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Bulletin Of The Comediantes Vol. IV Spring, 1952 No. 1 Woífílin's Principles Applied To Lope's Fuenteovejuna1 by Darnell Roaten, Ann Arbor, Mich. Within the last twenty-five years the wordrefers to the disposition of the colors on a "Baroque" has become the center of a scholarly hurricane, so that at present it defines an area of erudition that is full of conflicting opinions on what to do and how to do it. The present paper will attempt to define briefly a central problem of the Baroque and to suggest a solution for it insofar as the Spanish theater is concerned. In the discussion of any art work, the chief problem is to understand the creative process peculiar to the individual artist and to the period of which he is a part. In relation to the Baroque theater, then, the problem is to comprehend that process as it occurs in the Golden A_ge drama. The question still remains , howerer, as to just how to approach the matter. It is sufficiently clear that the subjects of chief importance in arriving at an understanding of the process of artistic creation are form and content. The content of Baroque drama, that is to say, its subjectmatter , has been discussed exhaustively without bringing the critic much closer to an understanding of the esthetic mode of thought characteristic of the period. Form, therefore, seems to offer the most promising road to such an understanding. The problem will be approached through the plastic arts for two reasons, to wit: 1) The plastic art long ago developed the study of form to a point of considerable refinement; 2) Wolfflin 's Principles of Art History offers the only systematic study of Baroque form now extant. At the present juncture, it is expedient to define briefly the meaning that is attached here to "form" in art. In painting, form surface. In order to elucidate the forms of Baroque painting, for example, the critic must discuss, among other things, the manner in which the colors are distributed on the canvass—that is, whether they are arranged in symmetrical fashion around the center of the picture-space, or whether the distribution of the color-masses causes an unbalance to one side. In architecture, form has reference to the manner in which the walls, columns and piers define the space that they enclose, as well as the presence or absence of surface decoration applied to these members. These are some of the things that are signified by 'form" in the plastic arts. What significance can be attached to "form" in literature, or more specifically, to the theater of the Golden Age? If one wishes to discuss form in literature, he must elaborate on style or plot or both. Stylistic forms concern the figure of speech and the mode in which it is constructed. The forms of the plot, on the other hand, must deal with such matters as the manner in which incidents and scenes are combined by the artist to form a complete and integrated whole. It may also deal with the fashion in which the various characters are related to the plot and to each other. It is just here that Wolfflin's Prin1 This article is a summary of a portion of Wolfflin's Principles in Spanish Drama, 15001700 , by Darnell Roaten and F. Sánchez y Escribano, to be published by the Hispanic Institute soon. BULLETIN OF THE COMEDIANTES Published in the Spring and Fall by the Comediantes, an informal, international group of all those interested in the comedia. Editor Everett W. Hesse University of Wisconsin Madison 6, Wis. Subscription: $1 a year ciples of Art History becomes indispensable to the investigator of Baroque form in literature . It is true that Wölfflin developed his principles for the plastic arts alone, but some experimentation by the present writer has shown that if his concepts are translated into terms appropriate to the new medium, they serve to explain the literary as well as the plastic forms of the Renaissance and Baroque. This is true because Wolfflin's concepts are not merely principles of form but also principles of psychology that define the orientation toward esthetic creation...


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