Monday, June 29, 2015

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski's "The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims: A Medieval Woman Between Demons and Saints by Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski.

The entry begins:
Unlike my previous scholarly books this one actually has a plot and a riveting one at that. A simple woman named Ermine, widowed and penniless in late medieval Reims, moves into a room near her confessor, an Augustinian friar, whose ambition is to make her a saint. For the last ten months of her life she has horrible visions of demons in human and animal shape that invade her room and even take her on an aerial journey on a demonic flying horse. She’s middle-aged and apparently still attractive to some men since at one point she receives a marriage proposal. Her confessor is accused of having a sexual interest in her and demons accost her in the street calling her a whore. After her death of the plague in 1396 her confessor gets in touch with Jean Gerson, the powerful chancellor of the University of Paris -- who’s a kind of arbiter of the supernatural -- and sends him the text of the visions that he transcribed from Ermine’s testimony. He wants Gerson’s opinion on whether Ermine was indeed saintly. Gerson is ultracautious (he says neither yes, nor no) but twenty years later condemns her as an impostor.

So there are some juicy roles in this drama. First of all Ermine: she’s illiterate but seems to have some charisma. My first choice would be the Belgian actress...[read on]
Writers Read: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski.

My Book, The Movie: The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims.

--Marshal Zeringue