"The Farce of the Fart" and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English

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Jody Enders
University of Pennsylvania Press, May 31, 2011 - Literary Collections - 496 pages

Was there more to medieval and Renaissance comedy than Chaucer and Shakespeare? Bien sûr. For a real taste of saucy early European humor, one must cross the Channel to France. There, in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the sophisticated met the scatological in popular performances presented by roving troupes in public squares that skewered sex, politics, and religion. For centuries, the scripts for these outrageous, anonymously written shows were available only in French editions gathered from scattered print and manuscript sources. Now prize-winning theater historian Jody Enders brings twelve of the funniest of these farces to contemporary English-speaking audiences in "The Farce of the Fart" and Other Ribaldries. Enders's translation captures the full richness of the colorful characters, irreverent humor, and over-the-top plotlines, all in a refreshingly uncensored American vernacular.

Those who have never heard the one about the Cobbler, the Monk, the Wife, and the Gatekeeper should prepare to be shocked and entertained. "The Farce of the Fart" and Other Ribaldries is populated by hilarious characters high and low. For medievalists, theater practitioners, and classic comedy lovers alike, Enders provides a wealth of information about the plays and their history. Helpful details abound for each play about plot, character development, sets, staging, costumes, and props. This performance-friendly collection offers in-depth guidance to actors, directors, dramaturges, teachers, and their students.

"The Farce of the Fart" and Other Ribaldries puts fifteenth-century French farce in its rightful place alongside Chaucer, Shakespeare, commedia dell'arte, and Molière—not to mention Monty Python. Vive la Farce!

 

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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Personally, I am not especially fond of fart humor, but some of the other pieces in this collection are interesting, and the translator obviously had a lot of fun trying to turn their outrageous puns ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
About This Translation
33
Brief Plot Summaries
55
The PLAYS
61
Scholarly References to Copyrighted Materials
401
Notes
411
Bibliography
463
Acknowledgments
475
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Jody Enders is Professor of French and Theater at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the author of many books, including Murder by Accident: Medieval Theater, Modern Media, Critical Intentions.

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