The Multilingual Art of Commedia dell’Arte.
by Erith Jaffe-Berg
Legas, 2008; pp. 1-132
The Multilingual Art of Commedia dell’Arte is a study of multilingualism and its functioning in commedia dell’arte. A central focus of the book is to explain how a composite linguistic form made up of many idioms can be made comprehensible to the audience. The study also reflects on how actors and audience members together may find in multilingualism an important aesthetic for reflection on culture. In addition to early modern examples of commedia dell’arte, there are also many references to commedia dell’arte inspired performances, including the work of Dario Fo. Along with shining light on how multilingualism shaped and defined traditional commedia dell’arte, the Multilingual Art of commedia dell’Arte also suggests ways in which this characteristic is resonant in performances today.