FDL Book Salon Welcomes Larissa Tracy, Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature Negotiations of National Identity

By: Saturday April 14, 2012 1:59 pm

In her exhaustively researched new book, Larissa Tracy, an associate professor of medieval literature at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, says linking “medieval” with acts of torture is a fallacy.

“Torture was not a pervasive means of medieval judicial control, despite accounts of public brutality and secular punishment …,” Tracy wrote in the introduction to “Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature,” which cites the “Getting Medieval” scene from “Pulp Fiction” as a way of explaining how our understanding of the medieval era has been misguided.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Paul Koudounaris, The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses

By: Sunday October 30, 2011 1:59 pm

Empire of Death is a comprehensive examination of the history of the Ossuaries and Charnel Houses in the European tradition. The bone houses, used for storage and decorative effects, present the living with the opportunity to confront or commune with death and the dead. Author, Art Historian and Photographer Paul Koudounaris’ central consideration in Empire of Death is the changing relations between the living and the dead as evinced in the treatment of bones and human bodies in these forms of monumental architecture.

Koudounaris’ meticulous research is shown in both vivid and remarkably sumptuous photography.

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