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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 Comedía 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 term of reference. A scrutiny of "Works Cited" reveals a praiseworthy extensive range of literary criticism. This bibliography is "new style," and is proof of the merits of putting brief entries in brackets within the text, which direct the reader to the source-listing at the end. At times the use of philosophical-theological-semiological-symbolicstructural -semantic-figurative expression and reference leads, to my mind, to the point of jargon. As a disciple of Lope de Vega's plain style, I ask whether some phrases could not be put in a simpler way? — for example, on page 4: "their semiological system of signification." Words like "existential," "actantially," and "epiphany" (not January 6!) are almost flogged to death through frequent use throughout the book. Surely Gil Vicente himself never had in mind the many subtle deductions arrived at by Garay from analysis and scrutiny of the plays. Seventy-four pages of this monograph are devoted to pre-Vicentine con- 162BCom, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Summer 1990) siderations. This considerable portion of the book is ably carried forward. If any criticism is needed here, perhaps this section is too lengthy and involved. Pages 75-109 are given to "The Scope of the Vicentine Secular Perspective," pages 111-174 are devoted to the Comedia de Rubena, and pages 175-216 to the Comedia do ?????. At the beginning of the Garay book is a perspicacious "Prefacio " by Massaud Moisés (with a translation into English by Richard A. PrêtoRodas ) . Moisés points out that the two plays in question have been "selected not only for their intrinsic poetic and theatrical qualities but also for having been written mainly in Spanish" (page xvii). I am not in agreement with the repeated finding that Gil Vicente was "early Renaissance." For me he was "thoroughly medieval in outlook" and was continnuing "medievalism, in its best sense, in all of his activities" (my Gil Vicente, New York, 1967, page 144). And while Garay is stressing the idea of "early Renaissance," on pages 191-192 of his book for example, he is quoting Beckerman , who is referring to "the late medieval (italics mine) conception [of evil] so prevalent in Elizabethan drama." Garay, in many pages, ¡s very right in giving emphasis to the fact that in the case of the Vicentine plays there is a closeness of audience to dramatist, with a great influence of the former on the latter, and also that the twentieth century critic "must not judge the efforts of these early playwrights . . . within the dramatic parameters of another age as has been done often with Gil Vicente." "It is extremely important, instead," — he continues — "to analyze the dramatic skill of these 'primitivos' ... in light of the historical and national realities in which they wrote...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 161-163
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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