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Reviews225 demonstrates the essential role the selected stage mothers play in childrearing as they strive to find a healthy medium between the extremes of excessive indulgence and over-protectiveness ofchildren. Though each of her areas of focus could perhaps be treated in greater depth in three separate book-length studies, Strother offers provocative readings of female characters and useful historical information from archival and secondary sources. She takes into account the regions and periods from which the data derive and is careful to qualify the degree to which such information may characterize Golden Age Spain. With a refreshingly democratic tone and technique, she makes her rationale transparent, allowing the reader to share in the evaluation of the various tables, figures, and testimonies. Christopher D. Gascón The State University ofNew York College at Cortland Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literatures. Ed. Barbara Simerka and Christopher B. Weimer. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 2000. 277 pp. Each of the essays of this compilation reexamines Early Modern Spanish literature through association with artistic works of other eras, nations, or media. Although comparative approaches often lead to questions of influence, the editors are quick to point out that "it is also possible to regard works that draw upon preexisting texts as examples of imitatio and renovatió" (9). Indeed, many of the studies do consider questions of influence, ifonly hypothetically. On the other hand, comparative approaches are not limited to this issue, and several studies relate distinct works by examining other types of commonalities. The text is divided into four parts, with the preponderance of comedia-relnted essays in the third and fourth parts. In the only essay ofthe first part, entitled "The Uniqueness of Spain," Walter Cohen revisits a familiar problem by focusing on the European novel and concludes that "Spanish literature is the most typical literature in Europe" (28). The second part, "Textual Strategies," includes entries on narrative by Margaret Greer, Amy Williamsen, Salvador Oropesa, Sidney Donnell, Salvador J. Fajardo, and James A. Parr. While each of 226BCom, Vol. 57, No. 1 (2005) these critics makes uniquely enlightening contributions, Donnell's analysis of Luis BuñuePs film The Criminal Life ofArchibaldo de la Cruz should be of particular interest to comedia enthusiasts. The study concentrates on the pseudopicaresque presentation of the story and demonstrates that "Carlota is like the unlucky, misunderstood wife in a Golden Age honor play" (90). "Subjectivity and Identity," the themes ofthe third part, are related to mysticism by Anne J. Cruz and to female Quixotes by Amy Pawl. In "Comedia Contributions to a Molière Masterpiece," Thomas P. Finn suggests that Lope's La dama boba and Tirso's Don Gil de las calzas verdes may be precursors to Molière's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme. Each ofthese plays presents individuals who fight against society to create their own identities. The Spanish characters are able to trick society, but do not believe in their new identities. In contrast, the French character cannot convince society, although he believes wholeheartedly in his new identity . William R. Blue's "The Unheimlich Maneuver: La dama duende and The Comedy ofErrors" highlights shared characteristics and related criticism of the two plays. In each play, characters suffer through uncanny, unheimlich events, which are farcical for the audience who knows more about the events than the characters. For the characters, "the search for the other is also a search for the self [. . .]. And, depending on the point ofview, [. . .] such searches can be hilarious or terrifying, farcical or tragic , heimlich or unheimlich" (186). The fourth part, entitled "The Discourse of Politics," includes one essay on Cervantes by Diana de Armas Wilson and four on the comedia. Perry Gether's "Power Grabbing and Court Opportunism: From Spain to France" explores the differences between Marie-Catherine Desjardin's Le Favori and the source-play, Tirso's El amory el amistad. Both plays deal with governing and reflect the personal attitudes of the playwrights; "Tirso was thoroughly dissatisfied with the then-prime minister, the Count-Duke of Olivares [. . .]. Desjardins, on the other hand, strongly approved of Louis XIV" (217). Barbara Simerka argues that Spanish and English Don Juan plays undermine orthodox discourse because the protagonists are more...


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