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160BCom, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Summer 1990) Burton, David G. The Legend of Bernardo del Carpio From Chronicle to Drama. Washington: Scripta Humanística, 1989. Cloth, ix + 82 pp. $30. Juan de la Cueva's works are only now emerging from an unnecessarily long period of neglect and lack of appreciation. Historically, critics have been at variance in their observations and evaluations of this sixteenth-century Sevillian poet-dramatist. In most recent times, criticism of Juan de la Cueva has focused on the question of his influence and significance in paving the way for future generations of playwrights in particular Lope de Vega. On the other hand, some critics have either minimized or overlooked entirely the achievements of Cueva in their studies. For example, Othón Arróniz looks beyond Cueva to Italian models in his search for the beginnings of Spanish drama. Rinaldo Froldi has sought to identify the earliest seeds of the comedia as sprouting from the hands of the Valencian school of dramatists. David Burton's book is a well-timed and well-conceived study that will further the understanding of early Spanish drama and the evolution of the genre. This book clearly reminds readers by textual analyses — that Juan de la Cueva was the first Spanish dramatist to utilize Spain's medieval chronicles and ballads as source material for his dramatic creations. It was also Juan de la Cueva who was the first to relinquish the restraints of unities of time and place in his dramatic works, and by doing so, formed "a singularly important link in the evolutionary chain of the Spanish national drama prior to Lope de Vega" (3) . Without any heavy-handedness, Burton formulates a positive claim of scholarly evidence that persuades the reader of Cueva's pioneering effort to use drama for teaching and advocacy. Centering his study on the best historical play of Cueva, Burton engages the reader through six well-organized and well-documented chapters: "The Life and Works of Juan de la Cueva", "In Search of the Historical Bernardo", "The Play— Its Plot and Construction", The Play— Its Characters", "The Play as Literature and as Entertainment", and "The Play— Its Public and Personal Themes". In addition, there are three appendices which list examples of Cueva's spelling variations, tabulate the verse forms in the four-act play, and include the complete text of the dedicatory epistle of his plays to Momus. In a foreword to this book, John Lihani has observed that Burton "demonstrates in this first complete study of the Comedia de Ia libertad de España por Bernardo del Carpio that Cueva went beyond the mere presentation of the legendary hero's victory over Charlemagne's French army at Roncesvalles" (x). Indeed, Burton discusses with painstaking attention and Reviews161 documentation the epic and ballad materials of Bernardo del Carpio which formed the point of departure for Cueva's play. This most welcome monograph provides a fresh appraisal of Cueva's dramatic art and delineates the Sevillian playwright's contributions, innovations and techniques that made him a significant link between Spain's sixteenthcentury dramatic tradition and the more popular and structurally perfect plays of the seventeenth century. David Burton has made a valuable contribution to the Scripta humanística series and his book will be welcomed by scholars and students of the comedia. Randall W. Listerman Miami University Garay, René Pedro. Gil Vicente and the Development of the Comedia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989. Paper. Pp. xx, 220. (North Carolina Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures, Number 232). $17.50. This monograph is an important but difficult one, in which Garay makes use of many contemporary theoreticians of the dynamics of literature: Barthes, Beckerman, Bremond, Cirlot, Elam, Frye, Greimas, Langer, Scholes, Stumpf, Todorof, . . .,to mention only a few. These are cited by Garay in support of his deep analyses of Gil Vicente's forerunners in Europe and of his Comedia de Rubena and Comedia do ?????. The two plays are representative of Gil Vicente in his contribution to the development of the Comedia, but I find the title of the study somewhat misleading in that it, at first glance, would seem to promise a wider...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 160-161
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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