Masterpieces of modern Spanish drama (1917)

Masterpieces of modern Spanish drama, edited, with a preface by Barrett H. Clark. Publisher New York, Duffield & company, 1917

  • The Great Galeoto, by José Echegaray, translated by Eleanor Bontecou
  • The Duchess of San Quentin, by Benito Pérez Galdós, translated by Philip M. Hayden
  • Daniela, by Angel Guimerá, translated by John Garrett Underhill

From the Preface:

The drama of Spain, early and modern, has in English-speaking countries been sadly neglected. It is a regrettable fact that one of the most gorgeous and passionate outbursts of national dramatic genius has received but scant attention from English readers. Cervantes’ name is at least not unknown to the great mass of readers in every language, but to the majority of English and Americans, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderon — to mention only the greatest of dozens of dramatists of the time — are a closed book. About fifteen Calderon plays are available in some form in English translation or adaptation, only two or three of Lope and, to my knowledge, not one of Tirso. Of the eighteenth century lesser lights I should venture to say that there is in English no translation. The case is the same with the dramatists of the early nineteenth century, if we except one or two notable translations and studies, like that recently issued by the Hispanic Society (a translation of Un drama nuevo). And yet this period saw a rebirth of the national spirit in the drama unequalled in any other country save France.

Barrett H. Clark.

The Poetics of Piracy. Emulating Spain in English Literature, by Barbara Fuchs

From the University of Pennsylvania Press:

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The University of Pennsylvania Press published in 2013 a volume in the Haney Foundation Series (view table of contents) that explores the relationships between the early modern literature from England and Spain.

In The Poetics of Piracy, author Barbara Fuchs challenges the hegemony of a nationalist English literary history that all too often ignores the rest of Europe, particularly Spain.

With its dominance as a European power and the explosion of its prose and dramatic writing, Spain provided an irresistible literary source for English writers of the early modern period. But the deep and escalating political rivalry between the two nations led English writers to negotiate, disavow, or attempt to resolve their fascination with Spain and their debt to Spanish sources. Amid thorny issues of translation and appropriation, imperial competition, the rise of commercial authorship, and anxieties about authenticity, Barbara Fuchs traces how Spanish material was transmitted into English writing, entangling English literature in questions of national and religious identity, and how piracy came to be a central textual metaphor, with appropriations from Spain triumphantly reimagined as heroic looting.

From the time of the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada of the 1580s, through the rise of anti-Spanish rhetoric of the 1620s, The Poetics of Piracy charts this connection through works by Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, and Thomas Middleton. Fuchs examines how their writing, particularly for the stage, recasts a reliance on Spanish material by constructing narratives of militaristic, forcible use. She considers how Jacobean dramatists complicated the texts of their Spanish contemporaries by putting them to anti-Spanish purposes, and she traces the place of Cervantes’s Don Quixote in Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle and Shakespeare’s late, lost play Cardenio. English literature was deeply transnational, even in the period most closely associated with the birth of a national literature.

Recovering the profound influence of Spain on Renaissance English letters, The Poetics of Piracy paints a sophisticated picture of how nations can serve, at once, as rivals and resources.

Barbara Fuchs is Professor of Spanish and English and directs the Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies of the Clark Memorial Library at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her Exotic Nation: Maurophilia and the Construction of Early Modern Spain and “The Bagnios of Algiers” and “The Great Sultana”: Two Plays of Captivity are both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Professor Barbara Fuchs leads a great initiative in Los Angeles: diversifying the classics. As part of her work there are available online three translations of Spanish Golden Age comedies: