Comptes rendus

2008 Études anglaises  
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more » ... ord préalable et écrit de l'éditeur, en dehors des cas prévus par la législation en vigueur en France. Il est précisé que son stockage dans une base de données est également interdit. Powered by TCPDF ( Document téléchargé depuis --- -09/02/2020 21:03 -© Klincksieck Document téléchargé depuis --- -09/02/2020 21:03 -© Klincksieck Comptes rendus PETER HAPPÉ. -Cyclic Form and the English Mystery Plays: A Comparative Study of the English Biblical Cycles and their Continental and Iconographic Counterparts (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004, 349 pp.) In 1966 V. A. Kolve could write, "No aspect of the Corpus Christi cycles has received less attention than their formal artistic structure, yet it is precisely . . . their cyclical form that make(s) them unique in the history of the English stage" (The Play Called Corpus Christi, [London: Edward Arnold, 1966], 33). Kolve's call was heard. A continuous flow of volumes dealing with the mysteries as cyclical drama followed the publication of Kolve's book. On the other hand, some recent studies disagree about the paramount role formerly attributed to the cyclical form in the birth and development of the English vernacular mysteries. Instead of taking sides with the ones or the others, P. Happé brilliantly renews, or rather brings to life, the concept of cyclicity, as the instrument through which the deep nature of such plays will be revealed. But Happé is no abstract or dogmatic theoretician, and it is with his usual pragmatic approach and erudition, common sense and sensibility, that he progressively and modestly constructs this new critical tool. As is always the case with original and seminal studies, Happé's suggestions and new definition strike one as simply obvious and allant de soi, precisely because they have reached some deep and essential aspect of the works studied. Happé's book is so packed with information and analyses that the present reviewer feels unable to give a fair account of them all in so limited a space. To begin with, let's say that, being French, and so, particularly sensitive to rhetorical forms, the said reviewer was particularly impressed by the clear structure of the book and the logical progression of the author's argumentation, particularly apparent in the framing chapters, Cyclic Form I and Cyclic Form II. The latter is a rich and well-balanced conclusion, taking up most of the points developed in the central body of the book and giving a final assessment of the concept originally put forward at the beginning of the study. Cyclic Form I serves as an illuminating introduction to the subject. From the start, the author's intention is made clear: if he states that the Mysteries present "an overview of human his-
doi:10.3917/etan.611.0102 fatcat:xa6db6psdnb5pcyybj5dkm2sha