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Writing and Inscription in Golden Age Drama

Charles Oriel

Spain’s Golden Age represents a transition from a largely oral tradition to a world in which information and culture were transmitted by way of written or printed documents. Contemporary theory has done much to elucidate the cultural and aesthetic implications of this transition. Utilizing concepts derived from such theorists as Derrida, Ong, and Austin, this study examines how writing and inscription are foregrounded and problematized in five Golden Age dramas: El villano en su rincón, by Lope de Vega; La estrella de Sevilla, of disputed authorship; El ejemplo mayor de la desdicha, by Mira de Amescua; Cautela contra cautela, by Tirso de Molina; and La cisma de Inglaterra, by Calderón de la Barca.

"... many of [Oriel's] insights concerning the role of inscription in the individual texts immediately bring to mind parallels in other canonical works of the early modern period.... [The book] is likely to alter permanently the way its readers read, think about, and teach the comedias." Barbara Simerka, Bulletin of the Comediantes

"The work consists of a series of intriguing, insightful and...convincing readings of five comedias.... The overall result constitutes a useful bridge between the ground-breaking work of scholars... and the more demanding application of deconstruction." Malcolm K. Read, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

"... a well-planned and thought-provoking study that ought to become standard reading for students of the comedia genre." David J. Hildner, Hispanic Review

"Rare indeed is the book that makes us reconsider our idées reçues concerning a major genre of a pivotal period in literary history. Oriel's is just such a restatement and reorientation." James A. Parr, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

"Written with elegance and clarity, Oriel's is among the most impressive of recent approaches to the comedia." E. H. Friedman, Choice

For complete copies of the above reviews, see
Bulletin of the Comediantes
46.1 (Summer 1994): 144-46.
Bulletn of Hispanic Studies
71 (1994): 398-400
Hispanic Review
62.2 (Spring 1994): 273-75.
Revista de Estudios Hispánicos
28.1 (Jan. 1994): 130-32.
Mar. 1993.

For more reviews, see
76.4 (Dec. 1993): 729-30 (Edward H. Friedman)
Forum for Modern Language Studies
(April 1995): 187.
South Atlantic Review
(Fall 1993): 106-08. (A Robert Lauer)
Book News
1 Mar. 1993. (E. H. Friedman)
Year's Work in Modern Language Studies
55 (1993): 367.

Charles Oriel, Northern Illinois University, has written articles and book chapters on Spanish Golden Age drama and narrative.

ISBN: 978-1-55753-019-6
1992. PSRL 1. x, 189 pp. Paper $28.95