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Reseñas D 111 obra de un especialista cuya modernidad es obvia e intachable, como asevera Márquez Villanueva. Los hispanistas de hoy no deben olvidar un hecho que menciona Guillén: “Para escribir sobre la novela europea con la sabiduría de Gilman se daban por conocidos los libros de Ian Watt, de Wayne Booth, de Lukács, de Auerbach, de Käthe Hamburger, de Georges Poulet, y de muchos, muchos más. No eran libros de pura teoría, pero sí de construcciones conceptuales” (16). Guillén, otro desatendido ocasional por ciertos enclaves comparatistas estadounidenses, resume lo silenciado por el hispanismo actual: una falta de información básica, porque si nos restringimos a las discusiones actuales de la novela, de los que menciona Guillén el único sobreviviente parece ser Lukács, hasta que los nuevos críticos lo entierren con Jameson. Como añade Guillén, “No era dominante, pues, la teoría a secas, sino una red de interrelaciones. El hispanismo podría abrirse así a muchas perspectivas e inquietudes.” Sirva, entonces, este volumen— saldo sólo parcial de cinco décadas de brillante investigación—como sana lección y ejemplo a seguir para las nuevas generaciones de hispanistas. Adrienne L. Martín University of California, Davis McKendrick, Melveena. Playing the King: Lope de Vega and the Limits of Conformity. London: Tamesis, 2000, rpt. 2002. 236 pp. HB. ISBN 1-85566-069-5. Melveena McKendrick analyzes Lope de Vega’s “king-plays” with the explicit aim of overturning José Antonio Maravall’s influential paradigm that associates the playwright with regressive, orthodox values. Given that Maravall’s authority rested on his examination of literary texts with reference to political treatises, it is fitting that McKendrick anchors her rebuttal with a wide range of political treatises and chronicles. To be sure, scholars such as John Elliott, Marc Vitse, Charlotte Sterne, and McKendrick herself have already published important essays that contradict Maravall. Nevertheless, a book-length refutation of “conformity” remains warranted, especially when we take into account that the English translation of Maravall’s book (The Culture of the Baroque) is the study of seventeenth-century Spanish culture and politics most familiar to non-specialists. Specialists who have already assimilated previous refutations will in fact find fresh readings of neglected masterpieces such as El Duque de Viseo. For poetry scholars, this study highlights issues related to Lope’s writing practice and 112 Reviews D patronage politics that merit application within studies of his lyric and epic poetry. Overall, McKendrick balances a methodical organization with an essayistic style that makes little-known political dramas come alive. Chapter 1 (“Reconsiderations”) lists her points of disagreement with the political and sociological readings that Maravall and José María Díez Borque published in the 1970s. Chapter 2 (“Monarchy and the Theater”) analyzes the most influential political theories of the Habsburg era, noting in particular how intellectuals reflected on the inherent risks of a hereditary monarchy in which power passed on through accidents of birth (24). McKendrick does misidentify one of those accidents, however, when she states that Don Juan de Austria was Philip II’s illegitimate son, rather than half-brother (16). Chapters 3 and 4 (“Historical Transformations: Fractured Icons,” Parts I and II) analyze king-plays, dividing the chapters between the reigns of Philip III and Philip IV. The second half of the book pivots on thematic, rather than chronological organization, with Chapter 5 (“Decir sin decir: patterns of communication”) drawing on pragmatic linguistics to analyze kingly utterances in dramas. Chapter 6 (“The Politics of Tragedy: Absolutism and Reason of State”) draws our attention to neglected Lopean tragedies. A highpoint of the book is here, when McKendrick filters her own assessments of Lope’s late masterpiece Castigo sin venganza through Edward Gibbon’s interpretation of the Ferrara family tragedy that Lope adapted (146-48). Chapter 7, “Political Antinomies: Rebels within the System,” examines the best-known peasant honor plays— Fuenteovejuna, Peribáñez y el Comendador de Ocaña, and El mejor alcalde el rey— which converge around an anachronistic depiction of individual proximity to the monarch. McKendrick interprets this temporal discrepancy as a veiled critique of the Habsburg ceremonial...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2377-9551
Print ISSN
1084-1490
Pages
pp. 111-113
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-06
Open Access
No
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