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Reviews589 public does not want to see, by shouting truths it does not want to hear. His questions for spectators offer pretexts for commenting on the relationship between reality and dramatic illusion and the authority of the stage to provide convincing models of reality. Lorca expresses in this last play his desire to embrace a much wider audience and explains his vision of the stage as a place where the authority of a private vision is publicly confirmed. Soufas points to this work as evidence that Lorca's theater was moving toward achieving the stage authority he knew was necessary to bring his theater and Spanish theater into the European mainstream. In his Conclusion Soufas reiterates that Lorca did not write in isolation from continental Modernism and that he was never a realist in the traditional sense. Rather than a return to mimesis, his most mature plays represent an enhancement of his fundamentally metadramatic approach to theater. This intriguing study of Lorca's theater production brings to light neglected dimensions of the author's art by means of a new reading premised on his authority in the face of audiences ill-equipped to accept an innovative agenda for the theater. Soufas traces the evolution of Lorca's understanding of the theater and authority that culminates in the overturning of the public's authoritative position. He finds that Lorca's ideas about theater are most developed in Play Without a Title, where the Author, willing to make the sacrifices necessary for the institution of an invigorating theater, assumes the authority and the freedom to speak truthfully to a wider audience. This volume makes an important contribution to the study of one of the most complex writers of our times. It fills a significant void in Hispanic literary criticism and is an invaluable resource for specialists in twentieth-century Spanish and European theater. CAROLYN J. HARRIS Western Michigan University Coppélia Kahn. Roman Shakespeare: Warriors, Wounds, and Women. London: Routledge, 1997. Pp. xviii +190 + 6 pis. $65.00 (casebound ); $21.99 (paperbound). It is hard to believe that Coppélia Kahn's Roman Shakespeare is only the second study (the first since Robert Miola's fourteen years ago) of all six Shakespearean works on ancient Rome. But indeed no one else has concentrated exclusively on Lucrèce, Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline , and the three PIutarehan Roman tragedies. Kahn's book is impressive, with mercifully few misprints and errors of fact. (Among the latter, I noticed misstatements about relative frequency ofreferences to Rome in the various plays, and to the supposed lack of mention in Julius Caesar of the brother-in-law tie, or homosocial kinship implicitly through the female, of the two chief conspirators.) 590Comparative Drama Kahn announces a triple goal in this volume: tó blend analysis of cultural ideologies (a "historicised feminist" approach) with literary source-studies ("the intertextuality of Shakespeare and the Latin authors he read") and her customary Freudian approach to Shakespeare. Earlier feminists like S. Jed, P. K. Joplin, and J. O. Newman tend to argue that the poet uniformly skews his source texts in the direction ofElizabethan patriarchy, a judgment that Kahn modifies on a case by case basis, "from text to text and within each text." Graciously quoting my own view of the link between Romanitas and maleness ("'Rome' meant 'man' to the superlative degree: stereotypically masculine man the ruler, the killer, the Stoic, the builder, the wielder of words"), Kahn seeks systematically to trace "masculinity . . . less as an intra-psychic phenomenon and more as an ideology discursively maintained through the appropriation of the Latin heritage for the early modern English stage." Her most challenging insights, it seems to me, are social and psychological: her emphasis upon "the social dimension of virtus—its interdependence with political constructions of the state and the family." In her introductory chapter, Kahn reviews the Rome-plays and Rome-ideas of early modern England and concludes, perhaps precipitously , that for Shakespeare's audience English humanism had already "made Romanness as manly virtue a widely known ideal of masculinity ," placing it at "the core of Renaissance humanism" and regarding it as "the matrix of civility." Not every reader will find sufficient subtlety in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 589-593
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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