Description : Contrary to popular belief, Pedro Calderón de la Barca had a sense of humour. This book examines the integral and often essential use of humour in his works, looking beyond his persistent reputation as a dour and dogmatic representative of the Spanish canon. Calderón's teatro breve (featuring mojigangas, entremeses and jácaras) thrives on comic techniques and situations that poke fun at everything and everybody, from aspiring nobility to people facing execution; and he parodies and satirizes genres and themes such as the auto sacramental or the infamous 'honour code'. His irreverence and desire for the audience's laughter are not just expressed in his teatro breve: the very same humorous techniques and situations, and even entire small works themselves, are found in his comedias, blurring and often eliminating the distinction between 'major' and 'minor' genres. Calderón proves that the 'complementary' teatro breve need not live a separate existence, and that its presence within the comedia itself offers untold opportunities for novelty, diversion and criticism. By turning jokes into a dramatic art form and vice versa, Calderón has much to teach us about the presence, role and functioning of humour in all of Spanish Golden Age theatre. TED L.L. BERGMAN is Professor of Spanish Language and Culture, Soka University of America.
Description : While Calderon's autos portray this teleological view of life with unequaled ingenuity, his comedias lie somewhere on the line of development of European thought and activity between the other-worldiness of orthodox Thomism and the naturalism of which Spinoza's ideas are one example among many. Let us characterize the comedias briefly by stating that the motives which move the dramatic action forward are generally of a teleological nature; that is, they envisage some hypostatized end outside the individual characters. Yet, there are key moments when it becomes apparent to the reader or spectator that these ends have been created and set before the characters by themselves, by the requirements of their social standing in the play, by the manipulating dramatist Calderon, or, in broader terms, by the social climate of the audience for whom these plays were written and performed. Both reason and exalted passions become the preserve of noble blood in Calderon's plays. Whether he is dealing with vengeful husbands, monarchs, usurpers, contemplative men of learning, or saints, the thread of social distinction never disappears. The concern of his characters that they not commit a "low" action, is not simply a Christian concern with avoiding sin. The characters are much more concerned with practicing a virtue which will distinguish them from the vulgar."
Description : "This anthology of "new" approches to literary study takes its name from Lope de Vega's Arte nuevo de hacer comedias. Like Lope's poem on poetics, this volume also operates as a defense, in the sense that many of the articles include a defense of the usefulness of literary theory in general, and of their chosen approach in particular, for enriching the study of the comedia." "In these essays, it is the not quite new art of "estudiar" rather than "hacer" drama that is the central concern, the contributors defending theoretical innovations approximately twenty years after James Parr, in the pages of Hispania, issued his challenge to Hispanists to update their approach. This volume, which combines innovative scholarship with the "metacriticism" that many critics advocate in all literary study, is directed both the students of literature and to scholars who wish to expand their knowledge of the many different areas of theoretical inquiry that comediantes are currently exploring."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved