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Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought (Medieval Studies) 2nd Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0815628262
ISBN-10: 0815628269
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Product Details

  • Series: Medieval Studies
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press; 2nd edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815628269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815628262
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Learned, inquisitive, and painted on a canvas extending over hundreds of years of history, Friedman's book has many attractions. One could not ask for more information on the image of the monstrous races in medieval art and thought. But there is something dissatisfying about Friedman's book. The author is prone to categorizing and classifying - almost, at times, to the point of triviality - without gazing upwards toward a broader picture. An opportunity was missed to tie the monstrous races to major themes in European thought (e.g., fear of the other). Greater selectivity with more ambition and more speculation would have been welcome; in particular, it is a pity that Friedman decided not to draw on folklore and oral traditions in his work. In consequence, this book succeeds as a catalog of texts but falls short as a work of imaginative reconnection to the European past.
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Little else is on this topic and there is much excellent information but also much irrelevant speculation and the author is at times a bit pretentious. The illustrations are important but unhappily the reproductions are so awful that it is impossible to see what the author says is in those pictures.
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