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EL LACA YO FINGIDO: NEW EVIDENCE AGAINST LOPE'S AUTHORSHIP PHILIP SMYTH North Texas State University The text of the play El lacayo fingido has come down to us from the Spanish Golden Age in a single edition. It is found in a volume printed in Madrid in 1617 and entitled Cuatro comedias famosas de don Luis de Góngora y Lope de Vega. The other three works of the collection are Las firmezas de Isabela, Los Jacintos y celoso de sí mismo, and Las burlas y enredos de Benito. The editor, a certain Antonio Sánchez, neglects to indicate which of the two authors wrote which plays,' but in other extant and rather-authoritative early editions Las firmezas de Isabela is attributed to Góngora and Los Jacintos y celoso de sí mismo to Lope. 2 Las burlas y enredos de Benito was considered unworthy of either of the two great Golden Age poets by its only modern editor, Emilio Cotarelo. * Later experts have agreed heartily with his rejection of Lope as the author, and no conspicuously published comment has ever favored Góngora's candidacy for the dubious honor/ As for El lacayo fingido, tradition has ascribed it to Lope due almost entirely to the appearance of such a title in his own partial listing of his writings to date in the first edition of El peregrino en su patria, of 1604. s The names of literary works, however, were among elements often plagiarized during the Golden Age. To cite two of the best-known instances, Calderón borrowed the titles of his El alcalde 45 46Bulletin ofthe Comediantes de Zalamea and El médico de su honra. Furthermore, considerable objective evidence has been adduced against the authenticity of several preserved plays whose titles correspond exactly to listings in either the original edition of the Peregrino or the sixth, of 1618, where the enumeration was extended. Morley and Bruerton, for example, considered definitely non-Lopean the plays Antonio Roca, El engaño en la verdad, La esclava de su hijo, and Los Monteros de Espinosa. 6 Distinguished scholars familiar with El lacayo fingido who have unhesitatingly accepted the traditional attribution of the play include Cotarelo,7 Hugo A. Rennert, Americo Castro,' S. Griswold Morley and Courtney Bruerton.' Two other eminent literary historians, however, have expressed doubts about the play's authorship. The first to do so was José F. Montesinos, who limited himself to remarking unspecifically that «el lenguaje de bastantes pasajes presenta particularidades que no suelen darse en Lope.»'" J.H. Arjona went much farther, arguing forcefully in a lengthy article that «a careful examination of the rhyme and orthoepy of El lacayo fingido does not bear out its attribution to Lope de Vega.»" As principal non-Lopean features found in the text under consideration he cited an abuse of aiitorhymes, a generalized aspiration of h, and a predominance of syneresis over azeuxis in contiguous occurrences of weak tonic and strong atonic vowels. Although the aspiration of h might, of course, betray an Andalusian author, it should be emphasized here that Arjona did not imply the play to be from Góngora's pen, nor did Montesinos before him. Both simply expressed reservations regarding Lope's authorship of the work. Arjona's article contains the observation that «there are many other aspects of the rhyme of El lacayo fingido that could be studied to ascertain whether its attribution to Lope de Vega is correct.» The writing of the present article was prompted by the suggestion implicit in that remark, although the focus here will not be upon rhyme, as Arjona proposed, but rather upon another aspect of prosody, namely, meter. Forty-two of Lope's plays are known to have survived into the twentieth century in at least partially holographic form, that is, in the author's own handwriting. A few of the manuscripts in question have disappeared during the last several decades, but modern scholars' transcriptions of forty have been published. '2 It seems appropriate, first, to examine objectively measurable metrical characteristics in the forty texts unquestionably preserved as Lope wrote them, next, to study the same characteristics in El lacayofingido, and finally, to see whether...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-0928
Print ISSN
0007-5108
Pages
pp. 45-50
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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