The essays in this book honor the seminal contributions to the field of early modern Spanish drama of Donald T. Dietz, who has devoted his career to the promotion of classical theater, not just as dramatic poetry but as vibrant performance art. Written by a variety of respected scholars and never before published, the twenty-two essays, organized into six sections, present a wide variety of interests, approaches, and methodologies, including ideological and theological exegesis, poetic analysis, cultural studies, and semiotics of theater. The next two sections explore facets of religious theater, including autos sacramentales and comedias de santos , as well as religious aspects of secular theater. Essays from the other sections explore questions of reading and of staging classical theater, in the original Spanish, in English translation, and in adaptation for the stage and for radio, as well as theoretical and practical approaches to the pedagogy of performance.
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Kurt y Roswitha Reichenberger Lope de Vega. Lo fingido verdadero. Acting is Believing. Michael D. McGaha, Translator. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, Cloth or Paper. During the last few years, a growing number of translations of lesser known Spanish Golden Age plays have appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. Kenneth Muir and Ann L. Trinity University Press has assumed a leading role in publishing new translations using the expertise of David Gitlitz, Matthew Stroud and now Michael D.
In this latter venture into the field of translation, we are presented with a fine version of Lope de Vega's Lo fingido verdadero. Although many outside the field of the comedia may not know this play, McGaha argues that it is ideally suited to serve as an introduction to this Spanish playwright: "It is at once a manifesto of Lope's dramatic theory, an invaluable documentary record of Spanish theatrical practice in his time, an embodiment of the playwright's most deeply held views on such important topics as religion and politics, and, above all, a superb example of his dramatic craftsmanship" p.
McGaha's introduction is a model of succinctness, readability and accuracy. It is truly a fine introduction to the comedia, to the playwright and to a play that he sees as an ideal introduction to Lope's art. A lively and up-to-date biography is followed by a brief description of the plot which includes insightful comments on the notion of role-playing, key to BCom, Vol.
After considering the date of composition, McGaha goes on to discuss dramatic theory as reflected in the play, for Lope here departs from tradition by making Genesius, the lead character, a playwright as well as an actor.
His pronouncements on theory parallel and even paraphrase, according to McGaha, Lope's Arte nuevo. Turning to the historical background of the play, the translator is able to discuss at length the political implications of the work.
He claims that: "Not content with attacking the divine right of kings, the play even calls into question the very principle of hereditary monarchy" p. This is an assessment that should be taken into account in the debate between those who see Lope as protagonist for the existing regime and those who would move away from such a view explaining that his plays embody the tensions and contradictions inherent in his society.
A selective bibliography follows the introduction. The translation itself is mainly in prose except for sonnets and songs. It is a vigorous and lively translation written with an eye on a contemporary audience who may wish to see it performed.
It is produced in a clear style and crisp language that makes reading easy without sacrificing accuracy. There are occasions when the vigor and modernity of the translation obscures the grace and subtlety of the original, but these are few. For example, McGaha's "Your Spanish-style puns are a pain in the ass" p.
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Metatheatricality and Conversion in Lope’s Lo fingido verdadero (Dakin Matthews)
Lope dramatises the relationship between religious experience and role play by fusing them into one. It is the story of St. Genesius, executed by the emperor Diocletian for converting to Christianity after portraying a Christian in a play to entertain the Emperor. It is the Spanish Golden Age play that best exemplifies the world-as-stage metaphor brought to life onstage.
Lo Fingido Verdadero
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