Sanctity and Pornography in Medieval Culture: on the Verge - Bill Burgwinkle & Cary HowieManchester & New York: Manchester University Press , 2010, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Colour photographs;
From the cover: “Sanctity And Pornography In Medieval Culture makes an argument that is, on the surface of things, a startling one. Medieval Christians, like their more secular modern counterparts, used images and accounts of pain and pleasure, bodily exposure and enclosure, to express and to challenge their sense of the possible. In fact, the saints of pre-modern Europe bear an uncanny resemblance, in their form and function, to the cluster of texts and images that modernity has christened as pornographic.
By taking seriously the skin that sacred bodies, no more or less than profane ones, offer to the world, this book illustrates some of the desires and practices that continue to sustain and enable our bodies’ transformation even now. In this way, medieval French and Italian narratives and manuscript illuminations come to touch upon and respond to modern short stories, photography and film; saints and centrefolds appear side by side.
From the Old French life of Saint Alexis to the work of writer-filmmaker Miranda July, from Wakefield Poole to Pietro Aretino, these are texts and images that diminish the distance between pre-modern Europe and contemporary California, between the sacred and the profane, as they demonstrate how, in the end as in the beginning, the surface of things is never simple.”