This book traces the concept of idiocy as it has developed in fiction and film in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It focuses particularly on visual images of idiocy and argues that writers as diverse as Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck, Flannery O'Connor and Rohinton Mistry, and filmmakers such as Jean Renoir, Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Werner Herzog and John Huston have all been attracted to idiot figures as a way of thinking through issues of language acquisition, intelligence, creativity, disability, religion and social identity. Martin Halliwell provides a lively and detailed discussion of the most significant literary and cinematic uses of idiocy, arguing that scientific conceptions of the term as a classifiable medical condition are much too narrow. With the explosion of interest in idiocy among American and European filmmakers in the 1990s and the growing interest in its often overlooked history, this book offers a timely reassessment of idiocy and its distinctive place at the intersection of science and culture.
This significant volume is the first to present in detail the entire prolific vocal repertoire of the late-Romantic German composer Max Reger. The Songs of Max Reger: A Guide and Study begins with a brief introduction discussing the development of German Lied, then journeys through this creative composer's works for voice and piano. With many musical examples, Richard Mercier and Donald Nold present a survey and discussion of Reger's lifetime of song output. The book proceeds through the songs chronologically by opus number, discussing each individually. All entries include details pertinent to the song's particular poem, its musical setting, the date of musical composition, the vocal range required, and discussion of specific vocal and pianistic features. The text also provides the original German poem, word-for-word English translation of the German text, IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) pronunciation symbols for the German, and a prose version of the poetic text in English for better appreciation of the piece. An index and two appendixes complete this important reference, arranging the songs by title and poet and supplying information on vocal range, level of difficulty, and gender. Designed for the classical vocal music enthusiast and invaluable to the singer and vocal coach, this book, commemorating the 135th anniversary of the composer's birth, will also appeal to accompanists, Reger scholars, and lovers of German Lieder and German art and culture.