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Reviews117 have a stately poetic cadence. However, the true translator's test is the rendering oigracioso's comic speeches and the extended passages ofamorous/ humorous repartee, so loaded with suggestive and obscure word play. Enriquez excelled at producing these passages, and McGaha likewise excels at translating them intact. Both the Spanish and English texts are carefully annotated with much useful information. Finally, attesting to McGaha's scrupulous attention to detail is the precise adjustment of Spanish and English texts which confront each other almost exactly. Since the English text is invariably shorter than the Spanish, McGaha has used beautiful historiated capitals to fill up the extra space and add a decorative aspect. McGaha himselftypeset the text using a variety of computer generated type faces and graphics. Certainly one could not ask for a better edition-translation or a more beautiful presentation. Glen F. Dille Bradley University Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. Feminism and the Honor Plays ofLope de Vega. Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures 4. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue UP, 1994. Cloth. 324 pp. $39.95. Feminism and the Honor Plays ofLope de Vega accomplishes more than its title promises. This study goes beyond Donald Larson's The Honor Plays of Lope de Vega (1977), not only by focusing on the images and treatment ofwomen in these works, but also by defining how they construct gender roles for noblemen and women, as well as for members of other social classes and racial groups. Yarbro-Bejarano defines honor plays as those in which a husband believes that a rival pursues his wife. The husband's belief can, but does not always, lead to bloody vengeance. Yarbro-Bejarano extends her definition slightly to include two plays that focus on single women (Fuenteovejuna and El robo de Dina), because of the vengeance taken by their family members. By defining honor plays in this way, the critic can focus her study on a large body ofplays (nearly 50), providing the advantages of familiarizing the reader with numerous infrequently studied texts and making it possible to read the Comedia as popular culture intended for mass consumption. On the other hand, because so many plays are treated and because Yarbro-Bejarano has chosen to refer to the plays by shortened titles, the reader will likely remember five or six exceptional plays that invert or exaggerate the conventional characteristics ofthe group. 118BCom, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Summer 1997) Yarbro-Bejarano has read widely in the fields of feminist theory and gender studies, as well as the history of women and minorities in seventeenth -century Spain and Europe; her book's bibliography is extensive and instructive. She brings this background to bear on her treatment of Lope's honor plays in ways that will help students of the Comedia recognize the value of such approaches and that make it possible for women's studies scholars to become aware of and gain some familiarity with the Comedia. The jargon associated with current cultural studies, reception theory and psychoanalytic approaches to these issues can be daunting. Yarbro-Bejarano alleviates this difficulty somewhat by introducing and defining her terms in the introduction, but nearly every page of the book contains names of and citations from the critics and theorists on whom she bases her arguments . This heavy reliance on others' wording sometimes obscures her insightful analyses ofLope's plays. Following the introduction, the book's first four chapters deal with the plays' always provisional success at enclosing and containing women characters , their speech, their gaze, and their desire, upon all ofwhich male honor depends. The female body is objectified as the "site of male pleasure... and power" (86) and as the sign ofpunishment, at the same time that honor plays demonstrate a latent lack of security about sexual identity in the culture of the crumbling empire. The male characters in this system must protect their women as exchangeable property at the same time that the system compels them to exploit the property of other men. Women characters respond to their constructed roles by using strategies such as silence, gazing, or disguise, particularly cross-dressing (sometimes in order to restore a husband 's masculinity); the plays' endings always strip these characters oftheir temporary subjectivity...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 117-119
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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