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Fama: The Politics of Talk and Reputation in Medieval Europe (Hardback)Thelma Fenster (editor), Daniel Lord Smail (editor)
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In medieval Europe, the word fama denoted both talk (what was commonly said about a person or event) and an individual's ensuing reputation (one's fama). Although talk by others was no doubt often feared, it was also valued and even cultivated as a vehicle for shaping one's status. People had to think about how to "manage" their fama, which played an essential role in the medieval culture of appearances.At the same time, however, institutions such as law courts and the church, alarmed by the power of talk, sought increasingly to regulate it. Christian moral discourse, literary and visual representation, juristic manuals, and court records reflected concern about talk. This book's authors consider how talk was created and entered into memory. They address such topics as fama's relation to secular law and the preoccupations of the church, its impact on women's lives, and its capacity to shape the concept of literary authorship.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 19 mm
"Fama remains one of the richest, most unified, and polished collections of essays on medieval culture and society that I have read in quite some time."* Clio *
"This volume... is exemplary.... The subject is both large and new.... This book deserves considerable bona fama of its own. Nor should it be of interest only to medievalists and early modernists. Modernists, too, will find much of interest, clearly accessible. Here U.S. Federal Rules of Evidence 609 jostles modern French juges d'instruction, John Austin joins Pierre Bourdieau, and cucking-stools migrate from fifteenth-century England to colonial North America."* American Historical Review *
"In a model of interdisciplinary exchange, the editors, noted literary and legal history scholars Thelma Fenster and Daniel Lord Smail, offer a well-conceived volume replete with original scholarship by some of the best scholars in their fields.... Fama, according to the editors, intersected with terms like honor, shame, status, and witnessing, and glossed the essential nexus of performance, talk, reputation, and speech regulation. Fama thus defied classification, crossing the boundaries of literary, legal, religious, and secular worlds, like many of the articles in this volume.... The contributors are in concert with one another, weaving a textual conversation about talk in a collection that is sure to inspire future dialogue and debate about the importance of talk in medieval Europe for years to come."* H-France Review *
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