IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1603: Early Modern Fools: Gestures and Emotions

Thursday 13 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Université de Lausanne / Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft
Organiser:Alexander Schwarz, Section d'Allemand, Université de Lausanne
Moderator/Chair:Sieglinde Hartmann, Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main
Paper 1603-aSebastian Brant: The Fool in the Woodcut
(Language: English)
Siegrid Schmidt, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Salzburg
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Language and Literature - German
Paper 1603-bTo Fool the Fools: Piero of Leiden and the Dutch Lottery Festivals in Early Modern Times
(Language: English)
Dick E. H. de Boer, Instituut voor Geschiedenis, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - Dutch
Paper 1603-cWicked Joker and Natural Fool: Literary Interests in Early Modern Comical Tales
(Language: English)
Peter Glasner, Germanistisches Seminar, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Mentalities
Paper 1603-dNasreddin and Eulenspiegel: The Fools' Contest
(Language: English)
Alexander Schwarz, Section d'Allemand, Université de Lausanne
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - German
Abstract

Medieval fools are recognised either by their nakedness or by their colourful costumes with ass’s ears and cock’s comb, jangling with bells. In both cases they swing their marotte, whether it be a weapon of attack or defence, threateningly. Their body language and their gestures both express and provoke emotions. Their attacks are both physical and psychological. Psychological because the marotte is a perverted sceptre and the fool’s body language transgresses all rules of good behaviour, deriding our mores. The evolution from medieval to early modern fools and from ‘natural’ to artificial fools merits special interest. These papers consider both the representation of fools and their performances in texts and images and responses to ‘foolish’ gestures and behaviour.