The Calderonian Stage: Body and Soul

Overview

This collection of essays invites the contemporary reader to consider the works of Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-81), who became the most important and influential dramatist of the second period of the Spanish Golden Age, just as Lope de Vega (1562-1635) was for the preceding generation. A follower of Lope in his youth, Calderon, as a mature playwright, developed a drama all of his own, a drama that was highly conceptual, tightly knit, symbolic, and, in many cases, spectacular. Calderon's artistry in verbal ...
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Overview

This collection of essays invites the contemporary reader to consider the works of Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-81), who became the most important and influential dramatist of the second period of the Spanish Golden Age, just as Lope de Vega (1562-1635) was for the preceding generation. A follower of Lope in his youth, Calderon, as a mature playwright, developed a drama all of his own, a drama that was highly conceptual, tightly knit, symbolic, and, in many cases, spectacular. Calderon's artistry in verbal and visual symbolism made the performance of his works a feast for both the senses and the intellect. Until now, many of Calderon's critics have focused their attention on how the poetic devices, particularly metaphors and symbols, appearing in his plays represent his philosophy or his ideas. But as some scholars of Spanish Golden Age drama have argued, the study of Calderon's theater must take into account not only the literary text, but also the physical conditions of the stage, the elements used in the representation - decor, costumes, lighting, music - and the house dynamics at each performance. In other words, each play must be considered as a composition of the soul and body, of poetry and spectacle, in which both elements support, complement, and explain one another in performance. This is the task that has been undertaken by the contributors to this volume. By focusing on the relationship between text and performance, they have highlighted several areas that are often overlooked in traditional text-based approaches. From different perspectives, they show how Calderon gives concrete shape to the concepts and tales from the Bible, theology, mythology, the Corpus Hermeticum, emblematic literature, philosophy, and realities of civic and domestic origin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838753316
  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Pages: 288

Table of Contents

List of Contributors 7
Introduction 13
1 The Poetics of Closure in Calderon's Plays 25
2 The Art of Making Gods: Hermeticism and Spectacle in La fiera, el rayo y la piedra 45
3 Poetry and Spectacle in La devocion de la cruz 55
4 "Venid a ver tan raro portento": The Staging of Los cabellos de Absalon 69
5 Calderon's El mayor encanto, amor in Performance: Eyewitness Accounts by Two Florentine Diplomats 81
6 Emblematic Representation in the autos sacramentales of Calderon 107
7 Embodying the Faith: The Auto Program of 1670 133
8 Staging Theology in a Calderonian Loa 154
9 Casa con dos puertas: Women, Capes, and Marriage 165
10 On the Space of La dama duende: Don Manuel's Room 185
11 Love, Women, and Wit: Calderon's Secret Stairway in El escondido y la tapada 208
Notes 225
Bibliography 263
Index 282
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