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DANIEL L. HEIPLE, INMEMORIAM FREDERICK A. DE ARMAS When Ed Friedman asked me to write of Daniel L. Heiple's scholarly achievements, I told him that if I were to do this, I really wanted to say more, I wanted to remember Dan as a human being, as a friend and as a scholar. And yet, there is no way that I can even begin to do justice to the life of such an erudite scholar, ofsuch a caring friend, of such a truly gentle and high-minded human being. The next few pages contain some remembrances — that is all. We met at the Modern Language Association meeting in San Francisco in 1979. It may have been on the 29th, when Dan read a paper on "Gutiene's Witty Diagnosis in El médico de su honra'' The MLAs were still a bit overwhelming for me, and I was glad to run into Tony Zahareas. He pointed to the panel and told me there was someone there that I must meet, that I had to meet. He said he had told Dan the same thing. In fact, Tony said, we were neighbors since I taught at LSU and Dan had recently been appointed Assistant Professor at Tulane University. I had heard of Dan. He had published an absolutely amazing article while still a graduate student at the University of Texas, working on his dissertation with Alexander Parker. A great polemic had ensued after the publication of H. B. Hall's 1968 essay on La vida es sueño. Going against Everett Hesse's characterization of Segismundo as the perfect prince and Alexander Parker's notion ofpoetic justice, Hall had argued that Segismundo 's imprisonment of the rebel soldier was not an act fitting of a perfect prince, but illustrated certain precepts by Machiavelli. Although Parker had rushed to answer this attack and many others had rushed to take sides on the matter producing vibrant and important contributions to the study of this most canonical ofplays, it was Dan Heiple's erudite and measured response that always remained in my mind. Heiple placed the incarceration within a 8 BCom, Vol. 51, No. 1 & 2 (1999) very long tradition derived from Cicero and Plutarch and taken up by Cervantes , Lope, Tirso, and Calderón. It is difficult to argue with such a careful and scholarly depiction of a tradition that shows that the traitor must be punished. So, Heiple's article was rarely cited in the controversy.1 In fact, many ofhis clearest and most important essays stand alone, since it is difficult to argue with them. So now I listened to Dan's paper and found that yet again he was weaving a brilliant argument on yet another of Calderón's canonical texts. This time he utilized his extensive knowledge ofGolden Age medical theories to show how medicine was more thanjust an empty metaphor in El médico de su honra. In the subsequently published article he concludes that "Corrupt air is clearly the cause Calderón gives for the metaphorical disease. . . Gutiene mentions air causing death in an aside. . . Later he tells Mencia that air can be dangerous to her health" (83). The relationship he establishes between rumor (which endangers Gutierre's honor) and wind (corrupt air) is masterful and opens up the door for subsequent interpretations of the play using seventeenth-century medical traditions.2 Overwhelmed by his knowledge and insight, I showed Dan my early essay on Celestina and the humors.3 He countered with his brilliant piece on Don Quijote which Anthony Zahareas had invited him to publish in Ideologies and Literature. To this day, I cannot teach Cervantes' novel without reference to "Renaissance Medical Psychology in Don Quijote." His careful study ofhow the six non-naturals (air, food, sleep and wakefulness, evacuation, exercise and the passions) affect the knight's behavior is proof that scholars must pay attention to Renaissance medical theories in order to fully comprehend many of the literary texts ofthe period. Dan's emphasis on Don Quijote as a melancholy scholar ran counter to Otis Green's traditionally accepted view of the choleric knight. Dan's theories would later be supported by Teresa...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 7-19
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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