Laughing in the face of the past: Satire and nostalgia in medieval heritage tourism
Emerging out of the development of local and national `heritage,ÃÂ¿medieval heritage tourism is imbricated with modern nostalgia. Yet its relationshipwith nostalgic paradigms is unstable ÃÂ¿ skeptical about the possibility of representingthe past yet striving to deliver `living history.ÃÂ¿ Comic medievalist tourist attractionshave attempted to manage this instability by operating in a paradoxical registercombining ironic edutainment with a phenomenological evocation of the past.This industryÃÂ¿s use of `medievalÃÂ¿ odor is vital to achieving this register, reinforcing theboundaries between the pungent Middle Ages and `inodorate modernityÃÂ¿ whilesimultaneously offering an experience of abject premodernity. Its satiric critique ismore frequently anti-modern, aimed at the anxieties and hypocrisies of contemporarysociety rather than at the Middle Ages.
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