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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 45.2,1993). The fact is that this edition does not pretend to be more than what it is, a good, usable, clear, inexpensive classroom text. And it is just that. William R. Blue University ofKansas Simerka, Barbara, editor. El arte nuevo de estudiar comedias: Literary Theory and Golden Age Drama. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1996. Hardcover . 260 pp. $39.50. This collection of studies aims at illustrating the application to the come- Reviews379 dia of various modern theoretical/critical approaches, as well as making (in the editor's words) "a defense ofthe usefulness ofliterary theory in general ... for enriching the study ofthe comedia" (7). Although the essays included illustrate a number oftheories and methods, those grounded in poststructuralist theory and cultural studies predominate. Part of this volume's value to students of the comedia is the fact that nearly all contributors provide full and careful explanations of the theories employed, so that, among other things, this arte nuevo constitutes a useful digest ofa variety ofmodern literary theories. Those represented are deconstruction (Grace M. Burton's "Deconstruction and the Comedia: The Case for Peribáñez)" and Charles Oriel's "The Play of Presence and Absence: Writing and Supplementarity in the Comedias de privanza"); speech act theory (Catherine Larson's "The Visible and the Hidden: Speech Act Theory and Cervantes's El retablo de las maravillas"); semiotics (Edward H. Friedman's "Theater Semiotics and Lope de Vega's El caballero de Olmedo "); reader response (Susan L. Fischer's "Reader Response, Iser, and La estrella de Sevilla"); and Lacanian theory (Henry W. Sullivan's "Jacques Lacan and the Golden Age Drama"). In the section entitled "Cultural Studies and the Comedia" appear Teresa S. Soufas's "A Feminist Approach to a Golden Age Dramaturga's Play" (on Ana Caro's Valor, agravio y mujer); James T. Abraham's "The Other Speaks: Tirso de Molina's Amazonas en las Indias"; and Christopher B. Weimer's "Desire, Crisis, and Violence in Fuenteovejuna: A Girardian Perspective; Barbara Simerka's "Dramatic and Discursive Genres: La verdad sospechosa as Problem Comedy and Marriage Treatise;" and Dian Fox's "The Literary Use ofHistory: El médico de su honra in Contexts." The volume is rounded out...


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