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Bulletin Of The Comediantes Vol. XVI Fall, 1964 No. 2 Tirso's Satire of Ruiz de Alarcon Ruth Lee Kennedy, University of Arizona Hartzenbusch1 was apparently the first to suggest that Gabriel Téllez and Ruiz de Alarcón were collaborators. In the Segunda parte, a bibliographical conundrum which in 1635 was put out under the name Gabriel Téllez (i.e., Tirso), the dramatist, on dedicating that volume, indicated the intervention of others (NBAE, IV, Hx): ". . . la dedico, destas doce comedias, cuatro que son mías en mi nombre y en el de los dueños de las otras ocho (que no sé por qué infortunio suyo, siendo hijas de tan ilustres padres las echaron a mis puertas) las que restan. . . ." Hartzenbusch — with this declaration on Téllez's part — would go in search of an author for the plays that were not Tirso's; and, having at hand an abusive copla which linked the names of the two, he would find that collaborator in Juan Ruiz de Alarcón. This suggestion would influence critics for a century. As late as 1951, E. Abreu Gómez ( Teatro completo de Don Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, México, D. F., viii) wrote: "En medio de estas tormentas, es posible que haya encontrado alivio en la amistad de Tirso de Molina. . . ." On this occasion, however, we cannot attempt to resolve the bibliographical history of the many attempts to place, in whole or in part, this or that individual play in Tirso's or Alarc ón's theatre. What we shall strive to do in this short study is merely to show that the Mercedarian was an enemy of Ruiz de Alarcón, one who satirized him harshly and repeatedly; that it is therefore highly improbable that the two should have written plays "de consuno ." The one bit of satire against Alarcón that is consistently linked with Tirso's name is a décima attributed to Luis Téllez, one which was written in connection with the famous Relación poética which bears Alarcón's name. This account (in octaves ) of the fiestas which were given in August of 1623 to speed the departing Prince of Wales had been commissioned by Cea, Marqu és de Cañete. Faced with a task which was for him by its very nature difficult — it had been stipulated that it should be in lenguaje culto — Alarc ón was so unwise as to call on other poets of the court for their help. When the hodge-podge that resulted brought Madrid's jeers, not cheers, and when Alarcón would not share the financial reward with his collaborators, the latter brought him to burlesque trial with a series of satirical décimas. The one attributed to Luis Téllez — the copyist , no doubt, unconsciously anticipated the "Luis" of Vélez's décima that immediately follows — reads as follows (BAE, LII, 587): Don Cohombro de Alarcón, un poeta entre dos platos, cuyos versos los silbatos temieron y con razón, escribió una Relación de las fiestas, que sospecho que, por no ser de provecho, la han de poner entredicho; porque·es todo tan mal dicho, como el poeta mal hecho. The décima is undoubtedly Gabriel BULLETIN OF THE COMEDIANTES Published in the Spring and Fall by the Comediantes, an informal, international group of all those interested in the comedia. Editor William M. Whitby University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona Associate Editor Karl-Ludwig Selig University of Texas Austin, Texas Business Manager J. W. Peters Muskingum College New Concord, Ohio Subscription: $2 a year Téllez's, as we shall soon see, for not only will this décima find echoes in his theatre but also others, written on that same occasion. With two words only, "don Cohombro ," Tirso has reduced to the absurd Alarcón's claim to the honorable old title of don. Sir Cucumber! But in order to know just how absurd it sounded to Madrilenian ears of the day, one must keep in mind how ugly was that particular species of the cucurbitaceous vine. Covarrubias wrote in his Tesoro of 1611: ". . . los cohombros luengos que se crían an...


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