation. Appendices offer charts with information on the narrative structures of the films and the correspondences between them.

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5

1. I Racconti di Canterbury: The Film Text of The Canterbury Tales 11
2. Placing I Racconti di Canterbury in Perspective with The Decameron 49
3. Il Fiore delle mille e una notte: The Last Panel of the Triptych 86

4. The Shock of Pasolini’s Trilogy 89
5. A Trans-semiotization: The Subversive Intention in I Racconti di Canterbury 97
6. Eloquent Pictures 111
7. A Defense of Adaptation 140

Conclusion 155
Appendix 1: Chart Showing Narrative Structure of I Racconti di Canterbury in Text and Film 165
Appendix 2: Chart Showing Narrative Structure of The Decameron in Text and Film 167
Appendix 3: Chart Showing Echoes and Correspondences Between I Racconti di Canterbury and The Decameron 170
Notes 175
Bibliography 191
Index 205

About the Author
Agnès Blandeau has published articles on The Canterbury Tales and their adaptations on film. An associate professor at Nantes University, she lives in France.

Mass Market Medieval: Essays on the Middle Ages in Popular Culture Edited by David W. Marshall

ISBN 978-0-7864-2922-6
notes, references, index
215pp. softcover 2007
Price: $35.00

Beginning in 1976 with the first issue of the journal Studies in Medievalism, all things medieval and the concept of medievalism became a hot topic in culture studies. Medievalism examines how different groups, individuals, or eras use and shape the image of the Middle Ages, differentiating between historical knowledge of the Middle Ages and what we have made the period out to be. The 13 essays in this book explore the medieval invasion of today’s media and consider the various ways—from film and print to websites and video games—that the Middle Ages have been packaged for consumption. Essays encompass diverse theoretical perspectives and are grouped loosely around distinct functions of medievalism, including the exposure of recent social concerns; the use of medieval images in modern political contexts; and the medieval’s influence on products of today’s popular culture. The legitimization of the study of medievalism and the effect of medievalism on the more traditional subject of medieval studies are also discussed.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: The Medievalism of Popular Culture 1

1. Chaucer for a New Millennium: The BBC Canterbury Tales 13
2. “If I Lay My Hands on the Grail”: Arthurianism and Progressive Rock 28
3. The Sound of Silents: Aurality and Medievalism in Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan 42
4. Antichrist Superstars: The Vikings in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal 57
5. The Future Is What It Used to Be: Medieval Prophecy and Popular Culture 74
6. Idealized Images of Wales in the Fiction of Edith Pargeter/Ellis Peters 90
7. Places Don’t Have to Be True to Be True: The Appropriation of King Arthur and the Cultural Value of Tourist Sites 102
8. “Accident My Codlings”: Sitcom, Cinema and the Re-writing of History in The Blackadder 113
9. Medieval History and Cultural Forgetting: Oppositional Ethnography in The Templar Revelation 126
10. Teaching the Middle Ages 140
11. Virtually Medieval: The Age of Kings Interprets the Middle Ages 154
12. A World unto Itself: Autopoietic Systems and Secondary Worlds in Dungeons & Dragons 171
13. Anything Different Is Good: Incremental Repetition, Courtly Love, and Purgatory in Groundhog Day 186

About the Contributors 199
Index 201

About the Editor
David W. Marshall attended the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York, England, where he completed an M.A. before earning a doctorate in English at Indiana University. He is an assistant professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino.

Movie Medievalism: The Imaginary Middle Ages
Nickolas Haydock

ISBN 978-0-7864-3443-5
28 photos, notes, bibliography, index
244pp. softcover 2008
Price: $35.00


This work offers a theoretical introduction to the portrayal of medievalism in popular film. Employing the techniques of film criticism and theory, it moves beyond the simple identification of error toward a poetics of this type of film, sensitive to both cinema history and to the role these films play in constructing what the author terms the “medieval imaginary.”

The opening two chapters introduce the rapidly burgeoning field of medieval film studies, viewed through the lenses of Lacanian psychoanalysis and the Deleuzian philosophy of the time-image. The first chapter explores how a vast array of films (including both auteur cinema and popular movies) contributes to the modern vision of life in the Middle Ages, while the second is concerned with how time itself functions in cinematic representations of the medieval. The remaining five chapters offer detailed considerations of specific examples of representations of medievalism in recent films, including First Knight, A Knight’s Tale, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Kingdom of Heaven, King Arthur, Night Watch, and The Da Vinci Code. The book also surveys important benchmarks in the development of Deleuze’s time-image, from classic examples like Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Kurosawa’s Kagemusha through contemporary popular cinema, in order to trace how movie medievalism constructs images of the multivalence of time in memory and representation.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1 (read online)

Part One: An Introduction to Movie Medievalism 3
1. The Medieval Imaginary 5 (read online)
2. Time Machines 36

Part Two: The Imaginary Middle Ages 79
3. The Waywardness of Cinematic Pastiche in First Knight and A Knight’s Tale 81
4. Shooting the Messenger: Luc Besson at War with Joan of Arc 111
5. Theaters of War: Paracinematic Returns to the Kingdom of Heaven 134
6. Digital Divagations in a Hyperreal Camelot: Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur 165
7. Postmedieval Paranoia: The New Middle Ages of Night Watch and The Da Vinci Code 187

Chapter Notes 209
Works Cited 221
Index 229

About the Author
Nickolas Haydock is professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. In addition to movie medievalism and film, he also writes about medieval Scots literature.

Renaissance Festivals: Merrying the Past and Present Kimberly Tony Korol-Evans

ISBN 978-0-7864-4014-6
photos, bibliography, index
[224]pp. softcover 2009

Not Yet Published, Available Fall/Winter 2009

This ethnographic study of contemporary American Renaissance fairs focuses on the Maryland Renaissance Festival, in which participants recreate sixteenth-century England through performances of theater, combat-at-arms, processions, street hawking, and meticulously faithful historical reconstructions. It is also partly an autobiographical account of interactive improvisation, subcultures within the festival framework, delineation between living history and historical elaboration, and new understanding of performer and patron immersion into varying degrees of the willing suspension of disbelief.

About the Author
Kimberly Tony Korol-Evans is an independent scholar who manages a pirate band and performs at Renaissance festivals with her husband and son. She has published a number of articles, including “Marketing Multiple Mythologies of Masculinity: Television Advertising and the National Hockey League” and “Tudor Court Culture.” Korol-Evans is the founder and chair of the Festivals and Faires Area of the Popular Culture Association.


The Reel Middle Ages: American, Western and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian Films About Medieval Europe
Kevin J. Harty

ISBN 978-0-7864-2657-7
117 photos, bibliography, index
324pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2006 [1999]
Price: $49.95


Those tales of old—King Arthur, Robin Hood, The Crusades, Marco Polo, Joan of Arc—have been told and retold, and the tradition of their telling has been gloriously upheld by filmmaking from its very inception. From the earliest of Georges Méliès’s films in 1897, to a 1996 animated Hunchback of Notre Dame, film has offered not just fantasy but exploration of these roles so vital to the modern psyche. St. Joan has undergone the transition from peasant girl to self-assured saint, and Camelot has transcended the soundstage to evoke the Kennedys in the White House.

Here is the first comprehensive survey of over 900 cinematic depictions of the European Middle Ages—date of production, country of origin, director, production company, cast, and a synopsis and commentary. A bibliography, index, and over 100 stills complete this remarkable work.

About the Author
Kevin J. Harty is professor and chair of English at La Salle University in Philadelphia and associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society, of which he is also the vice president. He is the author or editor of eleven books on such topics as film and medieval studies.

Robin Hood: A Cinematic History of the English Outlaw and His Scottish Counterparts Scott Allen Nollen

ISBN 978-0-7864-3757-3
38 photos, filmography, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
269pp. softcover 2008 [1999]
Buy Now! Price: $35.00


From Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner to Daffy Duck, the bandit of Sherwood Forest has gone through a variety of incarnations on the way to becoming a cinematic staple. The historic Robin Hood—actually an amalgam of several outlaws of medieval England—was eventually transformed into the romantic and deadly archer-swordsman who “robbed from the rich to give to the poor.” This image was reinforced by popular literature, song—and film.

This volume provides in-depth information on each film based on the immortal hero. In addition, other historical figures such as Scottish rebel-outlaws Rob Roy MacGregor and William Wallace are examined. Nollen also explores nontraditional representations of the legend, such as Frank Sinatra’s Robin and the Seven Hoods and Westerns featuring the Robin Hood motif. A filmography is provided, including production information. The text is highlighted by rare photographs, advertisements, and illustrations.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part I: Robin Hood in History 5
1. Sad Stories of the Death of Kings (1066–1276) 7
Early Outlaws of England 10
The End of Norman Rule 13
Richard the Lionheart 13
King John 18
Robert Hod, Outlaw, and Other Rebels 19
2. Was Robin Hood a Scot? (1066–1329) 22
The Hammer of the Scots 23
Sir William Wallace 26
Robert the Bruce, King of Scots 36
Wallace, Bruce and Robin Hood 41
3. English Rebels and Hoods (1322–1450) 46

Part II: Robin Hood in Story and Song 51
4. From Minstrel’s Yeoman to Playwright’s Aristocrat (1400–1700) 53
5. Robin Returns to Scotland (1671–1734) 59

The Making of an Outlaw 63
6. Storybook Outlaws (1771–1900) 73
Fascination with Tradition 74
The Scottish Chiefs 75
Rob Roy 76
Ivanhoe 78

Part III: Robin Hood on the Screena 85
7. Shadows of Sherwood: Early Silent Films (1908–1913) 87
8. No Heavy Footed Englishman: Robin Hood (1922) 89
9. Fluent Treason: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 99
10. A Round of Robins: Variations on the Legend (1946–1954) 121
Ivanhoe 123
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men 128
Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue 133
11. Low-Budget Brigands: The Hammer Hoods (1957–1973) 138
12. The Chairman of the Board as the Prince of Thieves: Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964) 147
13. The Revised Robin: Robin and Marian (1976) 157

14. Beverly Hills or Barnesdale? (1991) 169
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 170
Robin Hood 180
Robin Hood: Men in Tights 185
15. Robin’s Caledonian Renaissance (1995) 188
Rob Roy 188
Braveheart 201
16. Wither the Greenwood? 219

Appendix A: Films About the English Robin Hood 223
Appendix B: Films About the “Scottish Robin Hoods” 235
Appendix C: Robin Hood Westerns 241
Chapter Notes 243
Bibliography 249
Index 253

About the Author
Scott Allen Nollen was educated in Film and History at the University of Iowa. He is the author of more than a dozen books on the history of film, literature and music.

Arthurian Legends on Film and Television
Bert Olton

ISBN 978-0-7864-4076-4
42 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
351pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2009 [2000]
Price: $35.00

The Arthurian legends are a crucial part of Western culture. With their enduring themes, archetypal characters, and complex plots, it is not surprising that the stories of Camelot should find their way into films and television programs.

From the moody (Excalibur) to the looney (“Knighty Knight Bugs”), more than 250 entries give complete credits, synopses, and analyses. Included are works based solely on Arthur and his literary origins and works that feature other figures, like Galahad, Percival, and the operatic favorites Tristan and Isolde. Also included are animated films, parodies like Monty Python’s, films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Arthurian themes, and television series with Arthurian episodes such as Babylon 5 and MacGyver. Operatic and dramatic works recorded for film and television (like Camelot) are also covered. Appendices, bibliography and index.

About the Author
A former journalist and photographer, Bert Olton is a member of the International Arthurian Society. He is a freelance writer living in New York.

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