Art

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts | Christopher de Hamel

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'An endlessly fascinating and enjoyable book' Neil MacGregor 'Full of delights' Tom Stoppard An extraordinary exploration of the medieval world - the most beguiling history book of the year This is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature. The idea for the book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into intimate conversations with twelve of the most famous manuscripts in existence and to explore with the author what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history - and sometimes about the modern world too. Christopher de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, collectors and the international community of manuscript scholars, showing us how he and his fellows piece together evidence to reach unexpected conclusions. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artefacts have made through time and space, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics and scholarly disputes, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and luxury and as symbols of national identity. The book touches on religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste. Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts conveys the fascination and excitement of encountering some of the greatest works of art in our culture which, in the originals, are to most people completely inaccessible. At the end, we have a slightly different perspective on history and how we come by knowledge. It is a most unusual book..

Religion

The Saint John's Bible and Its Tradition | Jack Baker,Jeffrey Bilbro,Daniel Train

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In an age of e-books and screens, it may seem antiquated to create a handwritten, illuminated Bible. The Benedictine monks at Saint John's Abbey and University, however, determined to produce such a Bible for the twenty-first century, a Bible that would use traditional methods and materials while engaging contemporary questions and concerns. In an age that largely overlooks the physical form of books, The Saint John's Bible foregrounds the importance of a book's tactile and visual qualities. This collection considers how The Saint John's Bible fits within the history of the Bible as a book, and how its haptic qualities may be particularly important in a digital age. Contributors: David Lyle Jeffrey Matthew Moser Jonathan Juilfs Sue Sorensen Paul Anderson Gretchen Batcheller Jane Kelley Rodeheffer.

History

Pleasure and Leisure in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age | Albrecht Classen

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Jan Huizinga and Roger Caillois have already taught us to realize how important games and play have been for pre-modern civilization. Recent research has begun to acknowledge the fundamental importance of these aspects in cultural, religious, philosophical, and literary terms. This volume expands on the traditional approach still very much focused on the materiality of game (toys, cards, dice, falcons, dolls, etc.) and acknowledges that game constituted also a form of coming to terms with human existence in an unstable and volatile world determined by universal randomness and fortune. Whether considering blessings or horse fighting, falconry or card games, playing with dice or dolls, we can gain a much deeper understanding of medieval and early modern society when we consider how people pursued pleasure and how they structured their leisure time. The contributions examine a wide gamut of approaches to pleasure, considering health issues, eroticism, tournaments, playing music, reading and listening, drinking alcohol, gambling and throwing dice. This large issue was also relevant, of course, in non-Christian societies, and constitutes a critical concern both for the past and the present because we are all homines ludentes..

Literary Criticism

Weeping for Dido | Marjorie Curry Woods

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Saint Augustine famously “wept for Dido, who killed herself by the sword,” and many later medieval schoolboys were taught to respond in similarly emotional ways to the pain of female characters in Virgil’s Aeneid and other classical texts. In Weeping for Dido, Marjorie Curry Woods takes readers into the medieval classroom, where boys identified with Dido, where teachers turned an unfinished classical poem into a bildungsroman about young Achilles, and where students not only studied but performed classical works. Woods opens the classroom door by examining teachers’ notes and marginal commentary in manuscripts of the Aeneid and two short verse narratives: the Achilleid of Statius and the Ilias latina, a Latin epitome of Homer’s Iliad. She focuses on interlinear glosses—individual words and short phrases written above lines of text that elucidate grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, but that also indicate how students engaged with the feelings and motivations of characters. Interlinear and marginal glosses, which were the foundation of the medieval classroom study of classical literature, reveal that in learning the Aeneid, boys studied and empathized with the feelings of female characters; that the unfinished Achilleid was restructured into a complete narrative showing young Achilles mirroring his mentors, including his mother, Thetis; and that the Ilias latina offered boys a condensed version of the Iliad focusing on the deaths of young men. Manuscript evidence even indicates how specific passages could be performed. The result is a groundbreaking study that provides a surprising new picture of medieval education and writes a new chapter in the reception history of classical literature..

Fiction

Dark Net | Benjamin PERCY

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Fermez toutes vos fenêtres ! Sous les fondations du réseau, un second Internet palpite : un eldorado sulfureux où rien n'est interdit et où tout – drogues, armes à feu, instructions terroristes – peut être trouvé. Son nom ? Le Dark Net. Mais aujourd'hui, en ces profondeurs, des forces obscures se rassemblent. Des démons, qui projettent de " hacker " les esprits des utilisateurs et de les transformer en tueurs psychotiques. Pour leur faire face, quatre héros malgré eux, que rien ne destinait à se rencontrer : Hannah, une jeune aveugle de 12 ans ayant récemment recouvré la vue (mais pas seulement) grâce à une prothèse futuriste ; Mike Juniper, un ancien évangéliste au trouble passé qui veille, dans son refuge pour sans-abri, sur un ahurissant arsenal d'armes à feu ; Sarin, sa vieille amie quasi immortelle, engagée dans un combat sans pitié contre les ténèbres ; et Lela, une journaliste technophobe, persuadée d'être tombée sur une histoire que personne ne veut couvrir. À Portland, Oregon, les portes de l'enfer sont sur le point de s'ouvrir. Hannah et les autres sont-ils prêts ?.

Biography & Autobiography

Alexandra David-Neel | Jacques Brosse

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Cette première biographie de la grande dame-lama publiée d'abord en 1977 demeure l'ouvrage de référence pour qui veut se risquer dans le fabuleux paysage spirituel d'Alexandra David-Neel. En effet, si la vie d'aventure de cette femme hors du commun, fugueuse dès l'adolescence, amie des anarchistes comme des ésotéristes, grande exploratrice de l'Asie et du Tibet, morte centenaire en 1969, nous apparaît aujourd'hui marquée par la passion du voyage, c'est surtout le voyage intérieur qui fascina cette âme brûlante : parcours spirituel complexe mais toujours cohérent, démarche toute personnelle se riant des sectes orientalistes et des doctrines dogmatiques. Alexandra David-Neel, l'aventurière dont la figure mythique restera gravée dans la mémoire collective, fut avant tout aventurière de l'esprit..

Fiction

Maria Vittoria | Elise Valmorbida

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1923, dans un hameau perdu au coeur des Dolomites. Maria Vittoria est une jeune femme belle et discrète. Quand son père désigne pour elle son futur époux, Maria s'incline, et bientôt le couple fonde un foyer et ouvre un magasin. Or l'ombre du fascisme et la menace de la guerre pourraient bien rompre l'équilibre et séparer les familles. Entre amour et haine, jalousie et générosité, foi et raison, Maria devra choisir son destin. Au prix, parfois, d'immenses sacrifices... Avec Maria Vittoria, Elise Valmorbida livre un sublime portrait de femme et nous donne à voir le visage authentique d'une Italie Méconnue. Une saga poignante, en cours de traduction dans sept pays, qui n'est pas sans rappeler Suite française d'Irène Némirovsky ou encore La Bicyclette bleue de Régine Deforges. Un roman profondément émouvant sur la vie d'une femme en temps de guerre, un nouvel Autant en emporte le vent. PopSugar Ensorcelant. The Times.