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706BCom, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Summer 1997) illustrate the variety of critical responses to oppositional discourses available within a cultural studies framework. The article by the late Ruth El Saffar is typical of her entire scholarly production, a meticulously researched exploration ofthe ways in which the Renaissance creation of the autonomous subject was detrimental to women and non-Europeans. She utilizes ideas from feminist psychoanalysis as well as post-colonial and environmentalist theory in order to demonstrate the ways in which Golden Age texts such as Lazarillo de Tormes, St. Teresa's Vida and El médico de su honra succeeded in challenging accepted definitions of subjectivity. El Saffar writes that these writings demonstrate "the intricate and painful process by which a selfemerges from successive rejections ofthe structures by which they were defined" (196). Brownlee writes that this anthology seeks to provide the first collective overview of current developments in cultural studies in the context ofGolden Age Spanish cultural production. Of course, many ofthe practitioners of this approach situate their explorations of a particular form of subjectivity or authority within a broader framework, so the volume does not break totally new ground. Although only three ofthe essays directly address the comedia , the issues raised in many of the other articles are pertinent and useful to comedia scholars. Barbara Simerka U ofTexas, San Antonio Rupp, Stephen. Allegories ofKingship: Calderón and the Anti-Machiavellian Tradition. University Park: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1996. Cloth. 187 pp. US: $28.50. UK: £22.50. Stephen Rupp's book consists of an introduction, four lengthy chapters on Calderonian comedias and autos, a conclusion, a select bibliography, and an index. As the author mentions, this book constitutes the end of a project that began with his doctoral dissertation (ix) and consists of previously published material for parts of chapters 1, 2 and 4 (x). Hence, the most original and elucidating portion ofthis work would seem to be chapter 3, which deals in depth with La cisma de Inglaterra and El maestrazgo del Toisón. A problem that the present reviewer experienced was trying to understand what was meant by the terms Machiavellian and anti-Machiavellian. A strong reliance on secondary sources, sparse quotations from the author Reviews107 of The Prince, and the use of Fernández-Santamaría's terms "ethicist" and "realist" to refer to two generational positions with regard to Machiavelli's thought in the Spanish Renaissance and the Baroque, serve merely to obfuscate the issue. Reading Allegories without a basic understanding ofMachiavelli or without a more informed presentation of Fernández-Santamaría's books, Reason ofState and Statecraft in Spanish Political Thought, 15951640 and The State, War and Peace: Spanish Political Thought in the Renaissance , 1516-1559—the latter not quoted by Prof. Rupp—will, unfortunately , confuse the reader. A few examples will suffice: Rupp's book mentions that Machiavelli's view of history is cyclical, taking as proof a quotation from The Discourses 1.2 (a book not listed in the bibliography). The author oíAllegories later applies this apparent theory of repetition, "inherent in Machiavelli's procedures" (26) to study allegedly Machiavellian rulers like Basilio in La vida es sueño. The problem, ofcourse, is that this idea of repetition is not exclusive to Machiavelli. We find it in Aristotle's Politics , book III, and in Polybius. In addition, Machiavelli scholars have long noted that for this author human nature remained constant. Moreover, the Florentine believed that the ancients had attained already a political and artistic grandeur not impossible to imitate. In this respect Machiavelli is a true son of the Renaissance, not necessarily an enemy of the established truths "ofhumanist and Christian thought" (22). Another assumption oíAllegories is that Machiavelli promotes evil conduct and deceit, "the soul of virtu" (22). This thought, popular among Machiavelli's detractors, may refer to what appears to be the Florentine's most infamous statement in The Prince (ch. 1 8), not taking into consideration, for instance, his true political testament , The Discourses, where Machiavelli strongly condemns as infamous and detestable those who extirpate religion, subvert kingdoms, and make war on virtue (5.10). The key to understanding ch. 18 of The Prince...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 106-108
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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