Gender, Narrative and Dissonance in the Modern Italian Novel
Overall, Crohn Schmitt makes it clear that these scenarios are a treasure trove of social commentary on daily life in early modern Italy. Befriending the Commedia dell'Arte of Flaminio Scala combines an outstanding understanding of performance and all of its intricacies with solid scholarship, and is presented in a clear, concise, and precise manner. Crohn Schmitt enables her readers to immerse themselves in the world of Flaminio Scala, and understand how different it was from our present
... y. Additionally, Crohn Schmitt demonstrates the extent to which the actors were reliant on a written text replete with socio-cultural, political, and moral references, and the extent to which the success of the scenario was dependent upon the audience's familiarity with said references. The results are a very well-written book grounded in history and close textual analysis, which enable readers to understand the author's redefinition of the Scala scenarios as "carefully crafted works of art that are rich in cultural history" (xii). This book offers a fresh perspective on not only the four specific scenarios of focus, but on the opus of Flaminio Scala, and, by extension, on the commedia dell'Arte. It highlights the wealth of cultural, historical, and political information embedded within these scenarios, and is, therefore, an asset to any scholar of Italian studies, Renaissance studies, theatre, performance, the commedia dell'arte, and many other areas of research and interest.