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Devil [Hardcover]

Luther Link


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (June 27 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810932261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810932265
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,056,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Library Journal

Because the emphasis of medieval art was primarily religious, the figure of the Devil played a frequent, forbidding role. The symbolism of the Devil yielded to many influences through time and cultural change. Following the evolution of this motif, Link (literature, Aoyama Gakuin Univ., Tokyo) examines the art and literature of the Middle Ages, leaning heavily on literary references. Though his topic could have been fascinating, Link fails to provide a cohesive treatise. Instead of following historical developments, he jumps from concept to concept. The illustrations, though pertinent, are not always coordinated with the text. The research is insightful, but the lack of organization and curt, choppy text get in the way. Only for larger academic libraries.?Karen Ellis, Baldwin Boettcher Lib., Humble, Tex.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Our communal obsessions seem to have shifted--at least in the area of supernatural beings: Angels are pass‚, the Devil is ``in.'' Andrew Delbanco calls for his resurrection; psychoanalyst Carl Goldberg uses the phrase ``speaking with the devil'' as a metaphor for his work with malevolent patients; Elaine Pagels scrutinizes Satan's roots. Even Philip Roth's Mickey Sabbath (or is it Mickey Sabbat?) bears a striking resemblance to the proud, rebellious, orgiastic Prince of Darkness. And now we are treated to his image in art. Link, a scholar of Elizabethan drama, considers the development of Satan in Western sculpture and painting: the supposed impact of the hairy, horned Pan; the role of the Egyptian dwarf deity, Bes; the addition of black bat-wings in the 14th century, in the work of Giotto. But, according to Link, the Devil never attained the power in visual art that he did in literature. Just as well--he is perhaps a creature who flourishes best in the imagination. But, please--no books about people's personal encounters with the fallen angel. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here are some reviews that led me to buy this book April 10 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A provocative study of the iconography of Hell's monarch. A scholarly work which covers the period of medieval and Renaissance Christianity from the 4th to the 16th centuries. THE TIMES [London] December 23, 1995 A masterful analysis of the iconography of the Christian Devil.... Richly illustrated... and enlivened by a dry wit, this traces the currents of thought in the early and medieval church and how they were reflected in the developing portrayals of the Devil.... Much more than art history, this [book] is full of fascinating insights. FORTEAN TIMES, August-September, 1995 Painfully relevant to today's world of violence and wars. INTERNATIONAL MINDS Luther Link has made this extremely thorough examination of the depiction of [the Devil] in Christian art. His purpose, though, goes further than yet another book of art history.... The book explores thoroughly a bye-way not often trodden in the history of art and is well illustrated and presented... This book is a brave and scholarly attempt to examine objectively an unfathomable mystery [evil] from several points of view. NEW DIRECTIONS, December, 1995 As comprehensive a guide as any could wish to the appearances of the Evil One in art and literature through the ages.... Luther Link's book brings the question of the Devil nearer to our own time. THE HERALD [Glasgow], January 22, 1996 Professor Link gives us a tour de force of a book, replete with splendid illustrations. Not all his answers may be right, but he asks the important question: Do we see evil as something internal to the human soul, or as something external, in the figure of a devil. CHURCH TIMES, September 22, 1955 Luther Link sets about untangling the figures of Satan, Lucifer and the Devil, both through philology and iconography.... Link's philological exposition is entertaining and succinct, and he then goes on to set about the same task iconographically. This is also highly entertaining and very informative.... This is a book worth arguing with, written with verve, wit and passion. THE SPECTATOR, July 1, 1995 ********** Beautifully written and magnificently illustrated, Luther Link's The Devil is the most complete and analytic history of the image of Satan in Western art ever written. This definitive work on the iconography of Satan is a good read as well as reliable scholarship. JEFFREY BURTON RUSSELL Professor of History and Religious Studies, U of California, Santa Barbara [The leading scholar and authority on demonology and Satanism] SUNDAY MAINICHI[magazine /Japan]] Sept. 12/19 A valuable interpretation of the iconography of the Devil in Europe during the Middle Ages. It also sharply points to how Christian societies blame the Devil for evil which they are reluctant to face in themselves.... There are revealing comparisons of the Devil in Western art and certain features of Buddhist deity depictions.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST for understanding a basic element of our civilization Aug. 10 1998
By sebald@imap1.asu.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Here is a plethora of Christianity's presentation, representation, and mispresentation of the Devil. It traces the Fiend's image back to antiquity (Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia,etc.) and shows how Christianity adopted ancient deities as horned, beaked, snouted demons and devils. The illustrations are rich and detailed. But the book is more than art discussion, it is a mature and objective assessment of the role of the Devil in Western people's mindset. The book ends appropriately on the psychological function of the concept of the Devil, namely to help rationalize evil deeds and place the cause of evil outside of human responsibility. An excellent book, not only of scholarly quality but also of entertaining value. Whoever desires to understand Western culture, must read this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devil Iconography May 3 2001
By Margaret Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While I have almost completed this book, I am finding Mr. Link's research on the subject to be quite thorough. I enjoy obtaining knowledge which has been covered from all possible perspectives. One problem...What does the word "psychostasy" mean? One example of it's use is on page 117. I have looked in my own dictionary and online in Encarta, and have found no definitions. Anyone?
hatrick@texas.net

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