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Reviews293 the cases of Ayllón and Tabernas (and possibly of Carelle, Extremera and Lamego, even at that time probably mere hamlets). The work of transcription of this large MS has been exemplary and assured, so that the handful of apparent enors may be typographical. Such must be the tildes over vowels (43,44), when the principles of transcription specified (39) siempre por acento agudo. A few tentative emendations: "cara de ramilletes para Nuestra Señora" recte "caxa de ramilletes"; "no Querol" (187) as a Valencian surname, recte "Noguerol"; "naveras" (239) recte "navetas"; "cobrar algunas dudas" (314) recte "deudas" ; "dubda en que fuere" (416) recte "en que fuera"; "sole" recte "solo" (546); "marabides" (556) recte "marabedis"; and "contralor" (a speculation, notes to 243) recte "controlador" (if it existed as a word in 1723). "Mallorquies" seems unusual for "mallorquines" (32) and "Alavés" is not so unusual a surname (322); Palau, for example, has several instances . So this MS, known and used for so long by generations of historians of the theater, in its highly unreliable and disordered state, has been rendered completely accessible by Professors Shergold and Varey. It must be consulted by those interested in the history of European histrionismo at large, as well as by specialists in the drama of the Siglo de Oro, who are now privileged to have this work of reference, and often of entertainment. ALAN SOONS Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, West Germany Susana Hernández-Araico. Ironía y tragedia en Calderón. Potomac, Maryland: Scripta Humanística, 1986. 153 pages. The function of irony in the dramas of the Golden Age has long been recognized; indeed, its presence is a critical part of the movement toward a réévaluation of the Comedia that can be observed in studies published in the last two decades and earlier. Susana Hernández-Araico contributes to this reassessment with her discussion of the carnivalesque elements of Calderonian tragedy. In her book, she maintains that the central purpose of these elements is to create an implicit contrast to the dominant values of the society these dramas portray and in the process undermine their relevance. Hernández-Araico accepts the idea that the Comedia serves as a sounding board for the aristocratic-monarchic system (agreeing in this respect with Maravall and Diez Borque) , but insists that 294BCom, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Winter 1 987) the dramatists, far from being the apologists for the system, were, in effect, keenly aware of the diverse social implications contained in their works. She maintains that the implications that emanate from the juxtaposition of popular and elite cultures are critical components of the re-consideration of established values made necessary by the crisis that pervaded Spanish society during the seventeenth century. Referring to Mikhail Bakhtin, the author proposes that the decadence of national traditions often coincides with the flowering of the satirical mode. In the Comedia this is reflected in the constant use of the conflict between appearance and reality and in particular in the use of the gracioso. She draws a connection between the political decadence of the Spanish empire, the development of ascetic literature which stressed heavily the illusory nature of existence , and the carnivalesque element of literature which challenges the code of official idealistic values by advancing the importance of sex, food and mere survival . The gracioso is the means through which the "burla carnavalesca de los idéalos nobles" is effected (p. 17). It is instructive to note that the author separates herself from the Diez Borque thesis that the Comedia undertakes an open apologia of the aristocraticmonarchic system. She points out that it would not have been possible for a commercial enterprise that depended on the good will of the authorities to challenge them openly, that the escapist nature of the Comedia prevented it from seeking a restructuring of society, and that its wholehearted acceptance on the part of the public does not automatically exclude the existence of popular opposition. She suggests that the mask that the Comedia puts on social conditions in order to cover up society's failures makes patent the contradictions inherent between representation and reality. The Comedia, therefore, serves not as a means of...


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