Damned: An Illustrated History of the Devil

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9782020629294: Damned: An Illustrated History of the Devil
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Damned explores the long, dark history of one of the most influential figures in Western history: the Devil. With an extraordinary array of images from medieval illuminated manuscripts and Renaissance painting to modern cinema, comic strips, and advertising, Damned portrays the Devil in both religious and secular realms, while the text traces the Devil's evolution from the sadistic beast of the monastic imagination to the Devil who lurks inside every pleasure-seeking individual today.

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About the Author:

Robert Muchembled is a prominent scholar of early modern history at the Universite Paris XIII and is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He lives in France.

From Publishers Weekly:

This wickedly attractive coffee-table book by Muchembled, a Parisian scholar who specializes in the history of witchcraft, traces the devil from the 12th century to the present. Satan, writes Muchembled, represents "the dark side of Western culture" and is a product of the human imagination, so any analysis of Old Scratch reveals a great deal about the changing landscapes of Europe and America through the ages. One particularly intriguing chapter touches on contemporary themes: how psychoanalysis has changed our view of the devil, how horror films have depicted Satan and how recent marketers have blithely employed his image to sell products. Muchembled doesn't have time for real depth of analysis in the short essays that form the text of this book, which is a pity, because he offers some provocative insights and sharp cultural critique. The real star is the book's full-color art, with its dazzling display of images from medieval manuscripts to contemporary comics. We see depictions of masks, cartoons, sketches, masters' paintings, facsimiles of broadsides, woodcuts and carvings of the devil through the ages. All are accompanied by Muchembled's incisive (and occasionally mordant) commentary.
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Robert Muchembled
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