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Reviews377 tomatic of a society in which the traditional bonds of loyalty and fraternity were weakening as a result of the numerous changes—demographic, economic , social, legal, and political—that rapid growth and development . . . had engendered" (Lawsuits and Litigants in Castile, 1500-1700 20, qtd. 191). In his final chapter Blue engages with A.A. Parker's now classic formulation of Golden-Age drama. To Parker's assertion that the comedia (in contrast to Shakespearean theater) lacks distinctive characterization, Blue, in response, analyzes several plays in which self-definition involves complex negotiations, and is achieved only at the cost of flouting societal strictures , gender and class boundaries in particular. Though the status quo is reinstated , the "laying bare" ofthe dominant ideology could provoke an audience to greater awareness. Our appreciation of the works analyzed is greatly enhanced by the details and relevance ofthe non-literary materials cited (legal and governmental documents, treatises of moralists, architectural histories, etc.). There is, however, a methodological flaw. The premise ofthe book is that the comedies ofthe 1620s differ from those before or after (vii), yet no comparisons with other plays are offered to substantiate this claim. The expectation, then, is that the reader accept the argument as an article offaith. Marcia L. Welles Barnard College Tirso de Molina. El burlador de Sevlla y convidado depiedra. Ed. James A. Parr. Spanish Classical Texts, Number One. Pegasus Paperbacks. Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies. 1994. $8.00. I was asked to evaluate this edition as a textbook for a class, so I gave copies to a couple of students in a beginning graduate level course on Golden Age comedia to get their reactions. The rest of the students used other editions. I report on their reactions. They found the introduction to be a reasonable , brief guide to the principal characters, though they thought the judgments ofthe women characters, following Ruth Lundelius, "imprudentes , irresponsables, desobedientes, orgullosas, lascivas, débiles y rebeldes" (?) harsh, especially since at times Don Juan got off rather lightly, "es un joven que vive espontáneamente como un niño" (5). Parr, they said, does comment on Don Juan's sadistic treatment of women and on his negative 378BCom, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Winter 1997) reputation based on infamy rather than honor, but the students seemed to focus on the long list of adjectives attributed to the women. They found the section "Metáfora, Símbolo, Simetría" interesting ifa bit formalistic. On the question of authorship, they found the discussion useful and satisfying. They thought the bibliography was helpful. In general, they believed the text footnotes enlightening but the sidenote explanations ofparticular words were to them more distracting than effective. Overall, they liked the paperback edition, the print, and the price, especially the price since, they calculated , at that rate all ofthe plays we used in the course would have cost less than four ofthe novels they were reading as part ofanother course. Now to some degree, their "review" was unfair because they were second-year graduate students and had already had some experience with the comedia before entering the class. Moreover, El burlador was the sixth play we read in the course so by then they had had even more experience. Thus their comments on the introduction and the sidenotes need to be contextualized . Also such comments might not have been forthcoming from undergraduates. Unfortunately, I did not teach an undergraduate course where I could have really given the edition a fair trial. There, I believe, the students would have loved the introduction, the footnotes, and the sidenotes , which, probably, they would have wanted even more of. I also found the text to be easy to read, and Parr's disagreements with what other critics had said about certain passages in the play were fun and spirited. In an undergraduate course, I personally do not get into the authorship question — I am more concerned that they can read and understand the dialog, the action, and the meaning —, and in a beginning level graduate course, I touch on the problem only lightly. As a result, I found Parr's discussion of "Autoría" about right (for another view, see Ruano, BCom 45...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 377-378
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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