In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HUMANITIES 503 general reader. Indeed, Blackall's valuable book will be welcomed by students and experts alike. (ROSEMARIE HUNTER-LOUGHEED) Henry W. Sullivan. Calder6n in the German Lands and the Low Countries: his reception and influence, 1654-1980 CambridgeIberian and Latin AmericanStudies, CambridgeUniversity Press 1983. xvi, 510, illus. $59.50 Professor Sullivan is well known to Hispanists through his book on Tirso de Molina and the Drama of the Counter-Reformation (Amsterdam 1976) and his numerous articles on Golden Age drama. With his latest book on the German reception of the Spanish Golden Age dramatist Calder6n de la Barca, the author puts his immense erudition at the service of a much wider readership; this book will no doubt interest Germanists, Comparatists , and Hispanists alike. With this in mind, all titles and quotations are translated, be they in German, Dutch, French, Italian, or Spanish, while passages from the plays are presented in faithful and elegant English verse. Sullivan's greatest challenge, however, was to trace the three-hundredyears ' reception of a totally typical Spanish Baroque dramatist by a Nordic, Protestant culture. Such an inquiry necessarily touches upon many fields and is open to just as many approaches. In over five hundred closely argued pages, the author chronologically follows Calder6n's seventeenth-century reception in Holland and from there into the German-speaking countries to this day. As reception and transmission are essentially a question of needs and response, the book extensively deals with each area's historical, political, and ideological background. As such, the study, albeit pragmatic in approach, squarely fits and illustrates current theories on reception aesthetics. The author's painstaking research into translations and adaptations of Calder6n's plays, his analysis of contemporary diaries, correspondence, and learned addresses dealing with Calder6n, and of the impact of these on theories of dramatic art and poetry, philosophy, and aesthetics, constitute a real tour de force of scholarship. For the author, Calder6n's I cultural migration,' which, by definition, goes well beyond his fortunes in Spain, becomes a testimony to the Spanish playwright's I original, immortal, dramatic situation.' While the first chapters concentrate on Calder6n's early reception in seventeenth-century Holland and his position as a I touch-stone' in neoclassical debate, the deepest analysis of Calder6n's reception is to be found in the chapters on his apotheosis in nineteenth-century Germany. Here the author deals with the theoretical and critical aspects of the 504 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 Romantic literary programme and Calder6n's place in it, and the German Idealist philosophers' attitudes to Calder6n and his transcendental philosophy of tragedy. A lighter tone pervades the chapters dealing with the attempts to stage Calder6n's dramas and the Spanish playwright's influence on German opera from Haydn to Wagner. Anotherhigh pointin Calder6n's reception is recorded in the first thirty years of this century, marked by the'discovery' of his autos sacramentales (Baroque descendants of the morality play), and an upsurge in scholarship (e.g. Curtius, Spitzer, and Vossler). This increased interestis in tum followed by another peak in the 1950S with an unprecedented number of performances and a continuinghigh standard ofCalder6nscholarship. At all times, though, the author goes beyond recording mere facts and numbers (which he lists, incidentally, in exhaustive indexes at the end of the book). His main concern throughout is to elucidate the how and why of a literary reception. However, a persuasive study like this poses even more questions, such as how Calder6n compares with Shakespeare or Moliere as far as German acceptance is concerned, orwhether Calder6n travelled to Germanyalone or as part and parcel of a collective interest in Spanish Baroque art. -The presentation of the book matches the high standard of scholarship it represents: photographs of seventeenth-century frontispieces, nineteenth-century engravings, and scores of operas highlight the real presence ofCalder6nin Germany's Kulturgeschichte, while notes, indexes, and bibliography make this a perfect tool for reference and further research. (LOUISE FOTHERGILL-PAYNE) Keith Ellis. Cuba's Nicolas Guillen: Poetry and Ideology University of Toronto Romance Series 47. University of Toronto Press 1983. 251. $27.50i $12.95 paper When questioned about the events that had been most influential in his life, Nicolas...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 503-504
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.