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Reviews149 William Oliver's instructive and witty «Lope de Who? A Director's Do's, Don't's, and Headaches,» which is a relation of the difficulties encountered in the translation and direction of La dama boba. The problems range from the coaching of amateur actors into a familiarity with the seventeenth century mind set, to the techniques of presentation, down to the transfer of meaning in translating. Francisco Ruiz Ramón insists in his «Sobre la adaptación del texto clásico: La hija del aire de Calderón» that the need for adaptation arises from the historical distance between the text and the actor/spectator—a distance which for maximum understanding must be suppressed and maintained. Two other papers, Susana Hemández-Aralco's «Texto y espectáculo en La hija del aire...» and Arturo Pérez-Pisonero's «La parodia como solución al conflicto dramático de El viejo celoso,» round out the volume. These studies reaffirm the time worn axiom that the comedia was, first and foremost, a medium ofpopular dramatic entertainment and that consequently the very comprehension of our literary texts depends on retaining a lively awareness of the entire context of their presentation as theater. Through the shifting vision of the generations and the different modes of interpretation there will always be profit in a steady recollection that the interrelationship of the «stage and the page» are deeply enmeshed and mutually enriching. The comedia as literature and as theater has been well served in this Symposium collection. Ruth Lundelius University of Georgia ZIOMEK, HENRYK. A History of Spanish Golden Age Drama. Lexington : The University Press of Kentucky, 1984. 246 pp. $25.00 cloth, $10.00 paper. There are numerous pitfalls for the writer of a manual of literature. One can exhaust such terms as first, most, and best, and can carry reductionism to absurd lengths. Generalization, frowned upon in other circles, is a fact of life here. Last, and perhaps least, the author is at the mercy of critics poised to catch the questionable datum, the unqualified detail, the bibliographical omission. In the case of the comedia, the sheer bulk of the dramatic and critical corpus adds to the problematic nature of the enterprise. The ultimate test of a work of this kind is its usefulness 150BCom, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Summer 1985) to students of literature. The text must do justice to its subject matter, serve specialists, yet remain accessible to a general readership. And it should stand up against the competition. A History of Spanish Golden Age Drama is an attractive and informative volume. Henryk Ziomek includes a brief historical introduction, a survey of Spanish drama prior to Lope de Vega, and chapters devoted to Lope de Vega and the formation of the comedia, Lope's contemporaries, Calderón, Calderón's contemporaries, and the comedia after 1700. He sets the stage, so to speak, with background material on the development of drama in Spain and on the lives of the playwrights. The major portion of the text is dedicated to a review of the dramatic output of the Golden Age, ordered chronologically by author and within each section by type of play. Ziomek attempts to foreground the contributions of each dramatist, the range and worth of his creation. The hierarchy, of course, favors Lope and Calderón—followed by Tirso de Molina and Ruiz de Alarcón, Rojas Zorrilla and Moreto—and extends to a number of minor writers. The presentation is straightforward and clearly written, full (arguably too full) of titles and dates, and with brief commentaries on the plays. For the most part, Ziomek's history fares well when judged against the pitfalls alluded to in the first paragraph. In this genre, qualification and evaluation are probably necessary evils, distractions more than intrusions . Consider, for example, the statements that «Torres Naharro's Comedia Himeneo (The Play ofHymen) is considered the best Spanish dramatic work before the comedia» (p. 16) and «As a dramatist Cervantes was not an innovator but seems to have been influenced by the classicists Virués and Argensola» (p. 27). The treatment of Lope's critics (pp. 40 ff.) obscures the issue by faulting them...


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