- El pastor Fido
El pastor Fido blends two distinct allegories in its representation of the temptation, fall, and redemption of humankind and consequent celebration of the Eucharist. Images of the Good Shepherd guarding the sheep from the wolf in sheep's clothing combine with a partial retelling of the story of Guarini's Il Pastor Fido (1590, 1602), which itself had been adapted into palace comedies by Solís y Rivadeneira, Coello, and Calderón. Fernando Plata rightly points out that the auto owes little to the details of the Guarini story other than the inclusion of the cave where Amarilli was tricked by a jealous enchantress into a compromising situation and condemned by divine law to die as a sacrifice. Her lover, Mirtillo, offers to take her place, and, because they both descend from demigods, divine decrees are fulfilled, so blood sacrifices can now end. Mid-way through, the auto glosses Góngora's Romance 87 ("Guarda corderos zagala...") in a lovely dialogue between Culpa and Naturaleza humana. Luzbel and el pastor Fido are the wolf and the shepherd; the latter also steps into Mirtillo's expiatory role when Culpa coaxes Naturaleza humana to consume the forbidden fruit and enter the cave separating her from Mundo, the barba of the play.
Besides a brief consideration of theatrical antecedents, Plata's edition includes an ample discussion of the performance history of El pastor Fido in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and concludes, convincingly, that the auto was first performed for the 1678 Corpus celebrations. Plata also includes the previously unpublished loa to El pastor Fido, because it, too, can be linked to the 1678 performance. The introduction boasts a detailed review of the twelve surviving manuscripts and four editions of El pastor Fido, comparing variants and offering a theory of provenance. The edition includes facsimiles of many of the title pages of manuscripts and editions, as well as a thirty-page list of variants. Multiple footnotes adorn nearly every page of the text.
All of this arduous detective work makes this edition of El pastor Fido a laudable scholarly contribution, which of course will be of use to students of Calderón and the auto. It should definitely find a place on university library shelves. However, the edition does suffer from several errors and omissions. [End Page 152] For example, Plata, following a 1988 article by López Estrada, asserts that Guarini's play was twice translated into Spanish, in 1602 and 1622. Yet the edition overlooks López Estrada's later 1994 article announcing Isabel de Correa's publication of her translation of the play in Amsterdam and Antwerp in 1694. The footnotes tend to ignore biblical allusions originating in Old Testament books other than Genesis and Psalms; several direct references to Isaiah's imagery of the adulterous wife Israel and her jealous lover Jehovah receive no attention, for instance. In addition, Plata's footnoting generally values the accumulation of recondite detail over clarity of explanation. A mention of "aquel / duelo de joven pastor / y fiero jayán, a quien / el impulso de la piedra..." (vv. 1227-30) elicits a 25-line footnote, not only explaining that the "joven pastor" is young David confronting Goliath, but also summarizing the entire biblical episode and then citing, in Latin, numerous Church Fathers interpreting the story as the humility of Christ overcoming satanic pride. Here Plata unsteadily plays to several audiences: it is difficult to imagine any reader of El pastor Fido fluent in Latin not already quite familiar with Goliath. In contrast to this scholarly overkill, in what might be seen as one of the high points of the text—the gloss of Góngora's Romance 87—the edition merely correlates the verses of the auto with those of the poem and directs the reader to Manfred Engelbert's 1971 article "Calderón und Góngora" without further comment. Alas, notwithstanding the title of the series to which it belongs ("Edición crítica completa" of Calderón's autos sacramentales), this...