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384BCom, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Winter 1997) ography following the introduction lists only Spanish works or translations. The one English work, Walter Poesse's study of the internal line structure as a method of authenticating plays, was not applied to the work in question .. Throughout the book are a series of 1 1 interesting engravings from a 1590 Italian work which depict the costumes appropriate for the play's time and place. Unfortunately there is no editorial labeling of the costumes, no information on the engraver, the probable date of the costumes or the class to which the costume belongs. Some of the notes on the play are footnotes, which the editor claims are to explain the meaning of some words, while others are endnotes designed to note interesting details in the content, or peculiarities of the copy. Because there is no indication in the text ofwhether or not there is an endnote, I found this method both illogical and inconsistent. The notes are also not particularly extensive, consisting mostly of corrections of faulty copying. Two of the rather scanty notes attribute to emblem literature scenes which may just as easily have been general knowledge. The legend of how the beaver saves itself, for example, is found in many medieval bestiaries and Covarrubias has a rather lengthy note on its classical sources. Only a few minor errors in formatting and punctuation were noted, such as a missing question mark and a missing exclamation point, w. 55-6. The play itselfhas an interesting plot, detailing the shepherd-to-king story of Ottoman I. It is, however, extremely episodic with so many abrupt changes of scene and characters as to leave the reader thankful for the plot summary by scene division in the appendix. It has none ofthe lyricism one usually expects in Lope's plays. Its rather pedestrian metrics could be the result of faulty copying, as the editor suggests. Yet, until further studies demonstrate that the play does indeed follow Lope's metrical, rhyming, and spelling practices, I would remain hesitant to accept wholeheartedly the claim ofLope's authorship. Nancy Mayberry East Carolina University de Armas, Frederick A., editor. Heavenly Bodies. The Realms of 'La estrella de Sevilla'. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1996; London: Associated University Presses, 1996. Cloth. 294 pp. Devoting an entire text to the analysis of a single play is a daunting task Reviews385 even when the work is the recognized masterpiece ofa great playwright. To do so with an anonymous work that presents textual and structural problems to the reader is a daring venture, indeed. In spite of these initial reservations , Heavenly Bodies proves to be a fascinating collection of essays that addresses notjust La estrella de Sevilla but much larger issues of interest to scholars of the comedia. The essays are grouped under the headings "canonicity," "politics," "strategies," "text, authority, and performance," and "writing." In the first two, Frederick de Armas and James Parr discuss the concept ofthe canon in general and follow with particular consideration oí La estrella's inclusion or exclusion from it. De Armas uses the play's inclusion among those in Diez comedias del siglo de oro as the point of departure for a discussion of the political mystery underpinning the work and, ultimately, the reason for its presence in this standard American textbook. Parr considers the notion of canonicity in the context of contemporary literary theory before turning to La estrella de Sevilla, whose anonymity, he believes, forces the critic to study the work's imagery within the cultural milieu in which it appears. The essays grouped under "politics" look respectively at the role ofKing Sancho (Grace Burton and Frank Casa's contributions), Machiavellian overtones in the way razón de estado considerations affect the actions of the king (Melveena McKendrick), and the historical and literary sources of the play (Harlan Sturm). Sturm's contribution draws interesting parallels between the roles oípapeles (letters and decrees) andpalabras (oral promises and statements), an opposition that will be taken up in later essays. Under the heading of "strategies," the contributors address a variety of issues. Catherine Connor examines the social and material culture "intextuated " in the play, especially the orientalist perspective represented by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 384-386
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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