2008

AB Bibliographies and Catalogs


Repertorium initiorum manuscriptorum latinorum Medii Aevi [A Catalog of the Opening Words of Works in Latin Manuscripts of the Middle Ages]. 4 vols. Ed. Jacqueline Hamesse and Slawomir Szyller. Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération internationale des instituts d’études médiévales, 2007-2010. xxxiv, 658, 802, 792, 650 p. 24 cm. (Textes et études du Moyen Âge, 42). ISBN 978-2-503-52727-7 (vol. 1): EUR 59; ISBN 978-2-503-53045-1 (vol. 2): EUR 59; ISBN 978-2-503-53321-6 (vol. 3): EUR 59; ISBN 978-2-503-53603-3 (vol. 4): EUR 59

An RREA Original Review by Thomas M. Izbicki (Rutgers University)

Many medieval texts were anonymous, and others attributed to different authors in different individual manuscripts. A large number also carried false attributions, especially to patristic writers such as Augustine of Hippo. All of these problems can leave the researcher puzzled, especially when doing manuscript research. One resort is checking the initia, or opening words of texts. Jacqueline Hamesse and Slawomir Szyller have provided a four-volume guide to the opening words of texts found in manuscript copies, especially giving the opening words of a text proper. Nor have they failed to note forms of address to dedicatees, excerpts beginning with formulas like “Reverendissimo in Christo domino…” [To the most reverend lord in Christ]. The scope of the project is international, drawing on card files in more than one location; priority was given to philosophical and theological texts, because no one tool treated them in sufficient depth. (The emphasis of the database In principio [In the Beginning], for example, is on literary texts.) The Repertorium project began in 1988, when computer technology was not as flexible as it is now, and the editors admit that they would have had more options had they started later. Nonetheless, the result is a useful tool.

The first volume provides an extensive list of abbreviations of the names of individual libraries, as well as an introduction in French and English. Thereafter, the list runs from A through Z. Each entry, in Latin, provides the initium, or opening words; the name of the author (if known); the title; the manuscript signature; the foliation of the individual text within the manuscript book; and the inventory number in the editors’ database. A biblical pericope for a sermon precedes the initium of a sermon text in italic type. Occasionally the Latin extract is so similar (as in the entries for the work De terminis difficilibus in theologia [On Difficult Terms in Theology] by Armandus de Bellovisu / Armand de Belvézer) that the entries might have been combined without any loss of utility. Some works are represented by only one copy. Others, such as the De anima [On the Soul] of Avicenna and the De vita et moribus philosophorum [On the Life and Character of the Philosophers] attributed to Walter Burley, survive in dozens of manuscripts.

The editors recently published the fourth volume, containing supplements and indexing, which the reviewer has not yet seen. It surely will make this tool all the more useful for manuscript studies. Migration of the Repertorium to the Internet environment would make it even more useful.

Panorama des revues littéraires sous l’Occupation: juillet 1940-août 1944 [Panorama of Literary Reviews under the Occupation: July 1940–August 1944]. Olivier Cariguel. Saint-Germain-la-Blanche-Herbe: IMEC Éditeur, 2007. 603 p. 24 cm. (Collection Inventaires). ISBN 2-908295-84-9: EUR 29 [08-1/2-003]

Panorama des revues littéraires à la Libération: août 1944-octobre 1946 [Panorama of Literary Reviews after Liberation: August 1944–October 1946]. Caroline Hoctan. Saint-Germain-la-Blanche-Herbe: IMEC Éditeur, 2006. 703 p. ill. 24 cm. (Collection Inventaires). Dr. Phil. diss., Université de Paris IV, 2004. ISBN 2-908295-81-4: EUR 29 [08-1/2-004]

Stemming in part from the author’s doctoral thesis, these two bibliographies present a detailed description of French literary reviews appearing under the German occupation during World War II and then during the period immediately after the liberation of France.

The first volume describes 85 titles, including 65 legally published journals, five underground journals, 11 journals published overseas in North Africa and America, five political-literary journals published by the German occupiers, and six journals published by French prisoners of war. The description of each journal is divided into five sections:

(1) title, format, publisher/editorial address, length and frequency of publication; (2) printer addresses, censorship measures, circulation, area of distribution, individual issue and subscription prices; (3) persons associated with the journal such as founders, editors, directors; (4) issue-by-issue tables of contents giving author and title but no pagination; and (5) text excerpts, history and characterization of the journal, secondary literature, archival sources, and location of exemplars utilized for the bibliography.

In a similar manner, the second volume describes in alphabetical order 154 literary journals appearing between the end of German occupation in August 1944 and the beginning of the Fourth Republic on October 27, 1946.

Both volumes contain detailed introductions with directions for the user and chronological surveys. Unfortunately, the name indexes for both volumes refer only to the journal title in which the named person’s contribution appeared, necessitating a tiresome search through many pages in order to find a sought-for citation.

Both bibliographies are important building blocks parts in the IMEC’s (Institut Mémoires de l’Édition Contemporaraine) effort to provide better national-bibliographic control of French periodicals.[sh/rc]


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