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Se muestran los artículos pertenecientes al tema Literatura y crítica.

Retropost: Flores académicas que me echan

martes, 23 de febrero de 2016

Retropost #665 (23 de diciembre de 2005): Flores académicas que me echan



Cito del prólogo de Teresa Oñate a Hans-Georg Gadamer: El Lógos de la era hermenéutica, volumen nº 20 de la revista Endoxa (UNED, Madrid, 2005), comentando algunos artículos publicados en ese número, y otros en un volumen adicional sobre Gadamer, entre ellos uno mío:

En la misma línea de excelencia académica que los anteriores se sitúan los siguientes trabajos, cuya lectura constituye un verdadero placer intelectual: el escrito de la profesora Carmen Segura sobre la relación de la retórica y la dialéctica con la racionalidad hermenéutica; el de Luis Enrique de Santiago Guervós sobre Nietzsche y Gadamer, centrándose en el estudio de la Segunda Intempestiva; el de Núria Sara Miras Boronat sobre el humanismo que podríamos llamar "pluralista" en Gadamer; el de Santiago Zabala sobre la filosofía de Ernst Tugendhat y su aproximación de la analítica a la hermenéutica; el de Joaquín Estaban Ortega sobre la paideía de Gadamer; el texto de José Ángel García Landa, incluido en el libro Hans-Georg Gadamer: Ontología estética y hermenéutica, sobre la interacción entre hermenéutica lingüística y literaria; o los escritos debidos a los profesores Niklas Bornhauser y Hermann Lang, concernidos por el vínculo entre hermenéutica y psicoanálisis, desde Freud hasta Lacan. Gracias a todos ellos por su sobresaliente contribución al conocimiento preciso del texto, el pensamiento y la obra filosófica de Gadamer.

¡Gracias! También hoy me envía Ramón Plo, uno de los editores del volumen Beyond Borders: Re-defining Generic and Ontological Boundaries (Heidelberg: Winter, 2002), una reseña muy positiva del mismo que publicaron Marta González Acosta y Juan Ignacio Oliva en la Revista de Filología de La Laguna (nº 22, 2004). Allí apareció mi artículo "Catastrophism and Hindsight: Narrative Hermeneutics in Biology and in Historiography". Hay una versión española aquí.






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21ª Edición de la Bibliografía

lunes, 22 de febrero de 2016

21ª edición de la Bibliografía


Hoy subo a la red la 21ª edición de mi Bibliografía de Teoría Literaria, Crítica y Filología,  albergada en el servidor de la Universidad de Zaragoza:
 
Contiene más de 360.000 referencias (libros, artículos, páginas web, capítulos de libro, discos, películas, etc.) distribuidas en más de 9,000 archivos de texto (más de 400 Mb de texto, el equivalente a unos 50 volúmenes impresos de tamaño medio). El énfasis primordial recae en la Filología Inglesa (autores ingleses, crítica escrita en inglés) y la teoría literaria, aunque incluye muchos temas de interés general, de lingüística, semiótica, estudios culturales y análisis del discurso, así como de filología hispánica y francesa especialmente. Proporciona documentos de texto con listados específicos sobre miles de autores, escuelas, temas, períodos, conceptos críticos o lingüísticos.

Esta foto se la hice a sus voluminosos hace casi quince años, cuando me molesté en imprimir gran parte de la bibliografía. Hoy es cuatro veces más extensa.

 

La Bibliografía IV

 

 

Por cierto, éste es mi despacho, mientras dure. Llegado un momento, todo se evapora.




PS: No sólo en Google.

No conocía este buscador, pero también en él mi bibliografía es número uno mundial, buscando "Bibliografía de teoría literaria":



No sólo en Google







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Cognición retrospectiva, intertextualidad e interpretación

lunes, 22 de febrero de 2016

Retropost #662 (20 de diciembre de 2005): Cognición retrospectiva, Intertextualidad e Interpretación

 

Ha salido por fin, tras años –AÑOS, digo– de retraso, un artículo que envié para su publicación en Symbolism, un anuario de crítica literaria editado en Nueva York. Cada vez me impacientan más los protocolos y lentitudes de la publicación académica, aunque creo que este tipo de artículos no los escribiría si no me comprometiese previamente a pasar por esos protocolos. En todo caso, cada vez veo menos la necesidad ni conveniencia de hacerlo. Se queda la editorial con el copyright de mi texto inglés, sin que yo (culpa mía, claro) me plantease para nada la conveniencia o inconveniencia de eso. Y a cambio paga cero (aunque el volumen lo venden caro); espero que me manden un ejemplar pero ya veremos, de momento sólo me han llegado dos birriosas separatas (2). Yo es que ya paso, me voy a autoeditar aquí mismo todo lo que me apetezca que lea el personal, total no lo van a leer si no quieren ni aquí gratis ni en Symbolism pagando. La referencia en inglés del artículo que sale (para mí) hoy es: "Hindsight, Intertextuality and Interpretation: A Symbol in Nabokov’s ’Christmas’", en Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics. Vol 5. Ed. Rüdiger Ahrens. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 2005. Iré traduciéndolo poco a poco en este post –una tarea que se presta a ser postpuesta, quizá. En resumen, "este artículo examina la significación del simbolismo de la mariposa en el relato de Nabokov ’Navidad’ (1925), a la luz de una teoría interaccionista de la interpretación. Se muestra cómo los elementos intertextuales emergen a través de un proceso de debate crítico, relectura e interacción discursiva, a medida que se van estableciendo gradualmente la importancia y significación cultural de un texto. El enfoque crítico de este artículo intenta combinar las percepciones del análisis del discurso, de la hermenéutica narrativa y de la pragmática literaria".
(Nota: para el retorno de las notas al texto principal, usar el botón  "volver atrás" del navegador)

  Mirando retrospectivamente, veo que me di cuenta de la importancia de la cognición retrospectiva para el análisis narrativo a través de la lectura de "Story and Discourse in the Analysis of Narrative", de Jonathan Culler, de Foregone Conclusions, de Michael André Bernstein, y de Narrative and Freedom, de Gary Saul Morson. (Nota 1).   Son éstas obras clave para el estudio de la distorsión retrospectiva o hindsight bias, que es uno de los principales motores de la dinámica narrativa--un fenómeno perspectivístico tan intrínseco a la representación narrativa que podría merecer el nombre de "la falacia narrativa" (Nota 2). Estas obras ofrecen una crítica precavida ante las distorsiones del hindsight bias (aunque no utilizan este término, ni tampoco el de "falacia narrativa"). Culler deja la cuestión en un estado de equilibrio entre los equivalentes narratológicos del realismo filosófico (una historia preexistente sería articulada o expresada mediante un discurso narrativo) y del idealismo (sería la percepción o cognición retrospectiva que actúa durante la producción del discurso la que de hecho genera la historia contada). Morson y Bernstein expresan más explícitamente una desconfianza ante la comprensión surgida de la percepción retrospectiva. Argumentan en favor de una "prosaica" de la representación que desactivase la distorsión retrospectiva y las falacias que de ella derivan, en favor de lo que llaman sideshadowing ("altermonición", por analogía a foreshadowing, "premonición"). Se trataría de una autodisciplina perspectivística encaminada a reconocer la plenitud del presente y la intedeterminación del futuro. Este énfasis en el valor del presente también sería aplicable al análisis del pasado (el pasado-como-presente que fue). Morson y Bernstein, por tanto, se oponen a la tendencia casi universal a la "retromonición" o backshadowing que nos hace ver el pasado como una premonición del presente, creando las ilusiones del destino, los presagios, las conclusiones previstas e inevitables.   Estas perspectivas son iluminadoras y estimulantes, y los libros de Morson y Bernstein, así como el de Culler, son muy recomendables. (Nota 3). Sin embargo, deseo aquí presentar más argumentos a favor de la legitimidad de la percepción retrospectiva, para moderar un tanto los pronunciamientos "pro-prosaicos" de Bernstein y Morson. (Nota 4). Muchas modalidades de la acción, tanto real como simbólica, dependen de la retrospección, y la percepción retrospectiva sí que proporciona conocimiento, "después de todo". (Nota 5). La percepción retrospectiva no es sólo una distorsión: es la cosecha de la productividad del tiempo, por decirlo en el estilo de Paul Ricoeur. (Nota 6). La crítica de la lectura y recepción literarias proporciona un terreno rico para esta indagación. El tiempo que pasa entre la escritura de una obra y su lectura es productivo en varios sentidos, y sólo la percepción retrospectiva nos permite reconocer las transformaciones que una obra ha sufrido debido a la influencia oculta de otros textos y acontecimientos sobre lo que (aparentemente) se hallaba fijado en la página en forma de escritura. Si la cognición retroactiva es una ilusión, es una ilusión necesaria --una ejemplo más del tipo de ilusionimo que sostiene, a modo de Atlas, el teatro del mundo humano.   En este artículo examinaré algunas consecuencias interaccionales de la cognición retrospectiva, especialmente en lo tocante a la expansión intertextual de un texto. La intertextualidad es una dimensión clave a tener en cuenta en el estudio de la textualidad, hasta tal punto que, según Robert de Beaugrande y Wolfgang Dressler, "el conjunto de la noción de textualidad puede depender de una exploración de la influencia de la intertextualidad como un control de procedimientos en el conjunto de las actividades comunicativas" (Nota 7). Sin embargo, las relaciones intertextuales son tan variadas que parecen desafiar a la sistematización. Además, un examen detallado de los procesos intertextuales a menudo saca a la luz complejidades que habían pasado desapercibidas a una visión más general. Pretendo aquí examinar algunas de estas dinámicas intertextuales complejas en el campo de la hermenéutica literaria.
En elgunos procesos intertextuales, las huellas intertextuales se establecen retrospectivamente, por medio de un acto interpretativo que supone una reinterpetación de textos, que son conectados por un crítico mediante un enlace postulado entre ellos. Borges y T. S. Eliot ya observaron esto, al desarrollar nuevas definiciones de "precursores" y de "tradición", respectivamente. Borges, quizá reconociendo en Kafka a uno de sus precursores, escribe como sigue:

    Yo premedité alguna vez un examen de los precursores de Kafka. A éste, al principio, lo pensé tan singular como el fénix de las alabanzas retóricas; a poco de frecuentarlo, creí reconocer su voz, o sus hábitos, en textos de diversas literaturas y de diversas épocas. (...) En cada uno de esos textos está la idiosincrasia de Kafka, en grado mayor o menor, pero si Kafka no hubiera escrito, no la percibiríamos, vale decir, no existiría (...). El hecho es que cada escritor crea a sus precursores. Su labor modifica nuestra concepción del pasado, como ha de modificar el futuro. (Nota 8).
Recordemos que para Eliot (a quien también menciona Borges) la tradición cultural hace que la Historia se modifique retroactivamente, en lugar de sencillamente progresar hacia adelante:
Los monumentos existentes [Eliot se refiere aquí a las grandes obras literarias -- dejando traslucir en su terminología un concepto de la literatura curiosamente funerario] forman un orden ideal entre ellos, que se modifica por al introducirse entre ellos la obra de arte nueva (de la auténticamente nueva). El orden existente estaba completo antes de la llegada de la nueva obra de arte; para que persista el orden tras haber sucedido la novedad, todo el orden existente debe alterarse, siquiera sea ligeramente. [... El pasado es] alterado por el presente tanto como el presente es dirigido por el pasado. (Nota 9).

  Jugando con esta idea, David Lodge hace que uno de los personajes de su novela Small World (trad. española: El mundo es un pañuelo) escriba una tesis sobre "la influencia de T. S. Eliot sobre Shakespeare" (Nota 10). Como sugieren estos ejemplos, existe una amplia gama de tales efectos intertextuales retroactivos. Algunos no son intencionados, y puede aplicárseles la caracterización general que hizo C. S. Lewis: "Toda obra de arte que dura mucho tiempo en el mundo continuamente está adoptando estos nuevos colores que el artista ni previó ni pretendió que tuviesen" (Nota 11). Me interesan aqui especialmente, sin embargo, los efectos retroactivos que puedan clarificar una intención profunda (Nota 12), una expresión simbólica que no es totalmente accesible para los lectores originales de la obra, quizá ni siquiera para el autor miso, pero que puede ir emergiendo a través de la interacción intertextual a medida que se despliega el trabajo de la lectura y de la interpretación crítica. El estudio de la intertextualidad a la luz de de las perspectivas narratológicas sobre la retrospección pone de manifiesto que la intertextualidad es un proceso interactivo de producción discursiva, no una red predefinida de relaciones textuales. En este sentido, mi análisis engarza con llamada que hacen de Beaugrande y Dressler en favor de un enfoque procedimental al estudio de los textos en su función comunicativa. (Nota 13). Esta perspectiva sobre la intertextualidad resulta de una conceptualización del discurso como proceso, en contraposición al estudio del texto como estructura. (Nota 14). El estudio del efecto de la cognición retrospectiva en el discurso de la crítica deriva, por tanto, de un desplazamiento más general hacia el estudio de la naturaleza procesual del discurso, al ser un análisis de ciertas cualidades procesuales del discurso escrito en una situación interaccional dada. En Strategies of Discourse Comprehension van Dijk y Kintsch observan que desde los años 70, muchos lingüistas reconocieron que "el objeto empírico de las teorías lingüísticas" había de ser "el uso efectivo del lenguaje en sus contextos sociales" antes que "los sistemas lingüísticos abstractos o ideales" (Nota 15). Esto condujo al desarrollo del análisis del discurso como campo interdisciplinar con contribuciones de lingüistas, psicólogos y otros estudiosos de procesos comunicativos. El "supuesto interaccionista" de van Dijk y Kintsch plantea que el análisis del discurso debe tener en cuenta la totalidad del proceso interactivo entre los comunicantes, incluyendo "la interacción verbal y la no verbal". El "supuesto situacional" estipula que la interacción comunicativa es "parte de una situación social" en la cual los sujetos que interactúan pueden desempeñar "funciones o roles" específicos, y quizá haya que tener en cuenta "estrategias" y "convenciones" especiales. (Nota 16). La tradición del comentario crítico de las obras literarias es una en concreto de esas situaciones discursivas, pero constituye un continuo discursivo con otras situaciones --con la literatura-como-discurso, y en última instancia con los propios procesos comunicativos y la experiencia del autor.   Con el fin de ilustrar la articulación interaccional de la intertextualidad y el papel específico de la retrospección en este proceso, me centraré, como caso experimental, en un relato breve de Vladimir Nabokov y en las maneras en que ha sido leído -- dando lugar a un número de interpretaciones que siempre están intertextualmente mediadas.   Nabokov es bien conocido como embaucador literario, un autor que se deleita en diseñar rompecabezas interpretativos para que los resuelvan sus lectores -- ostensiblemente para invitar al deleite cómplice del lector, o quizá, según muchos sospechan, únicamente para la satisfacción olímpica del autor viendo cómo los lectores se quedan a dos velas. El texto de Nabokov está intensamente sobredeterminado. Varias capas intencionales de significado pueden subyacer a episodios aparentemente inocentes, y muchas más pueden subyacer a los que son abiertamente desconcertantes. Se comprenderá que la intertextualidad es uno de los principales medios usados para producir esta plurisignificación textual. Maurice Couturier analizó magistralmente la lógica interna de la poética de Nabokov, entendiéndola como un intento de dominación en el juego de la interacción narrativa. La escritura es comparada por Nabokov a la invención de problemas de ajedrez: ambos requieren una "sublime insinceridad". Al igual que en los problemas de ajedrez, observa Couturier, el conflicto no se juega entre las piezas blancas y las negras, sino entre el autor y los lectores. El problema es ingeniado y resuelto por el autor, y el papel del lector ideal está bien definido­el papel del lector real es casi superfluo. Los lectores pasan por un proceso de aprendizaje, aprendiendo a ser artistas siguiendo los pasos del autor. El autor es el lector ideal, y los buenos lectores luchan contra el texto lo mejor que pueden. La escritura aparece así como la proyección interactiva del amor de sí narcisista. El autor construye un yo textual ideal, y esto lo experimenta el lector real como una exclusión: éste percibe de manera imperfecta los deseos y tomas de postura del autor a través del velo poético. Se provoca a los lectores a que intenten descubrir al autor real, pero su lectura y análisis sólo les permitirá acceder al autor ideal. Entretanto, sin embargo, los lectores se irán construyendo a sí mismos como lectores ideales a través de su confrontación con el texto. El autor real construye un lector ideal, y el lector real construye un autor ideal. Nabokov así difumina, según Couturier, las fronteras entre el exterior y el interior del texto, y fuerza a su lector a hacer lo mismo. Estas proyecciones de identidades son la condición previa del intenso efecto poético de su texto: el lector experimenta la impresión de producir el texto junto con el autor. (Nota 17).   Y, hasta cierto punto, podríamos sostener que los lectores en efecto sí que producen el texto del autor. La resolución de enigmas tiende a volverse infecciosa, y los lectores crean nuevos enigmas para resolverlos ellos mismos allí donde el autor no colocó intencionadamente ninguno; enfrentados a un fragmento problemático, los críticos aplican su ingenio para producir elegantes soluciones que bien pueden mejorar las que el autor había pensado -- eso suponiendo que estas últimas sean siquiera accesibles, ya que generalmente tanto el problema como la solución son recuperables únicamente mediante la interpretación de los críticos y lectores. De este modo, Nabokov acciona el arranque de un motor hermenéutico que mantiene a la semiosis circulando e impide que los enigmas lleguen jamás a resolverse completamente (lo cual sería el peligro de una escritura con "soluciones"). Un ejemplo práctico, en el campo de la intertextualidad, lo proporciona el tipo de análisis llevado a cabo en el libro de John Burt Foster El arte de memoria de Nabokov y el modernismo europeo (Nota 18), un estudio crítico en el que las líneas de conexión intertextual entre Nabokov y otros escritores modernos oscilan desde las alusiones claras hasta el tipo de especulación que es non vera, sebbene ben trovata -- siendo todas ellas el producto de la misma lógica intertextual. Si un clásico puede definirse como una obra en la que el significado del texto es inseparable de la tradición de interpretación crítica que genera, Nabokov ingenia para sus obras un mecanismo, ya instalado de fábrica, diseñado para entretejer textos e interpretaciones en un continuo sin costuras: un clásico autogenerativo.   Como muchos autores, Nabokov desarrolla sus propios esquemas de imágenes, motivos y patrones estilísticos favoritos, esquemas recurrentes que, más allá de su función estética inmediata en cada contexto dado, actúan como filigranas del autor. Se convierten en parte del juego del escondite de la identidad autorial. Es plausible sostener que Nabokov es más consciente que la mayoría de los autores acerca de la función de estos esquemas: los cuida cariñosamente y los va variando con gran habilidad. Por tanto, estos esquemas tienden a volverse autorreflexivos. Una variación sobre un motivo nos remite al uso anterior de un motivo similar; las filigranas autoriales se vuelven la ocasión para el juego intertextual del autor entre bambalinas. Así, el autor añade solidez y coherencia al conjunto de sus obras, reelaborando y llevando a un nivel satisfactorio de rendimiento estético algunos elementos que estaban allí desde el principio -- o que, más bien, estaban allí sólo en parte, pues muy a menudo estos esquemas se vuelven visibles en una obra sólo cuando son completamente desarrollados en obras posteriores. Su presencia en las obras tempranas bien puede ser ya significativa, pero se vuelve más significativa cuando se contempla retrospectivamente, quizá incluso retroactivamente: parte del rendimiento estético de estos esquemas en sus avatares tardíos se comunica retroactivamente a sus versiones tempranas. La significación embrionaria del motivo en su manifestación temprana se desarrolla, por tanto, no sólo en las obras posteriores, sino también en la obra temprana tal como es releída por la obra posterior (y por los críticos). La distorsión retrospectiva se explota así artísticamente haciendo que las obras tempranas reverberen con el eco de las más tardías. Así, por ejemplo, los comentarios metaficcionales de Nabokov en "Mademoiselle O" sobre el uso de motivos autobiográficos añaden una nueva dimensión de lectura a las obras en las cuales se usaron esos elementos autobiográficos (por ejemplo, la institutriz, la veranda con vidrieras de colores, el pabellón del jardín en La Defensa y otras obras). La autobiografía Habla, Memoria y las entrevistas de Strong Opinions abren la dimensión autobiográfica de las obras tempranas, sugiriendo en ellas niveles de lectura que nos permitan reinterpretar las revelaciones más retraídas que hace el autor al respecto en las obras explícitamente autobiográficas. Las obras comunican por tanto, entre líneas, elementos de experiencia que adquieren su significado completo cuando son leídos como proyecciones o transformaciones de la experiencia personal del autor, y no meramente como la experienca transmitida por una lectura "intrínseca" de la obra, por muy estéticamente satisfactoria que pueda ser esa lectura. "La lectura de las novelas como autobiografías", por decirlo a la manera de Anatole France (Nota 19), es al menos tan interesante como la lectura de una autobiografía que saque a la luz la novela que en términos composicionales contiene toda autobiografía (un tipo de lectura que siempre debe aplicarse a las autobiografías). Lo que está en juego en todo esto, sin embargo, no es sólo una cuestión de curiosidad o de interés académico "extrínsico" en la vida personal de un autor, sino el interés de su poética: su poética de la experiencia en su sentido más amplio, más allá de esa cuestión más inmediatamente accesible que es el diseño estético de la obra como un artefacto perfectamente controlado -- máxime al ser éste último un nivel en el que las obras de Nabokov resultan ser, para algunos críticos, un tanto excesivas en su perfección. Más allá de los trucos del prestidigitador y las trampas astutamente disimuladas instaladas para el lector, las obras de Nabokov también se mueven en una dimensión en la que el autor se comunica consigo mismo, de modo tentativo, quizá no siempre de modo consciente: un diálogo que en todo caso tiene lugar a espaldas tanto del narrador como del autor implícito. (Nota 20). Puede que no tenga mucho sentido distinguir entre "autobiografía" y "ficción" en Nabokov, ya que la memoria y la ficción interactúan en su obra de una manera de la que el autor era plenamente consciente. "Siempre sostenía que ’usar’ algo o a alguien en su ficción de hecho lo convertía en ficticio en su memoria" (Nota 21). Y en algunas de sus obras exploró las posibilidades estéticas de esta confrontación entre la vida efectiva de un autor y sus "otras vidas" en la ficción -- un camino emprendido también por Joyce, Proust, Gide, y más recientemente por Paul Theroux y Javier Marías.   Esta confrontación con el yo extraliterario del autor es consciente en algunas obras, pero llega a ese punto sólo tras una incubación preliminar a un nivel más incipiente e informe, en el cual el uso del material autobiográfico por parte del autor no está controlado por un plan deliberado; es significativo, pero no forma parte del diseño del autor destinado a la comunicación pública. La comunicación tiene lugar aquí a un nivel más privado, y tiene que ser interpretada a modo de comunicación no verbal, como "lenguaje corporal" que acompaña al lenguaje articulado constituido por el diseño consciente de la obra. (Nota 22). Podemos, pues, hablar de un doble nivel de comunicación en la poética de Nabokov: comunicación corporal frente a comunicación controlada, o comunicación privada frente a comunicación pública -- aunque estos pares de términos no siempre coinciden entre sí, ni son igualmente aptos para describir todos los casos, en tanto que descripciones de esta dimensión adicional de la lectura.   Me centraré aquí en la interpretación de un símbolo de renacimiento y en la reutilización de elementos autobiográficos en el cuento de Nabokov "Navidad" ("Christmas"), con especial atención a la dimensión intertextual de la poética nabokoviana de la autocomunicación. (Nota 23).
Para empezar, el relato está situado en la Rusia pre-revolucionaria. Priscilla Meyer proporciona una descripción muy adecuada del papel de tales escenas rusas en el universo imaginario de Nabokov:
    La Rusia de Nabokov, tal como la describe en Habla, Memoria, es el emplazamiento de un pasado ideal. Nabokov la asocia con cristales coloreados, arcos iris, mariposas, y el pabellón donde empezó su primer poema de amor; es el espacio-tiempo de una niñez perfecta enraizada en el amor que compartía con sus padres. La pérdida de todo esto se presenta en la obra de Nabokov como una especie de eco o parodia de la separación de esa dimensión ideal que abandonamos cuando nacemos y que volvemos a recobrar cuando morimos, despojándonos de nuestra espléndida mansión terrestre como pálido reflejo que es de la eterna: una cosmología de dos mundos en la cual morimos entrando en la vida. (Nota 24).
Los símbolos recurrentes aquí mencionados (el cristal de colores, el arco iris, la mariposa) funcionan como ventanas al otro mundo, símbolos que permiten ver un destello de la perfección transcendental. Esta dimensión de la mitología personal de Nabokov ha sido estudiada por Alexandrov, y más recientemente, en relación a los relatos breves, y más en concreto a "Navidad", por Shrayer. (Nota 25). Nuestra propia lectura requiere una atención tanto al relato como a lecturas críticas previas realizadas por Naumann, Boyd, Shrayer y otros críticos, consideradas como un continuo intertextual. (Nota 26). He aquí una descripción del simbolismo central del relato según Boyd:
    Un padre decide suicidarse tras la muerte de su hijo, antes que enfrentarse a una vida "humillantemente carente de sentido, estéril, vacía de milagros" -- cuando en ese preciso momento una mariposa nocturna Attacus a la que su hijo tenía gran aprecio, debido al calor de una caldera cercana, emerge rompiendo su crisálida y sube andando por la pared, con las alas hinchándose y respirando. (...) A pesar de todo el sufrimiento que contiene, el mundo está rebosante de dichas. (Nota 27).
Y Naumann resume el argumento del relato como sigue:
En la parte I, al caer la tarde, Sleptsov, ciego de dolor, mira la cera de los cirios del funeral en sus dedos. En la parte II, a la mañana siguiente, sale fuera y recuerda a su hijo, al que acaba de enterrar. En la parte III, visita la tumba de su hijo, consiguiendo sólo entristecerse más. Al anochecer, va a la habitación del niño y se deshace en lágrimas. Recoge algunas de las pertenencias del chico en un cajón. En la sección final, el padre lleva esos tesoros al ala caldeada de la casa y los examina. La intensa emoción de estos recuerdos ahora ["momentoes" en el original: "moments" + "mementoes"?] le lleva a un rechazo absoluto de la vida. En ese momento, se oye un chasquido y el padre abre los ojos. Con el calor de la habitación, una hermosa mariposa ha surgido del capullo que atesoraba su hijo. (Nota 28).   El simbolismo de las mariposas en los escritos de Nabokov ha sido estudiado por varios críticos, incluyendo al propio Boyd en su biografía (en especial el capítulo 4, "Butterflies", de The Russian Years) y en Nabokov’s Butterflies (Nota 29). Una mariposa es, claro, un símbolo natural del renacer, o más bien de la vida después de la muerte, debido a la similitud de su ciclo vital (larva, crisálida, mariposa) a la transmigración del alma del cuerpo, a través de la tumba, a la vida en otro mundo. (Nota 30). En sus obras no ficticias, Nabokov usa la imagen para referirse a su propia vida de ultratumba (quizá sugiriendo también una dimensión literaria de esa vida de ultratumba) cuando habla de las expediciones de caza de mariposas que quiere llevar a cabo "antes de pupar" (Nota 31).   Una lectura genética de "Navidad" abre dimensiones adicionales de significado simbólico en el motivo de la mariposa -- un lado menos públicvo del simbolismo de Nabokov. "Público" se relaciona aquí con "intrínseco": una lectura estética del relato (la lectura a la que invita el relato) mantiene las asociaciones simbólicas más personales secretas, o al menos aletargadas -- hasta que se incuban. Una lectura genética viola así una dimensión de la construcción del relato (la lectura buscada deliberadamente por el autor) con el fin de abrir dimensiones de significado adicionales. Pero el simbolismo en el que descansa una lectura inmanente del relato no queda destruido; en lugar de eso, adquiere resonancias adicionales a medida que se teje una trama más compleja de asociaciones simbólicas.
Para presentar esta lectura genética de "Navidad", yuxtapongamos ahora al relato un texto extraído de la biografía de Brian Boyd. Se trata de un momento crucial. V. D. Nabokov, el padre de nuestro V. V. Nabokov, lideraba uno de los principales partidos democráticos que apoyaban al gobierno de Kerenski. A resultas de la revolución de octubre y de la toma del poder por los comunistas, V. D. Nabokov envió a su familia fuera de la ciudad, a lo que resultaría ser (en visión retrospectiva) un exilio permanente. Un acontecimiento memorable en su momento, pues, y cuya transcendencia no haría sino crecer retrospectivamente. Obsérvese el denso juego de premoniciones y futuras retrospecciones imaginadas en el primer párrafo del relato de Boyd:
El 2/15 de noviembre, su último día en Petrogrado, Vladimir escribió su último poema compuesto en el norte de Rusia, dedicado a su madre y lamentando el hecho de que quizá ella nunca más volviese a pasear entre los abedules de su amada Vyra. En la estación Nikolaevski, V. D. Nabokov se despidió de sus hijos, llenando los momentos de espera escribiendo muy ocupado en el bar de la estación -- un editorial para Rech’ o una proclama de emergencia, una andanada más a la desesperada en una batalla cada vez más perdida. Después de hacer la señal de la cruz sobre sus hijos, añadió como dejándolo caer que quizá no los viese nunca más, se volvió y se fue andando aprisa entre el vapor y la niebla. [Nota 32]
Los chicos viajaron en primera clase en el vagón dormitorio de Simferopol. Vladimir llevaba consigo los pequeños álbumes manuscritos de sus poemas, recientes y en curso, y un montoncillo de sus libritos blancos de poetas simbolistas. Se oía aún el zumbido de la calefacción en el tren, y una pupa de esfinge que había guardado en una caja durante siete años se abrió con el calor desacostumbrado. [Nota 33] (Nota 34).
Nabokov aludió a este episodio en el manuscrito de unas lecciones publicado hace pocos años:
    Este estado pupal [de las mariposas] dura entre unos pocos días y unos pocos años. Recuerdo que de niño guardé en una caja una pupa de esfinge durante unos siete años, de modo que de hecho terminé la enseñanza secundaria mientras la cosa dormía -- y por fin se incubó -- por desgracia sucedió durante un viaje en tren, un caso de poco criterio después de tantos años. (Nota 35)
El exilio, la metamorfosis de la mariposa nocturna, y el adiós del padre (el adiós que no pudo decir más adelante, cuando la muerte, efectivamente, y de modo imprevisto, llegó por fin) quedan asociados en un momento crucial de la experiencia que es reelaborado mediante la creación literaria años más tarde -- ya que la significación completa de este momento se genera, y se revela, únicamente de modo retrospectivo. Siguiendo en cierto modo el mismo proceso, es sólo en la introducción a Nabokov’s Butterflies donde Brian Boyd observa la conexión (no mencionada antes por él) entre el motivo autobiográfico y el cuento "Navidad":
A final de 1924 su primer cuento sobre lepidópteros, "Navidad", utilizaba elementos de sus recuerdos tanto tempranos como recientes de Rusia del norte: la colección que se había visto obligado a abandonar en Vyra, y una excepción, la pupa de esfinge que había guardado en una caja durante siete años y que se abrió por el exceso de calefacción en el vagón de tren que lo llevaba de Petrogrado a Simferopol. Nabokov sabía que no podía sobrecargar y desequilibrar sus relatos con detalles entomológicos, pero en "Navidad" la mariposa nocturna Atlas que emerge inesperadamente corona una historia muy humana. Un padre, al parecer viudo, no puede enfrentarse a la muerte de su único hijo, el pequeño lepidopterista que ansiaba ver emerger esa mariposa nocturna. Precisamente en el momento en que el padre decide que ya no merece la pena vivir la vida, la soberbia mariposa rompe su crisálida, y sus enormes alas se dilatan como señal de esperanza, quizá incluso de resurrección. (Nota 36).   La interpretacion del final del relato como un símbolo de esperanza, inmortalidad del alma, o resurrección está, naturalmente, muy extendida (Nota 37) -- al ser (según yo lo interpreto) el significado simbólico intencionalmente diseñado por el autor, necesario para la construcción del cuento como composición artística -- es decir, el nivel comunicativo del relato en tanto en cuanto es un texto que pertenece al género "cuento literario".   Sin embargo, el texto puede leerse también sintomáticamente, y en este nivel de lectura el significado del símbolo queda un tanto modificado y expandido. Las interpretaciones a las que acabamos de aludir se restringen al nivel comunicativo / intrínseco del relato, y no apuntan la sugerencia de que la "esperanza" a la que se refieren pudiera referirse a alguna situación ajena al mundo ficticio presentado en el relato. Es decir, estos críticos, quizá como efecto retardado del ukase modernista contra la "herejía personal", no intentan extraer significados adicionales basados en una interpretación autobiográfica del relato. Únicamente el desplazamiento de motivos autobiográficos se menciona por parte de los críticos, quizá para señalar el proceso de distanciamiento y objetificación que sufre el material autobiográfico al convertirse en arte. (Nota 38). El distanciamiento existe, pero también conlleva un proceso de reunión y fusión de elementos que pueden analizarse intertextualmente, proceso que contribuye su propia dimensión significativa cuando se examina con protocolos de lectura diferentes.
Algunos críticos reconocen que este cuento se origina a partir de un desplazamiento de materiales autobiográficos. Por ejemplo, Kuzmanovich:
    De modo similar, al escribir su primer cuento de navidad, poco después de que hubieran matado a su padre, Nabokov elige centrarse en el dolor del padre en lugar de el del hijo, eligiendo la muerte de un hijo como acontecimiento de partida. (Nota 39).
Para Meyer, también,
Los relatos escritos en los años 20 pueden leerse también como transposiciones de los pensamientos de Nabokov sobre su padre. (...) Los relatos presentan variaciones sobre el dolor de la pérdida de una persona amada, con alusión indirecta a la pérdida original que los generó. (Nota 40).

  Este tipo de lectura simbólica descansa sobre una interpretación global de las estrategias nabokovianas, que se hace posible sólo una vez que el autor hubo escrito un cierto número de obras y han empezado a circular valoraciones críticas de las mismas. En tanto que lectura de "Navidad", por tanto, es inherentemente intertextual (en el sentido de basarse en la comparación entre relatos), como revelan las palabras iniciales "De modo similar" que he mantenido en la cita de Kuzmanovich. (Nota 41). Los comentarios más recientes del relato, sin embargo, no han elegido explorar la conexión autobiográfica. La lectura de Dillard, en su artículo sobre los relatos de navidad de Nabokov, es en gran medida intrínseca, basada en un simbolismo cristiano de la obra que él considera deliberadamente utilizado -- una "lectura amistosa", por tanto, que se atiene a los límites de la intencionalidad comunicativa y estética del relato en los términos que éste propone (Nota 42). En otras palabras (y volviendo a la formulación dada por Lewis en The Personal Heresy), es cierto que Nabokov, en tanto que es "el poeta", "no es un hombre que me pide que lo mire a él; es un hombre que dice ’mira eso’ y señala; cuanto más siga la dirección de su dedo menos podré ver de él" (Nota 43) -- pero en la medida en que los críticos sean también estudiosos de la pragmática literaria bien pueden estar interesados en el acto de señalar en tanto que acción semiótica, y no sólo en el objeto al que se señala. Una lectura crítica, si bien no es necesariamente "antagonista" al texto, no puede aceptar la lectura que la obra hace de sí misma como una guía para el proyecto analítico del crítico. Las dicotomías establecidas por Paul Ricoeur entre una "hermenéutica de la recuperación del significado" (una hermenéutica de la confianza, podríamos decir) por una parte y una "hermenéutica de la sospecha por otra", y también por Judith Fetterley entre lectores "que asienten" y lectores "que resisten" -- son otras maneras de formular la misma cuestión hermenéutica básica a la que me estoy refiriendo aquí. (Nota 44). Es necesario, por tanto, ir más allá del significado del símbolo articulado conscientemente en el cuento, para examinar su significación en contextos y marcos interpretativos más amplios.   Además del simbolismo espiritual general de las mariposas al que hemos aludido arriba, una interpretación plenamente contextualizada del símbolo de la mariposa en "Navidad" debe tener en cuenta el valor simbólico personal de las mariposas en Nabokov como símbolo de desarrollo personal y de identificación paterna. De niño, su padre V. D. Nabokov había sido un gran aficionado a la caza y coleccionismo de mariposas, y V. V. Nabokov utilizó a menudo las mariposas simbólicamente como un tema musical ligado a la identidad, que entre otras funciones lo conecta con su padre mediante, por así decirlo, un continuo simbólico metamorfoseado. (Nota 45). En los años veinte, Nabokov escribió poemas sobre la muerte de su padre en los cuales la mariposa aparece como señal de una resurrección simbólica (Field, VN 86) -- en este punto puede verse la poesía como una expresión más directa del dolor personal, usando la imagen en relación más cercana con la experiencia vivida, una relación que queda más desplazada en el cuento.   El motivo de las mariposas es multifuncional: conecta a Nabokov a su padre, pero cumple muchas otras funciones adicionales además. Y la función de conectar a Nabokov con su padre también se desempeña de otras maneras: por ejemplo, en la novela El don, una de las fantasías autobiográficas de Nabokov, el personaje cercano a Nabokov, Fyodor, escribe una biografía de su padre, un famoso lepidopterólogo y naturalista que había desaparecido durante una de sus expediciones en Asia central, "y al narrar las expediciones gradualmente se incluye entre los expedicionarios, al final incluso asumiendo la voz de su padre" (Boyd, "Nabokov, Literature, Lepidoptera" 7). La asociación del padre con las mariposas se retoma en una continuación proyectada de El don, de la cual existe un capítulo que Nabokov dejó inédito. (Nota 46).
Mirando hacia atrás, pueden detectarse en "Navidad" significaciones adicionales en el uso del símbolo de la mariposa junto con el desplazamiento contextual del dolor por la muerte de un ser querido. (Nota 47). La muerte es con frecuencia un visitante que llama sin avisar, y el asesinato del padre de Nabokov fue en cierta manera doblemente inesperado, pues ni siquiera era la víctima contra quien querían atentar los asesinos fascistas que le dispararon. Pero la muerte del padre había sido imaginada antes, y esa experiencia es reelaborada en varios relatos y episodios autobiográficos. (Nota 48). En cierto sentido, el adiós de su padre en la estación asumió un significado simbólico, al coincidir como lo hizo con el momento del exilio. Las mariposas, también, adquieren un significado adicional como posibilidad de una vida en el exilio, la posibilidad de continuar una vida en forma metamorfoseada, que puede conducir a un conocimiento espiritual más profundo. Nabokov tuvo que abandonar sus amadas colecciones de mariposas a causa del exilio en dos ocasiones, primero en Vyra y luego en Yalta -- lo cual es otra razón por la cual el motivo de la pupa dejada atrás por el hijo muerto en el cuento puede ser conectado con la experiencia del exilio. (Nota 49). Un poema ruso, "Mariposas nocturnas", escrito algunos años antes de "Navidad", proporciona un tratamiento de este tema más directamente autobiográfico. (Nota 50). El poeta recuerda sus expediciones en Rusia cuando cazaba mariposas nocturnas. Luego se dirige a las colecciones que dejó atrás en Rusia:
(...) Años y más años han pasado y os habéis deshelado al llegar el calor, y habéis llameado de nuevo. He experimentado un amor inexplicable, Inclinándome ensoñado sobre las filas que formáis en vitrinas fragantes y secas, como las hojas delgadas de grandes biblias desvaídas con flores desvaídas entre ellas ... No sé, mariposas nocturnas, quizá hayáis perecido, quizá hayan entrado el moho o las larvas, os hayan mordisqueado los gusanos, quizá vuestras alitas y patas y antenas se han roto, o manos rudas han abierto el armario sagrado y reventado el cristal -- y os habéis transformado en un puñado perfumado de polvo de colores.   No lo sé, tiernas mías -- pero desde otra tierra miro a las profundidades de un melancólico jardín; recuerdo la caída de la tarde al principio del otoño, y mi roble en el prado, y el olor a miel, y la luna amarilla sobre ramas negras -- y lloro, y vuelo, y al anochecer con vosotras me elevo por el aire y respiro bajo las hojas suaves.   Aquí, el exilio, la memoria, la escritura y la "vida ultraterrena" espiritual simbolizada por la mariposa están unidos inextricablemente. Las mariposas ya han experimentado una reelaboración estética y han adquirido una dimensión simbólica, aunque la experiencia autobiográfica está mediada en menor grado que en "Navidad". En otro poema, escrito tras la muerte de su padre, Nabokov compara el ansia de vida terrenal al hambre de una oruga que va preparando una vida más plena como mariposa:   ¡No, la vida no es un dilema tembloroso! Aquí bajo la luna las cosas son brillantes, cubiertas de rocío, Somos las orugas de los ángeles; y dulce es ir comiendo del borde al centro de la hoja tierna.   Vístete de púas, arrástrate, dóblate, hazte fuerte -- y cuanto mayor la gula del verde camino que sigues, más suave será el terciopelo y más espléndidas las puntas de tus alas liberadas. (Nota 51)   De este modo, las mariposas funcionan a través de la vida y la obra de Nabokov como un símbolo multimodal, cuyas manifestaciones desbordan los límites de la "intertextualidad" en sus acepciones usuales, e incluso los de su versión reformada, la "interdiscursividad". Si fuese absolutamente preciso acuñar un término, o reacuñarlo, "intersemioticidad" o simplemente "cadena semiótica" servirían bien -- pero prefiero atenerme a "intertextualidad", con la aclaración de que los "textos" son en este caso constructos semióticos cuyas manifestaciones pueden ir desde el texto de la acción, o la huella de memoria, hasta el simbolismo artístico deliberado y la alusión literaria. (Nota 52). Es decir, a un determinado nivel de análisis (en la vida o en la literatura) es irrelevante si los signos o "textos" que se están interconectando mediante la interpretación son escritos o no, lingüísticos o no, y la intertextualidad queda mejor entendida como una variedad local de procesos semióticos más generales relativos a la producción e interpretación de signos. Existe una cierta tendencia a que los conceptos analíticos que hallan fortuna, como la "cortesía" o la "relevancia" en la pragmalingüística, o la "intertextualidad" en la semiótica literaria, desarrollen un especie de corporativismo disciplinario, y pierdan su anclaje en la semiótica general -- siendo que lo que hace que el estudio de la "intertextualidad" sea interesante en un caso dado queda igualmente bien atendido si nos centramos en otros fenómenos semióticos que están contextualmente relacionados con los fenómenos intertextuales, y que interactúan situacionalmente con ellos, pero que no pueden considerarse "intertextualidad" en un sentido literal.   Una red comparable de conexiones multimodales se teje en torno a otro motivo biográfico del cuento, esta vez relacionado con el título del mismo. El título del cuento, "Navidad", naturalmente queda justificado al hallarse a tono con la temática -- un cuento de Navidad publicado el día de Navidad (según el calendario ortodoxo ruso). Pero hay un eco significativo adicional en este título, un eco que sólo adquiere sentido en el marco de una lectura genética -- una alusión doble a la lujosa villa de Rozhdestvenno, propiedad de Nabokov, y a su iglesia de la Natividad (aunque allí la referencia era a la natividad de la Virgen, no la de Cristo). El nombre de "Rozhdestvenno" está también conectado a la palabra rusa Rozhdestvo, "Navidad", que es el título del cuento en ruso. El cuento describe la cripta de la Iglesia de la Natividad de la Virgen en Rozhdestvenno, donde estaba enterrado el tío materno del autor, también llamado Vladimir, que murió joven de tuberculosis: queda reutilizada como el lugar donde se entierra al hijo de Sleptsov. Hacía poco que Nabokov había heredado Rozhdestvenno de un tío; estaba asociado en su mente al descubrimiento del amor (el motivo de "Tamara" de Habla, Memoria). Es una conexión que emerge en "Navidad" bajo la forma del primer amor del hijo, descubierto por Sleptsov cuando lee su diario. Es decir, esta villa le sugería a Nabokov de modo especialmente intenso las posibilidades no realizadas del pasado, "lo que podía haber sido", que es la ocasión de un dolor tan intenso en "Navidad" -- una posibilidad enterrada para siempre en el pasado, como su tío y tocayo Vladimir, muerto joven, quedó enterrado en la cripta de la casa de campo. A través del nombre de su tío, Vladimir, compartido por V.V. Nabokov y su padre, se establece una sutil conexión entre el padre, el hijo, y la tumba de Rozhdestvenno descrita en "Navidad".   Una de las funciones de nuestro caso ejemplar nabokoviano era ilustrar la relación entre la retrospección y la intertextualidad. Ya he señalado algunas variaciones posibles interpretadas sobre este tema central. En algunos casos, el trabajo de interpretación de los críticos da una expresión explícita, o trae a la consciencia lo que era una influencia subliminal o inconsciente. Las lecturas críticas, en particular las de la Nueva Crítica y las lecturas estéticas posteriores influidas por la atención que presta la Nueva Crítica a la lectura detallada del texto y a las estructuras de imágenes, subrayan la coherencia de los esquemas textuales y ayudan a reforzar la coherencia semántica, uniendo, a través de un metatexto crítico, diversos elementos del texto literario cuya conexión inicial era demasiado débil para que la mayoría de los lectores la pudiesen considerar significativa. Obsérvese que esta actividad de los críticos forma en cierto modo un continuo con la propia relectura que hace el autor de sus textos, o con la manera en que las autotraducciones, o las variaciones tardías de un tema, actúan retroactivamente sobre las manifestaciones tempranas en la obra del autor -- la crítica forma un continuo con la autoexplotación revisionista de motivos característicos y patrones estilísticos que se ha descrito arriba. Como existe esta dimensión metatextual en el propio texto del autor, es quizá natural que los textos posteriores evolucionen hacia la metatextualidad explícita (como en los comentarios de Nabokov sobre su obra en Habla, memoria) o hacia formas de metaficción altamente autoconscientes, de las cuales la última novela de Nabokov, Look at the Harlequins! , es un ejemplo de primera categoría. (Nota 53).   En esta novela, Nabokov presenta una versión paródica alternativa de su vida -- la vida del novelista que podría haber sido, o que algunas personas creen que es. La novela empieza con una lista de lo que serían las obras del autor en un mundo alternativo, y consiste íntegramente de variaciones hilarantes y juguetonas de diversas situaciones que aparecen en las novelas anteriores de Nabokov, contrastándolas precisamente con una lectura autobiográfica (ficticia) de esas obras. Es ésta una estrategia que, como vemos, es un episodio más en el proyecto del autor que consiste en intensificar la autorrevelación y el autoocultamiento simultáneos. (El análisis de Couturier es, como siempre, altamente relevante en este caso). La lectura de Look at the Harlequins! es una delicia -- para los lectores que captan el juego del autor y aceptan jugar a él. Muchos lectores han encontrado la novela enojosamente narcisista, y se han sentido desorientados y perdidos en ella, lo cual tampoco es de sorprender. Look at the Harlequins! de hecho, inaugura un nuevo tipo de confrontación con los "textos hermanos", como los llama Couturier, esa subespecie de parentesco intertextual existente entre las obras de un mismo autor -- pero la novela desarrolla una tendencia de la poética nabokoviana cuya significación potencial queda ahora, tras la novela, más clara, y puede apreciarse mejor ahora en los escritos anteriores.   La intertextualidad tiene una dimensión interaccional, ya que modos diversos de relaciones intertextuales se activan a través de textos posteriores para recontextualizar elementos y extraer una significación más clara -- o bien (y hay aquí un continuo y no una frontera clara) para reescribir el pasado con el fin de acercarlo más a los deseos actuales y hacerlo utilizable de nuevo. Los contextos relevantes no están definidos de antemano en la literatura/crítica (unidas así, con barra, pues la literatura y la crítica son una pareja simbiótica). En parte creamos un contexto relevante mediante la yuxtaposición de textos, haciéndolos actuar unos sobre otros. Hay que reconocer que las lecturas de los críticos introducen en los textos significados que no se encontraban allí. Si observamos a críticos posteriores releer y cribar las interrpretaciones anteriores, veremos que aun después de tirar toda la paja que se haya sacado, les sigue quedando harina integral, nunca un trigo limpio que quizá nunca existió. Pero eso forma parte de la paradójica relación entre la crítica y la literatura. El texto de la las obras literarias no está ya tejido de una vez por todas. La alfombra tiene un dibujo bien visible, pero cada vez que miramos, nuevos dibujos salen a la luz, y otros pueden desvaírse -- en parte quizá porque la mirada crítica sobre una obra literaria requiere hacerla pasar de nuevo por el telar de la intertextualidad. (Nota 54). No estoy seguro si los críticos tendrían con esto base suficiente para reclamar un porcentaje de los derechos de autor, pero al menos debería eximírseles de pagar tasas de copyright: porque la comunicación literaria no es una calle de un solo sentido, antes bien, es interaccional de principio a fin.            
*****

NOTAS
(1). Jonathan Culler, "Story and Discourse in the Analysis of Narrative", en The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction (2ª ed., Londres: Routledge, 2001) 188-208; Michael André Bernstein, Foregone Conclusions: Against Apocalyptic History (Berkeley: U of California P, 1994); Gary Saul Morson, Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time (New Haven: Yale UP, 1994). Volver
(2). Había de ser Aristóteles quien proporcionase la primera referencia a la distorsión retrospectiva, y, sería de esperar, se refiere a ella en tono de aprobación:

este tipo de efectos [el temor y la compasión] se intensifican cuando las cosas suceden de modo inesperado además de lógico, porque entonces serán más notables que si parecen meramente mecánicas o accidentales. De hecho, incluso los acontecimientos casuales parecen más llamativos cuando presentan el aspecto de haber sucedido intencionadamente--cuando, por ejemplo, la estatua de Mitys en Argos mató al hombre que había causado la muerte de Mitys, al caer sobre él durante un espectáculo público. Cosas como esta no parecen meros sucesos casuales. Así pues, los argumentos de este tipo son necesariamente mejores que otros. (Poética, cap. 9). Volver  

(3). Nota insistente: los recomiendo tanto, que me permito llamar la atención a mis lectores en el sentido de que si me están leyendo sin conocer esas obras, tienen las prioridades algo trastocadas. Sería un buen consejo dejar de lado este artículo y hacerse primero con esas lecturas, pero ya. Volver
(4). Una aproximación preliminar a esta postura, y un análisis complementario de la percepción retrospectiva, pueden encontrarse en mi capítulo "Catastrophism and Hindsight: Narrative Hermeneutics in Biology and in Historiography", en Beyond Borders: Redefining Generic and Ontological Boundaries, ed. Ramón Plo-Alastrué y María Jesús Martínez-Alfaro (Heidelberg: Winter, 2002) 105-19. Una versión española puede verse aquí. Un estudio clásico del efecto de la retrospección sobre la percepción y el juicio es el artículo de B. Fischoff "Hindsight/Foresight: The Effect of Outcome Knowledge on Judgement under Uncertainty", Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 1 (1975): 288-299. La distorsión retrospectiva ha sido objeto de numerosos estudios en años recientes, especialmente en los campo de la psicología cognitiva, el diagnóstico médico y el análisis empresarial. Véase por ejemplo la bibliografía del proyecto de investigación interdisciplinar "Sonderforschungbereich 504", sobre explicaciones no estándar del comportamiento y la toma de decisiones en la actividad empresarial. Volver
(5). El libro de William Edmiston Hindsight and Insight (University Park, Pennsylvania: Penssylvania UP, 1991), un estudio de la focalización en novelas francesas del siglo XVIII, diferencia entre el conocimiento producido por retrospección --el conocimiento "lógico" del narrador en primera persona-- y el "conocimiento" adicional que se produce cuando el autor rompe la motivación realista de la narración en primera persona, dando a su narrador el privilegio de la omnisciencia mediante una infracción de las reglas miméticas. Volver
(6). Paul Ricoeur, Time and Narrative (3 vols.; Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1984, 1986, 1988). Volver
(7). Robert de Beaugrande y Wolfgang Dressler, Introduction to Text Linguistics (Londres: Longman, 1986) 206; traducción mía. Volver
(8). Jorge Luis Borges, "Kafka y sus precursores" (1951), en Otras Inquisiciones (Madrid: Alianza, 1985) 107-9. Volver
(9). T. S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent" (1917), en Selected Essays (Londres: Faber and Faber, 1951) 15 (traducción mía). Compárese el concepto de tradición de Ricoeur, que también es "interactivo": "una tradición se constituye como resultado de la interacción de la innovación y la sedimentación" (Time and Narrative 1.68, traducción mía). En mi artículo "Understanding Misreading: A Hermeneutic / Deconstructive Approach", estudio el papel de la retroacción interpretativa en la deconstrucción y en la crítica hermenéutica, usando también los ejemplos de Borges y Eliot. (En The Pragmatics of Understanding and Misunderstanding, ed. Beatriz Penas; Zaragoza: Universidad de Zaragoza, 1998, 57-72. Hay una versión española aquí). Volver
(10). David Lodge, Small World: An Academic Romance (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985) 51. Volver
(11). E. W. M. Tillyard y C. S. Lewis, The Personal Heresy: A Controversy (1939; Londres: Oxford UP, 1965) 16 (traducción mía). Volver
(12). Cf. mi discusión de la intencionalidad en Reading "The Monster": The Interpretation of Authorial Intention in the Criticism of Narrative Fiction (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1997) 30 passim. Volver
(13). De Beaugrande y Dressler, Introduction to Text Linguistics (1986, 206). Volver
(14). Una dicotomía ésta que examiné en Acción, Relato, Discurso: Estructura de la ficción narrativa (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 1998) 212 ss. Volver
(15). Teun A. van Dijk y Walter Kintsch, Strategies of Discourse Comprehension. (Nueva York: Academic Press, 1983) 1 ss., ix. Sigo la exposición de Robert de Beaugrande en Linguistic Theory: The Discourse of Fundamental Works (edición en red, 2002, en http://www.beaugrande.com). Volver
(16). Van Dijk y Kintsch, Strategies (1983, 7 ss.). Volver
(17). Véase la argumentación completa en Maurice Couturier, Nabokov, ou la tyrannie de l’auteur (París: Editions du Seuil, 1993). Volver
(18). John Burt Foster, Nabokov’s Art of Memory and European Modernism (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993). Volver
(19). Anatole France, "The Adventures of the Soul" (trad. de Ludwig Lewissohn extraída de La Vie littéraire [1883-93]), en Critical Theory since Plato, ed. Hazard Adams (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971) 671. Volver
(20). Habría que distinguir, por tanto, diversos niveles de voz autorial implícita, tal y como observa Michael Wood en The Magician’s Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction (Londres: Chatto and Windus, 1994) 22. Volver
(21). Andrew Field, VN: The Life and Art of Vladimir Nabokov (Nueva York: Crown, 1986; Londres: Macdonald Queen Anne Press, 1987) 98. Volver
(22). Intento llevar a cabo un análisis más detallado de los elementos proxémicos y la percepción subliminal con relación a otro relato de Nabokov con tema navideño, "Rozhdestvenskii rasskaz", en mi artículo "The Poetics of Subliminal Awareness: Re-reading Intention and Narrative Structure in Nabokov’s ’Christmas Story’", European Journal of English Studies 8.1 (2004): 27-48. Como he señalado antes, la relevancia de esta dimensión analítica para los estudios del discurso está subrayada en el programa expuesto por van Dijk y Kintsch en Strategies of Discourse Comprehension (1983). Volver
(23). Vladimir Nabokov, "Christmas", en The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (Londres: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1996) 131-136. El original ruso, "Rozhdestvo", se escribió en 1924 y se publicó en Rul’ (Berlín) el 6 y 8 de enero de 1925 (hay que notar que en el calendario juliano usado por los emigrados rusos, la navidad de 1924 correspondía al 7 de enero de 1925 gregoriano). El texto ruso reapareció en la colección de relatos de Nabokov Vozvrashchenie Chorba, y la traducción inglesa de Dmitri y Vladimir Nabokov apareció en el New Yorker y en la colección de relatos de Nabokov Details of a Sunset and Other Stories (Nueva York: McGraw-Hill, 1976). Volver
(24). Priscilla Meyer, "The German Theme in Nabokov’s Work of the 1920s", en A Small Alpine Form: Studies in Nabokov’s Short Fiction, ed. Charles Nicol y Gennady Barabtarlo (Nueva York: Garland, 1993) 3-4; traducción mía. Volver
(25). Vladimir E. Alexandrov, Nabokov’s Otherworld (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1991); Maxim D. Shrayer, The World of Nabokov’s Stories (Austin: U of Texas P, 1999). Volver
(26). Marina Turkevich Naumann, Blue Evenings in Berlin: Nabokov’s Short Stories of the 1920s (Nueva York: New York UP, 1978); Brian Boyd, Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1990). Volver
(27). Boyd, Russian Years (1990, 236); traducción mía. Volver
(28). Naumann, Blue Evenings (1978, 193, traducción mía). Volver
(29). Brian Boyd, "Nabokov, Literature, Lepidoptera", en Nabokov’s Butterflies: Unpublished and Uncollected Writings, ed. Brian Boyd y Robert Michael Pyle (Londres: Allen Lane / Penguin Press, 2000) 1-31. See also Charles Lee Remington, "Lepidoptera Studies", en The Garland Companion to Vladimir Nabokov, ed. Vladimir Alexandrov (Nueva York: Garland, 1995) 274-83. Volver
(30). Gennady Barabtarlo (Aerial View: Essays on Nabokov’s Art and Metaphysics, Berna: Peter Lang, 1993, 29) se refiere al locus clásico de este símbolo en Dante (Purgatorio X 121-29). Por cierto, Barabtarlo interpreta erróneamente la secuencia de los acontecimientos en "Christmas", arguyendo que el héroe Sleptsov es "incapaz de reconocer que la mariposa nocturna Attacus que acaba de nacer es una señal reveladora de que su hijo ’en algún sitio está vivo’" (Aerial View 1993, 31, traducción mía). Shrayer (World, 1999, 37, traducción mía) arguye que el final es indeterminado, pero luego sostiene que, tras contemplar la metamorfosis, Sleptsov "es capaz de resistir la tentación del suicidio". Como observa Naumann, "está implícita una inversión del temperamento de Sleptsov" (Blue Evenings, 194, traducción mía) -- al menos lo está en la experiencia de la mayoría de los lectores. La raíz "slep" sí significa "ciego" en ruso (como observan Nataliia Tolstaia y Mikhail Meilakh ("Russian Short Stories", en The Garland Companion to Vladimir Nabokov, ed. Alexandrov, 1995, 644-660), pero el final del relato sugiere que el personaje central participa de la visión o epifanía lograda. Volver
(31). Cit. en Boyd, "Nabokov, Literature, Lepidoptera" (2000, 29), trad. mía. Volver
(32). [Nota de William Boyd] Album VN Stikhotvoreniya 1917, 24, VNA; SM, 242. Volver
(33). [Nota de Willliam Boyd] DB, 210; SM, 242; notas de lecciones sobre Kafka, VNA. Volver
(34). Boyd, Russian Years (1990, 134-135, 549). En las anteriores notas de Boyd, 33 y 34, VN=Vladimir V. Nabokov; VNA=Vladimir Nabokov Archives, Montreux; SM=Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, de V. V. Nabokov (Nueva York: Putnam, 1966); DB= Drugie berega, de V. V. Nabokov (Nueva York: Chekhov Publishing House, 1954). Volver
(35). De las lecciones en Cornell de Nabokov, marzo de 1951, en Nabokov’s Butterflies (2000, 473). Volver
(36). Boyd, "Nabokov, Literature, Lepidoptera" (2000, 5-6). Volver
(37). Ver también Field, VN (1986787, 86); Alexandrov, Otherworld (1991, 244 n. 9), Barabtarlo, Aerieal View (1993, 28); Shrayer, World (1999, 37); y R. H. W. Dillard, "Nabokov’s Christmas Stories", en Torpid Smoke: The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, ed. Steven Kellman e Irving Malin (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000) 46. Volver
  (38). A tono, pues, con la refutación que hace C. S. Lewis de la "herejía personal" en poesía: Es, de hecho, totalmente imposible que el personaje representado en el poema sea idénticamente la persona del poeta. El personaje presentado es un hombre enfrascado en esta o aquella emoción: el poeta real es un hombre que ya ha escapado de esa emoción lo suficiente como para verla objetivamente -- a punto he estado de decir dramáticamente -- y para hacer poesía con ella" (Personal Heresy 9, trad. mía). Volver
  (39). Zoran Kuzmanovich, "’A Christmas Story’: A Polemic with Ghosts", en A Small Alpine Form, ed. Nicol y Barabtarlo (1993, 95 n. 11). Cf. también Jean Blot, Nabokov (Paris: Seuil, 1995) 94; Shrayer, World (1999, 33). Volver
(40). Meyer, "German Theme" (1993, 5). Volver
(41). Hay aún otras dimensiones intertextuales en este cuento, como bien señala Shrayer. Una que hace que la historia "se lea" a sí misma es la conexión intertextual entre los textos inglés y ruso del cuento. Como observa Shrayer, el texto inglés de los relatos traducidos de Nabokov "a menudo proporciona una prueba de precisión sobre si el autor era completamente consciente de sus designios en el original" (World, 1999, 73). Y existen, además, lazos intertextuales entre el relato de Nabokov y otros relatos sobre la pena intensa, como "Congoja" y "Enemigos" de Chéjov, y "Toro de nieve" de Ivan Bunin (Shrayer, World, 1999, 192, 258). Volver
  (42). Dillard sí observa, sin embargo, que "ambos relatos fueron escritos cuando Nabokov tenía veintitantos años, en los años que siguieron inmediatamente a la muerte de su padre" ("Christmas Stories", 2000, 35). Volver
(43). C. S. Lewis, The Personal Heresy (1965, 11). Volver
(44). Paul Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, trad. Denis Savage (New Haven: Yale UP, 1970); Judith Fetterley, The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1978). Volver
(45). Véase, por ejemplo, este fragmento de las primeras páginas de Speak, Memory, otra vez sobre una esfinge:

el Chemin du Pendu, donde encontré en aquel día de junio de 1907 una esfinge que rara vez se daba tan al oeste, y donde un cuarto de siglo antes, mi padre había cogido con su red una mariposa Pavo real muy escasa en nuestros bosques norteños" (reimp. en Nabokov’s Butterflies, 627).   Este fragmento debería leerse en su contexto, que conecta con la metamorfosis de las mariposas las transformaciones efectuadas por la memoria y por la reescritura. La esfinge, por cierto, ya había hecho su aparición en la primera "publicación" de Nabokov, un poema que distribuyó a amigos y familiares a los catorce años (Boyd, "Nabokov, Literature, Lepidoptera", 2000, 4). Volver  

(46). Vladimir V. Nabokov, "Father’s Butterflies", escrito hacia 1939, traducido por Dmitri Nabokov, en Nabokov’s Butterflies (2000, 198-234). Volver
(47). Siempre mirando hacia atrás, porque estos casos tan específicos de convergencia simbólica sólo precisan de explicación una vez que han ido tomando forma acumulativamente, como resultado de la contingencia o de la sobredeterminación del significado. Volver
(48). Por ejemplo los episodios del duelo en Speak, Memory y en "Orache" (Stories, 1996, 325-31). En Gloria, por otra parte, Zilanov, una figura inspirada por V. D. Nabokov, continúa vivo al final de la obra como un activista exiliado, mientras que la figura en quien se autoproyecta V. V. Nabokov, Martin, se disuelve y desaparece en una "gloria" misteriosa al intentar volver a la Rusia de ensueño de su pasado. Volver
(49). El motivo del exilio visto como "salida de la crisálida" es analizado por David M. Bethea en un estudio comparativo de Nabokov y Brodski, "Izgnanie kak ukhod v kokon: Obraz babochki u Nabokova i Brodskogo", Russkaia literatura 3 (1991) 167-75. Volver
(50). Vladimir Nabokov, "Mariposas nocturnas" ("Nochnye babochki"). Publicado en Rul’, 15 de marzo de 1922. El texto del libro de poemas de Nabokov Grozd’ fue traducido al inglés por Dmitri Nabokov como "Moths"; traduzco del texto de Nabokov’s Butterflies (2000, 107). Volver
(51). Vladimir Nabokov, "Net, bytiyo -- ne zybkaya zagadka". Poema ruso, escrito en 1923. El texto, reimpreso en Stikhi, fue traducido al inglés por Brian Boyd y Dmitri Nabokov como "No, life is no quivering quandary!"; traduzco de Nabokov’s Butterflies (2000, 109). Volver
(52). Una perspectiva similar adopta Beatriz Penas en un artículo sobre la autobiografía de Nabokov, "Signs of Memory, Signs of Writing: Nabokov’s Narrative Integration of World/Word Images", en Memory, Imagination, and Desire, ed. Constanza del Río y Luis Miguel García Mainar (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 2003). Volver
(53). Vladimir Nabokov, Look at the Harlequins! (Nueva York: McGraw-Hill, 1974). Volver
  (54). Compárese lo dicho con la siguiente tendencia observada por de Beaugrande y Dressler en su examen del efecto que tiene la intertextualidad en el procesamiento y recuerdo de los textos por parte de los lectores: "Los añadidos, modificaciones, y cambios realizados mediante la activación difusiva o las inferencias se vuelven indistinguibles del conocimiento presentado en el texto" (Introduction to Text Linguistics 1986, 204; énfasis en el original). Volver





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Miércoles, 22 de Febrero de 2017 09:20. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: Otelo siempre en Alepo

domingo, 21 de febrero de 2016

Retropost #661 (19 de diciembre de 2005): Otelo siempre en Alepo

 
Ayer era la última función de Otelo, por el Teatro Che y Moche, dirigido por María Ángeles Pueo. Teatro lleno, representación correcta si bien no para tirar cohetes, y observo que gustó al público (aunque alguno también se dormía detrás de mí). El Teatro Principal necesitaría que le sacasen el escenario un poquito más hacia el patio de butacas: un escenario en forma de rombo sobresaliendo supondría perder pocas butacas y aprovechar mucho más los palcos laterales. La compañía también se echaba innecesariamente al fondo del escenario, saliendo al proscenio sólo para los monólogos de Yago. En Shakespeare en concreto se apreciaría mucho un teatro un poco más en redondo -- y más pausa y peso en la pronunciación, menos prisa y gesto y movimiento innecesario (lo que aconseja Hamlet a sus propios actores, básicamente). 


En fin, la función empezó de manera poco prometedora, con parlamentos casi inaudibles y apresurados, pero para el final había captado la atención y complicidad del público (complicidad con Yago, claro, que así está hecha la obra...).   La escenificación era escasa: telas, rampas cubiertas, luces abstractas proyectadas (al final se vuelven más concretas, dando forma a las pesadillas de Otelo al creerse cornudo). Va bien con Shakespeare la parquedad en el escenario, pero a veces tardaba demasiado el cambio de escena, con movimientos innecesarios de cordajes y sábanas, que llaman la atención sobre lo que debería ser invisible.

En cuanto a la caracterización, se elige a un Otelo más bien turco o mongol, en absoluto magrebí o negro; opción defendible aun cuando a mí no me parezca la más adecuada. Otelo es descrito como oscuro, negro, al menos comparativa y relativamente, no hace falta tampoco que sea un zulú, pero sí debería contrastar en color, no sólo en exotismo, con Desdémona y los demás. En cualquier caso hay una larguísima tradición de Otelos claritos (y cuando no, claro, era un blanco pintado de negro el que lo solía representar)-- pero hoy en día no andamos escasos de negros y moros por Europa... aunque en fin, entiendo que cada compañía tiene sus circunstancias. 

También se blanquea a Otelo en esta función de otra manera: cambiando el final de la obra, sustituyendo el suicidio de Otelo y versos acompañantes por... el de Romeo. ¡¡¡¡No!!!-- ¡¡¡SÍ!!! Bueno, desde luego también es una opción, pero habría que plantearse muy bien lo que se pretende conseguir con semejante maniobra. A mí me parece curioso en tanto que experimento, y adelante si es lo que se quiere hacer, pero me parece cuestionable la ideología inconsciente que conlleva este cambio. Aquí tenemos a Otelo pidiendo a los nobles venecianos que lo dejen solo un momento con Desdémona muerta, en atención a sus anteriores servicios al Estado. Pasamos de una escena pública a una escena privada, y yo creía que iban a seguir los versos sobre el turco, opción que me parecía más viable... pero no, de repente desaparece Otelo y aparece Romeo (enlazando con el tema del veneno que había mencionado Otelo en 4.1 -- (digo "4.1" por decir algo, en la función de ayer no había actos, ni intermedios). Tanto Romeo como Otelo mueren "con un beso", y esta escenificación resalta ese paralelismo. Así Otelo muere en parte la muerte de Romeo, una muerte engañada e inocente (de ahí el blanqueado de Otelo a que me refería antes), y la obra termina con los dos solos muertos en el lecho, sin la reflexión pública de los venecianos sobre su destino (ni el énfasis final, implícito, en el destino de Yago y Emilia). 

Es que hay dos tragedias en Otelo, una como contrapunto de la otra, y siempre sorprende la tragedia olvidada de Emilia, sobre todo cuando se elige dar énfasis al personaje (lo cual no es el caso aquí, como digo). Yago sospecha la infidelidad de Emilia, y proyecta sus obsesiones sobre Otelo: es Otelo quien mata a la inocente Desdémona, aunque al final Yago también acabe matando a Emilia, de quien en realidad no sabemos si se acostó o no con Otelo, como temía Yago. Todo parece ser producto de la mente suspicaz y obsesiva de Yago, pero nada queda descartado en realidad. En la tragedia de Otelo, el punto de vista privilegiado que tenemos (al conocer las maquinaciones de Yago) nos certifica la inocencia de Desdémona; en la de Emilia, no disponemos de ese punto de vista privilegiado, y eso nos ofrece otra perspectiva adicional sobre el tema de la sospecha. Por otra parte, Emilia es una heroína activa, que elige hablar y denunciar (aun a riesgo de morir) antes que callar como le ordena su marido; es, quizá, la auténtica heroína trágica de esta obra, pues Desdémona limita sus elecciones a no rehuir a Otelo e insistir en proclamar su inocencia -- y denunciarse a sí misma. De hecho resucita brevemente, y de modo harto improbable, tras su estrangulamiento, para despedirse exonerando a Otelo y mandándole recuerdos: a la pregunta de Emilia de quién le ha hecho eso, dice, "Nobody, I myself. Farewell. Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell!". Esta Desdémona exagera, realmente. (En la función de ayer, Desdémona elegía con buen criterio seguir estrangulada y callada).

Desde luego, la primera persona interesada en blanquear a Otelo es Desdémona. Shakespeare también: nos muestra un patético Otelo, cuya violencia injustificable queda (casi) plenamente justificada por la manipulación a que se ha visto sometido a manos de Yago. Yago encarna la envidia, la mentira y el rencor, pero también la paranoia masculina; es la personificación de esos protocolos homosociales que llevan a la llamada "violencia de género". Y también encarna a la misoginia, y al cálculo estratégico, y... una combinación desde luego complicada y única que impide reducirlo a una sola de sus facetas.   Porque si Yago tiene sus "motivos" (envidia, venganza, racismo, machismo, etc.) también por otra parte es la encarnación del espíritu dramático de la obra. En toda obra de teatro hay alguien que planea algo, y ese algo fracasa (aunque luego la obra pueda culminar en éxito inesperado). En el teatro se ve cómo los planes de los humanos se estrellan contra los planes propios de las cosas, el "destino" que no controlamos pero que acaba por ser nuestro, o nosotros suyos. Shakespeare nos presenta a veces artistas de la intriga, normalmente maléficos (Ricardo III o Yago), que huyen hacia adelante, enrevesando con sus mentiras la situación y creando una estructura de engaños cada vez más compleja, por el placer (más allá de los motivos locales) de ver hasta dónde aguantará, por amor a la intriga, por ver hasta dónde llega su destino. Por eso Yago se enfrenta satisfecho y silencioso a la tortura al final de la obra: es él, sobre todo, quien nos ha traído hasta aquí, ya no le queda nada más que añadir.

En las palabras finales que no pronunciaba ayer, al romeificarse, Otelo habla a los nobles venecianos, y al público también, y da instrucciones primero sobre cómo hay que recordarle, con precisión y exactitud (sin blanquearlo ni ennegrecerlo): como un personaje que amó "not wisely but too well" (son sus términos, no es que yo esté de acuerdo con ellos), y que por ignorancia se causó un gran daño a sí mismo, y es ahora consciente de ello. (Eso sí es trágico, el daño que uno se hace a sí mismo, y más cuando es por elección, como lo es aquí y no reconoce del todo Otelo). Pero más interesante aún es la manera en que se suicida. Ha pedido que se recuerden sus servicios al Estado, y termina diciendo: 

Y decid además que una vez, en Alepo,
Donde un maligno turco con turbante
Apaleaba a un veneciano e infamaba al Estado,
Yo cogí por la garganta al perro circunciso
Y le golpeé así. (Se apuñala a sí mismo)

Otelo, que ha sido siempre el forastero, el extraño, el que no acababa de conocer los usos y costumbres de la galantería veneciana, el inseguro -- con este acto se reafirma como un ser para siempre ambiguo, a la vez servidor y enemigo del Estado, el Otro que se lleva dentro a sí mismo a su pesar, el converso que se vuelve contra lo que odia en sí mismo, y que le hace ser lo que es. Otelo quiere blanquearse también con este último acto, pero es un acto fundamentalmente ambiguo, al mostrar que jamás Desdémona debió dejarse seducir por quien llevaba dentro de sí al turco con turbante. En eso no podrán sino concurrir con Yago los nobles venecianos, empezando por el padre de Desdémona si viviera... que también ha tenido su parte en la tragedia, alimentando las sospechas de Otelo.

Es una tragedia machista hoy arquetípica, la del asesino de su esposa que luego se vuelve contra sí mismo, o contra el turco de turbante que lleva dentro, y nos hace a todos pensar a coro, ¿por qué no habrá hecho al revés, apuñalando primero al turco? (La respuesta, claro, es que el turco tiene que salir a la luz antes de ser apuñalado). La inocencia indudable de Desdémona parece, turbiamente, insinuar que Otelo podría haber estado justificado en su violencia si no hubiese sido tan escandalosamente engañado.

No es Otelo un alegato "contra la violencia de género", sino algo muy distinto, una tragedia que saca su energía, en parte, del sistema patriarcal que la sustenta, y al que sustenta. Aunque en el Juicio Final Dios puede perdonar a todo el mundo, y la tragedia nos coloque en parte en esa perspectiva, por otro lado no deja de ser turbadora la imagen del "cargamento trágico" de la cama que une a Otelo y a Desdémona, como una versión de pesadilla del orden sexual del patriarcado, como si todo orden matrimonial se sustentase, en última instancia, en la posibilidad latente del asesinato que aquí se ha materializado, y que sale a la luz para apesadumbrar a todos los que participan de ese orden. Porque reconocen al turco con turbante que también llevan dentro, quizá.

Parece justo separar a Otelo y Desdémona tras el crimen, y dejar que estén juntos sólo en el pasado (si es que queda de algún modo un lugar donde el pasado esté a salvo, guardado en sí mismo, sin que lo contamine lo que luego sucedió). También tiene su parte de justicia el despedirlos juntos, como en la película de Oliver Parker, siempre que sea el mar y no la tierra quien se trague sus cuerpos atados uno a otro. Y por eso (aunque algunos opinen que esto resulta más bien de que Kenneth Branagh no pueda faltar en la foto), también está bien, muy bien, que en el lecho de muerte, entre Otelo y Desdémona, se tumbe, sin que nadie lo invite ahí, Yago.



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Miércoles, 22 de Febrero de 2017 09:01. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: La Academia de Proyectistas

sábado, 20 de febrero de 2016

Retropost #657 (16 de diciembre de 2005): La Academia de Proyectistas


 

(A veces, entre el maremágnum de proyectos y reformas que invade actualmente la Universidad, me viene a la cabeza la sátira de Swift sobre la Academia de Proyectistas de Lagado. Claro que hay que tener en cuenta que Swift caricaturiza allí a la Royal Society y en realidad a todo el desarrollo contemporáneo de la ciencia y la tecnología que iba a llevar a la Revolución Industrial y al desarrollo que él da aquí por imposible. Aunque a la vez podría leerse como una alegoría de las consecuencias de la globalización tal como hoy las vemos, con el Tercer Mundo sufriendo las consecuencias de la actividad de los proyectistas. Hay algo de verdad y algo de mentira en toda caricatura, y ésta, como todas las buenas, sirve tanto para tiempos de Swift como para hoy. ¿Qué diría Swift si viese que los proyectos, una vez financiados, se convierten ya en un mérito de por sí, independientemente de los resultados obtenidos? Hay que pensar que también de este proceder se derivarán bienes que hoy no terminamos de vislumbrar. Oigamos lo que cuenta Su Excelencia a Gulliver:)

El contenido de sus palabras vino a ser como sigue. Que hacía unos cuarenta años que algunas personas subieron a Laputa, ya por negocios o para divertirse, y después de cinco meses de permanecer allí, volvieron con muy escasas nociones de matemáticas, pero henchidos del espíritu volátil que habían adquirido en aquella etérea región; que a estas personas, en cuanto volvieron, empezó a no gustarles la manera en que se hacían todas las cosas allí abajo y se metieron en planes para poner todas las artes, ciencias, idiomas y tecnologías sobre una nueva base. Con este propósito consiguieron un otorgamiento real para construir una Academia de PROYECTISTAS en Lagado; y el capricho pudo tanto entre la población, que no hay ciudad que se precie en el reino que no tenga una academia tal. En estos colegios los profesores inventan nuevos sistemas y métodos de agricultura e ingeniería, y nuevos instrumentos y herramientas para todas las industrias y artesanías, con las cuales, según prometen, un hombre hará el trabajo de diez; un palacio puede construirse en una semana y con materiales tan imperecederos que durará para siempre sin arreglo alguno. Todos los frutos de la tierra madurarán en cualquier época que nos parezca bien elegir, y serán cien veces más abundantes que actualmente, amén de otros muchos felices planteamientos. El único inconveniente es que, hasta ahora, ninguno de estos proyectos ha alcanzado la perfección, y mientras tanto la tierra toda yace tristemente baldía, las casas en ruinas y la población sin comida ni ropa. En vez de desalentarse por todo esto, se sienten cincuenta veces más arrebatados en su empeño de llevar adelante sus ideas, espoleados a partes iguales por la esperanza y la desesperación; que en cuanto a él, como no fuera de espíritu emprendedor, se contentaba con seguir chapado a la antigua, vivir en las casas que sus antecesores habían construido y conducirse como ellos en todas las cosas de la vida, sin innovaciones. Que algunos otros miembros de la nobleza y la alta burguesía habían hecho lo mismo pero se los miraba con malos ojos y desprecio por ser enemigos del arte, ignorantes y malos patriotas, que preferían su propio bienestar e indolencia al mejoramiento general. (...) Días después, regresamos a la ciudad y Su Excelencia, teniendo en cuenta la mala reputación que tenía en la Academia, no quería ir conmigo, sino que me recomendó a un amigo suyo para que me acompañara allí. Mi huésped tuvo el gusto de referirse a mí como gran admirador de proyectos y persona muy curiosa y de fe fácil, lo que en verdad no era falso del todo, pues en mis años jóvenes tuve algo de proyectista.




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How to Make Believe

jueves, 18 de febrero de 2016

How to Make Believe

How to Make Believe

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Celebrando el 80 cumpleaños de mamá

jueves, 18 de febrero de 2016

Celebrando el 80 cumpleaños de mamá

 

 

Me & My Brothers & My Mum

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Retropost: Gilgamesh y la escritura

jueves, 18 de febrero de 2016

Retropost #652 (12 de diciembre de 2005): Gilgamesh y la escritura



El libro de John Battelle The Search termina muy adecuadamente creo, con el relato de cómo Google le hizo encontrar el poema de Gilgamesh: y de cómo así Internet sigue haciendo accesible universalmente un texto que nos habla desde la noche de los tiempos.

Recuerdo que compré el poema de Gilgamesh en una edición conjunta con el Bhagadav-Gita, y que si este último me resultó repugnante (al margen de su interés filológico), Gilgamesh era un poema impresionante, lleno de lugares memorables, y quedaba grabado en la memoria. Nada tan inolvidable como su principio:


Quien ha visto el fondo de las cosas y de la tierra
y todo lo ha vivido para enseñarlo a otros,
propagará su experiencia para el bien de cada uno.
Ha poseído la sabiduría y la ciencia universales,
ha descubierto el secreto de lo que estaba oculto.
Quien tenía noticia de lo anterior al Diluvio,
emprendió largos viajes, con esfuerzo y fatiga,
Y sus afanes han sido grabados en una estela.
Ha hecho levantar la amurallada Uruk,
el sagrado Eanna, el puro santuario.
Ha visto la muralla, trazada a cordel,
y el muro interior, que no tiene rival;
ha contemplado el dintel, que data de siempre,
se ha acercado al Eanna, templo de Ishtar,
que ni hombre ni rey podrán nunca igualar.
Ha paseado por las murallas de la ciudad de Uruk
y mirado la base, su sólida fábrica,
toda ella construida con ladrillos cocidos
y formada por siete capas de asfalto.
 


Uruk era Irak hace cuatro mil quinientos años. Habla Borges en su prólogo a la epopeya de Gilgamesh de "las muchas maravillas de este multiforme poema. La triste condición de los muertos y la búsqueda de la inmortalidad personal son temas esenciales. Diríase que todo ya está en este libro babilónico. Sus páginas inspiran el horror de lo que es muy antiguo y nos obligan a sentir el incalculable peso del Tiempo". Lo muy antiguo elevado al cuadrado, al comenzar ya con la mención de esas construcciones "que datan de siempre". Y a su vez el principio del poema mira al futuro, nos mira cara a cara diríamos, cuando hace alusión a su propia escritura, "sus afanes grabados en una estela" < en las piedras de Uruk se superponen el remoto pasado y el futuro impensable desde el cual estamos escuchando, hoy, lo que se mandó grabar en piedra. De la piedra a la tablilla, de la tablilla a la edición académica, al libro del cual he extraído estos versos, y luego al e-book o a los videojuegos. Ahora dicen los arqueólogos que han encontrado los restos de Uruk. Ya estaban aquí, claro. ¿Está rescatado ya Gilgamesh para la historia? Ahora que ya existen múltiples ejemplares, ¿existirá hasta el fin de los tiempos? Sea como sea, mientras exista, y quizá exista más tiempo que la humanidad, seguirá hablando impasible de la eternidad de las piedras y de la escritura, y de lo transitorio de la vida humana. "Su rostro era el de un hombre que llega de muy lejos". El texto y la imagen han sido desde entonces hasta ahora nuestra mayor aproximación a la inmortalidad: que se hable de nosotros tras la muerte, o hablar nosotros mismos con nuestros textos y grabaciones. La historia cuenta cómo Gilgamesh obtiene el remedio para lograr la inmortalidad, pero lo pierde por accidente... Menciona Battelle cómo la historia casi se perdió durante la destrucción de la biblioteca de Asurbanipal. Y aun si la biblioteca sobrevive, un libro puede perderse en ella para siempre (nos recuerda Borges). La biblioteca total, con el acceso total que prometen las herramientas de búsqueda, parece hoy a punto de conseguirse. Sería para muchos textos lograr la oportunidad de hacerse visibles a pesar de las siete capas de libros que tengan encima. Si hay alguien que los quiera digitalizar primero, y leer después. Un texto no buscado ni leído sigue enterrado para siempre en la oscuridad. Battelle imagina ya tejida la red universal de textos, la memoria humana escrita y digitalizada, y conectada mediante le búsqueda que a modo de segunda escritura la hace universalmente accesible: "And barring a revival of the Luddites or total nuclear war, this chain will most likely be unbroken, forever, into the future". Es un sublime tecnológico-textual: y hay algo ya de inhumano, algo de funerario, en todo texto, toda estela grabada en piedra, o toda máquina que habla sin una presencia humana tras ella. Y quizá en un futuro las máquinas lean a las máquinas, y a Gilgamesh, cuando ya no haya humanos interesados en el tema.
Así habla Ut-Napishtim a Gilgamesh:


¿Acaso construimos casas para siempre
y para siempre sellamos lo que nos pertenece?
¿Acaso los hermanos comparten para siempre?
¿Acaso para siempre divide el odio?
¿Acaso la crecida del río es para siempre?
¿Acaso el pájaro kulilu y el pájaro krippu
suben para siempre al cielo mirando al sol?
Los que duermen y los que están muertos se asemejan.
El noble y el vasallo no son diferentes
cuando han cumplido su destino.
Desde siempre los anunnaki, los grandes dioses, se han reunido,
y la diosa mammitu, creadora del destino, con ellos fija los destinos.
Los dioses deciden sobre nuestra muerte y nuestra vida,
pero no revelan el día de nuestra muerte. (X,vi)
 


Y así, el final del poema enfatiza más la eternidad de la muerte que la eternidad de las construcciones humanas y de la sabiduría transmitida por la escritura. Al final de su búsqueda, Gilgamesh no logra la inmortalidad, aunque sí logra que su amigo Enkidu regrese a conversar con él del mundo de los muertos y le cuente parte de lo que ha visto allí:


- Dime, amigo mío, dime, amigo mío,
dime la ley del mundo subterráneo que conoces.
- No, no te la diré, amigo mío, no te la diré;
si te dijera la ley del mundo subterráneo que conozco,
te vería sentarte para llorar.
- Está bien. Quiero sentarme para llorar...





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Comentar un texto: Qué hacemos cuando comentamos un texto

Comentar un texto: Qué hacemos cuando comentamos un texto

Algunas notas sobre lo que supone comentar un texto, desde el punto de vista hermenéutico, pero también comunicativo e interaccional, con vistas a una asignatura universitaria de Comentario de Textos Literarios.

Qué hacemos cuando comentamos un texto 



15 Feb. 2016

Ibercampus (March 8, 2010)

Commenting a Text: What are We Doing when We Comment a Text?

Some notes on what is involved in commenting a text, from a hermeneutic viewpoint, but also from a communicative and interactional one, with a view to a university course devoted to the commentary of literary texts.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Keywords: Literary theory, Criticism, Commentary, Texts, Discourse analysis, Interpretation, Interaction, Hermeneutics





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Retropost: El drill del cíborg

Retropost #644 (6 de diciembre de 2005): El drill del cíborg


 

Mi correo basura a veces se supera a sí mismo. Aquí hay una parodia buenísima de esos libros de inglés hechos a base de prácticas machaconas de frases absurdas. Yo tengo alguno muy bueno, que asegura, cito, que "si un alumno termina el estudio de este manual sin aprender inglés, garantizo que es imbécil o idiota". Bueno, pues esto nos cuenta el correo basura de hoy, escrito por algún cíborg nostálgico del Assimil Inglés o de English Made Easy.

¿A menos que sea un epígono literalista de Donald Barthelme?

Hace unos años esto hubiera sido una pequeña joya de la literatura surrealista; hoy nada vale nada...

Does Joe hate laughing over there?
today i need to goto the store.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. We have many programs the children love. But I would give them ALL up to keep my BORING noun program. I thank THE PARENT daily for her insight.
Doesn’t Kate’s granddaughter miss shaving for a few months?
Is the manager missing walking?.
Haven’t the photographers already disliked praying?
They have loved dancing.
Jack is not missing singing near the station..
I am enjoying eating in the river.
Joe’s girlfriend generally misses laughing.
Were those farmers practicing shouting next to the police station?
Every child communicates in some form whether it be by crying, body language, facial expressions or verbalization. Some children talk early, some late, some with augmentative communication devices, some not at all. As a teacher I wanted to facilitate the child learning language.
I don’t hate studying in London.
That carpenter is practicing running at this time.
But this is where you come in: Between now and November, you, the American people, you can reject the tired, old, hateful, negative politics of the past. And instead you can embrace the politics of hope, the politics of what’s possible because this is America, where everything is possible.
tomorrow i will wash my hair and go to the salon.
I am not missing surfing.
AUDIENCE: Yes.
I am not enjoying skiing among the trees at the moment.
The janitor doesn’t generally like praying.
I am missing working right now.
Did those bus drivers regret singing?
Paul’s grandson disliked studying for six weeks.
EDWARDS: They are doing all they can to take the campaign for the highest office in the land down the lowest possible road.
I don’t miss jumping for three or four weeks.
Toren came to me at age 32 months. He had 2 words: Ma Ma and Bye Bye. He could not focus, but ran around the room. His mother was convinced I was going to have him cured by his third birthday. I told her I was no miracle worker, but we’d do what we could during the next 4 months. Immediately we started structuring Toren’s day. I went home and worked up a program called ’Toren’s Nouns’. The first day I showed Toren the program, he looked at it for 10-15 seconds and then left the computer. The next day he stayed about 30 seconds. Each day he built up more time at the computer. By the second week, he would sit on my lap for 10 minutes pressing whichever word he wanted to hear. But he spoke no sounds, no words. Three weeks passed. I began berating myself. ’See, Jo, you thought this noun program was so great. Look at Toren, he’s not learning anything.’ The fourth week Toren walked over to the computer, picked up the overlay from the IntelliKeys keyboard, pointed to 10 different words and approximated each word. That day, I cried.
Doesn’t Ms. Brown hate playing at the company?
5. I was missing jumping.
EDWARDS: ... more negative attacks -- aren’t you sick of it?
The guards don’t often love reading.




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Miércoles, 15 de Febrero de 2017 09:51. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica




Retropost #641 (4 de diciembre de 2005): The Road to Xanadu

Retropost #641 (4 de diciembre de 2005): The Road to Xanadu

 


Me he terminado de leer, mi tiempo me ha costado, The Road to Xanadu, de John Livingston Lowes (1927; reimp. Pan-Picador, 1978). Es un análisis y divagación sobre dos poemas de Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" y "Kubla Khan", siguiendo los patrones de asociaciones de ideas de Coleridge, y su universo mental, a través de todos los escritos, vivencias, los testimonios de contemporáneos, el ambiente intelectual del poeta... y sobre todo a través de sus lecturas.

Coleridge era, en un grado muy superior a la media, una esponja verbal e intelectual, y las ideas y palabras se le adherían, como "átomos con ganchos", dice Lowes, para combinarse de maneras inesperadas y resurgir a veces muchos años más tarde. Así pues, es éste un estudio (divagante, extravagante, fascinante) de la imaginación, y de la manera en que la intertextualidad trabaja a un escritor desde dentro. Por supuesto no utiliza el palabro de "intertextualidad" que acuñó Kristeva unos cuarenta años después (y hace unos cuarenta años), pero eso no quita para que este libro sea una de las referencias imprescindibles para quienes deseen estudiar a fondo el fenómeno la intertextualidad: cómo un texto procede de otro, y nos lleva a otro; cómo nuestra misma percepción está mediatizada por la textualidad, por los textos que nos han constituido, que afloran unas veces deliberadamente y otras subliminalmente en todo cuanto pensamos y escribimos.

El libro es, como digo, extravagante, es una especie de cabeza llena de ideas que se mueven en todas direcciones (y a la vez tiene un orden, claro). Se puede resumir, incluso -- pero un resumen nos oculta la esencia de este libro, que es la asociación, la manera en que una idea lleva a otra (en la cabeza de Lowes, en la de Coleridge, en la nuestra), cómo no hay idea que sea una isla. Cerca de la mitad del libro son notas, muchas del estilo ese de "no puedo evitar mencionar aquí que...." -- notas que potencialmente se expanden en todas direcciones, y podrían seguir y seguir llevándonos a rincones más extraños de la realidad de los que ya están incluidos aquí, que son muchos muchos... Las referencias a otros libros, por supuesto, son numerosísimas, y así los caminos de este libro se pierden por toda la literatura (pasa un poco en todos, pero en este más - es uno de esos libros que hacen resaltar en relieve uno de los ingredientes que constituyen toda literatura, y que pasan desapercibidos en otras obras). En cierto sentido, pues, es uno de esos libros totales que parecen llegar a los límites de la literatura. No es de extrañar que interesase a Borges. De una de sus notas a pie de página (p. 326) surge la idea central para el ensayo de Borges sobre "El sueño de Coleridge". (Nota 1). Hablando de notas, Coleridge tenía "an incorrigible habit of verifying footnotes" que llevaba su imaginación a nuevas aventuras, nos dice Lowes (p. 34). Lo mismo le pasa a él... Lowes, como su autor "Coleridge not only read books with minute attention, but he also habitually passed from any given book he read to the books to which that book referred" ( 34). Se podría reprochar que este movimiento es sólo hacia atrás, aunque las reediciones de viejos libros, con su aparato crítico y editorial, mantienen el pasado en contacto con el presente, los libros con su recepción crítica posterior, y con otros libros que les siguieron. En cualquier caso, todo libro se combina libremente en la cabeza del lector con otros libros, pasados, presentes, o futuros.

Un texto lleva a otro, y a otro, y las ideas se enlazan como las palabras; "facts pursued farther kept ramifying into other facts, and unforeseen links between them began by degrees to disclose themselves"... (p. 4). Estos enlaces sugirieron a Theodor Holm Nelson la noción de hipertexto, y de hecho Nelson llamó Xanadu a su hipotética biblioteca universal (ahora materializada, mutatis mutandis, en la World Wide Web). Enlaces por los que has llegado aquí, amigo o enemigo lector, el enlace que surge para Lowes "through some electric contact of one mind with another" (p. 147).

El libro explora la noción de imaginación creadora de Coleridge, según la cual el caos de impresiones, textos, asociaciones, etc., en la mente del autor, se recombina para formar una obra nueva y original aunque se pueda seguir la pista de cada uno de sus elementos en otras obras o experiencias anteriores. "the imagination" ...– dice Coleridge– "The true inward creatrix, instantly out of the chaos of elements or shattered fragments of memory, puts together some form to fit it" (en Lowes, p. 52). El pensamiento consciente pone límites a la fluidez de la asociación espontánea. En otra ocasión habla Coleridge de "the streamy nature of association, which thinking curbs and rudders" (p. 68). Lowes descubre una forma más controlada y deliberada en "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" y una más cercana a la sopa primigenia de la imaginación en "Kubla Khan" - ese poema "proto-surrealista" que decía Kenneth Burke. Lowes mantiene en tensión los dos principios, el pozo profundo de las asociaciones, y la imaginación creadora que da forma; de la potencia de ambos y su interacción surge la poesía.waterfall

Expone Lowes lo que podríamos llamar su propia teoría del iceberg, según la cual en arte lo explícitamente mostrado debe su efectividad a una masa sumergida de asociaciones: "the rich suggestiveness of a masterpiece of the imagination springs in some measure from the fact that infinitely more than reached expression lay behind it in the shaping brain, so that every detail is saturated and irradiated with the secret influence of those thronged precincts of the unexpressed" (p. 219) - es decir, asociaciones que están activas, secretamente, no sólo para el autor que crea, sino para quien lee o contempla la obra. Al hablarnos de asociaciones imaginativas, no nos habla Lowes sólo de la génesis del poema, sino de su forma:  "The incommunicable, unique essence of the poem is its form" (279).

"’All other men’s worlds,’ wrote Coleridge once, ’are the poet’s chaos’." (p. 389). De la reelaboración de ese caos de la experiencia vivida y leída hacemos todos, como pequeños poetas, nuestra propia experiencia vital, y como un orden superior surge la poesía, para Coleridge y para Lowes, como vida intensificada y glorificada. "For the Road to Xanadu, as we have traced it, is the road of the human spirit, and the imagination voyaging through chaos and reducing it to clarity and order is the symbol of all the quests which lend glory to our dust" (p. 396).



NOTAS...

(Nota 1). Borges crea en su texto la visión de un mundo ordenado por secretas correspondencias: Kublai Khan sueña un palacio, y luego lo construye; Coleridge sueña un poema sobre ese palacio, luego lo escribe. Paul Bénichou ("Kublaï Khan, Coleridge et Borges", en Borges: Cahier de l’Herne) reduce la cadena de ensueños a un error de traducción... y nos ofrece, en cambio, la visión de un universo no significativo, en desorden general.

(Nota 2). Entre las fuentes secretas de "Kubla Khan", Lowes sigue la pista a las misteriosas fuentes subterráneas del Nilo. Una asociación de ideas, que ahora interrumpo, me dice que hay una conexión subterránea entre esas fuentes y la fuente milagrosa de mi pueblo, Biescas: La Gloriosa de Santa Elena (con su "half-intermitted burst"). Quizá un día escriba un artículo sobre esa conexión.

(Nota 3). Lowes se identifica con Coleridge, como éste se identificaba con aquéllo que le interesaba con una empatía especial, llevado "by a sort of transfusion and transmission of my consciousness to identify myself with the object" (Coleridge, cit. en Lowes, p. 120). Así, Lowes, como el poeta, también tiene "una visión en un sueño" -- un sueño sobre el poema de Coleridge -- y al despertarse lo anota inmediatamente (p. 369), sin que, esta vez, lo interrumpa ninguna Persona de Porlock como le sucedió al poeta. ¿Será una fantasía ocasionada por el deseo de restaurar aquello que se perdió? En otro momento, está Lowes ejemplificando el funcionamiento de la asociación de ideas con un ejemplo de su propia experiencia, "And off in every direction all the while were shooting other associations, recalling and linking other fleeting glimpses of yesterday, and long ago, and far away. And then the telephone incontinently cut the panorama off" (393). Llamada, sin duda, de Porlock.

(Nota 4). Y quien lea el libro de Lowes oirá hablar de caimanes, y del Viejo de la Montaña y su secta de asesinos drogados, y del número de medusas que puede contener una milla cúbica de agua (23.888.000.000.000.000),  y verá astrónomos chinos tumbados en un observatorio, y oirá a los gigantes de Patagonia maldecir a Magallanes invocando a su dios Setebos, y verá a Lowes extraer de la cesta de la colada camisas almidonadas que son otras tantos niveles de sentido del texto, y oirá hablar en una nota (de los addenda et corrigenda ) de Coleridge, Colridge, Coldridge, Coloridge, Colredge....






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Retropost: Un Poe-ma

Retropost #636 (30 de noviembre de 2005): Un Poe-ma


 

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.


Solo

Ya desde que era niño no he sido
Yo como otros, no he visto
Como otros veían, no podía
Sacar mis pasiones de la fuente de todos.
De allí no tomé mi dolor,
No se me despertaba el corazón tampoco
A la alegría con el mismo tono;
Y todo lo que amé, lo amé... solo.
Entonces -- de niño, al alba de una vida
Que ha sido tempestuosa -- se extraía,
De lo más hondo de males y bienes
El misterio que atrapado aún hoy me tiene --
Del torrente, o de la fuente,
Del precipicio rojo en el monte,
Del sol que me giraba en torno
Con su tinte otoño y oro,
Del rayo, de lo alto volando,
Si me pasaba rozando;
Del trueno y de la tormenta,
Y de la nube que un día
(en el azul despejado)
Formó un demonio a mi vista.


Me parece que Edgar Allan tenía un caso agudo de lo que podríamos llamar apoephenia. A mí me retrotrae el poema a los paseos solitarios que me daba por los montes por los años 70, mirando el pueblo desde lo alto, adoleciendo de la vida. Hasta recuerdo que escribía sonetos mentales en mis paseos, y de uno precisamente (iba sobre la guerra nuclear que entonces se avecinaba) me acuerdo de estos versos, algo sobre estar echado al lado del río, mirando el cielo,

"Donde pintan mil nubes con su vuelo
En lento cambio el pensamiento mío"...


—y buscando allí, en las nubes, el hongo atómico.

Algo hemos sabido todos, creo, de apofenia y de paranoia.





—oOo—

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Retropost: Lectura amplificada

Retropost #634 (30 de noviembre de 2005): Lectura amplificada



Más comentarios que le pongo a Magda en Apostillas. Esta vez sobre la interpretación, el círculo hermenéutico, y la manera en que el sentido de un texto es completado y amplificado por el trabajo de la lectura y la interpretación, que, como dice Ricoeur, supera la distancia entre texto y lector, y lo hace un otro que también es nuestro:

Problemas fascinantes, Magda, aunque a quien no se detenga un momento puede que no se lo parezcan...
Una cuestión relacionada, creo, es también: "¿para quién leo? - y, si estoy escribiendo una crítica, ¿para quién escribo?" El sentido del texto, amplificado por la interpretación, no puede separarse de esta cuestión. Y no deja de ser curioso que la lectura profunda tenga que ser también escritura, necesite expresarse en un texto crítico propio... ¡Y cómo se aclaran, y se complican, las ideas al escribirlas!


En eso, supongo, se origina mucha de la blogorrea de mis artículos. También, quizá, de otra cuestión relacionada con ésta: la indefinición del receptor. En un blog (pero es también la quintaesencia de lo que se da en toda escritura) no sabes a quién te diriges exactamente: a tí mismo (a quien eras, a quien crees ser, a quien puedes ser) -- o a tus conocidos, o a tus desconocidos, o a algún ente ideal e imaginario, o a alguien que aún no existe pero existirá... o a una combinación variable de todos ellos. Esto complica notablemente la estabilización del sentido, aunque quizá lo haga proliferar.


—oOo—

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Retropost - William Gibson: PATTERN RECOGNITION

Retropost #628 (27 de noviembre de 2005): William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

 

Publicada en 2003, Pattern Recognition es la última novela por ahora de William Gibson, el autor de Neuromante. Ya está escribiendo otra, según su blog -- que es el mejor sitio para meterse en discusiones sobre esta novela. Pero alguna impresión sí que voy a dejar. Va de una heroína, Cayce, alusiva al Case homónimo de Neuromante; aunque esta Cayce está en nuestro principio de siglo post-11-S. Es una detectora de modas emergentes y asesora para compañías de marketing. Es frágil a pesar de algunas durezas, está sin pareja, jetlagueada, descentrada, inquieta. En su tiempo libre, chatea por Internet con un tal Parkaboy y otros que no conoce sobre una misteriosa película que va apareciendo fragmentariamente en distintos puntos de la Red (una "narración distribuida" que diría Jill Walker). El argumento va de cómo "se vende" a un inquietante tiburoncillo del márketing, Bigend, que la contrata para convertir su hobby en un trabajo y localizarle a él a la persona que está haciendo esta misteriosa obra de arte. Así que Cayce va de Londres a Tokyo a Moscú desentrañando el misterio, y sorteando las intrigas de su rival, la trepa intrigante Dorotea, que quiere llegar antes que ella. Cayce no sólo consigue a la vez cubrir su objetivo, triunfar sobre Dorotea y hasta mantener una cierta honestidad personal entre tanto márketing, sino que además conoce a Parkaboy ITF, in the flesh, y la novela que comenzaba con la heroína alienada y con jet lag termina con ella plácidamente dormida compartiendo lecho con quien quería, y con su alma en su sitio (por ahora...).

Cayce tiene varios traumas que también cura durante sus aventuras: una alergia a las marcas promocionadas (y eso que es a lo que se dedica...). Reconciliación, pues, con el capitalismo logotípico, perspectivas de convivencia más armoniosa con el márketing. A través de la red, quizá. Otro trauma de Cayce es relativo a su padre, desaparecido en el 11-S. Casualmente, Cayce logra apaciguar su espectro, que hasta se le aparece en un momento difícil para infundirle fuerzas, y decirle adiós. Cayce es un poco la América post-11/S, o algunos aspectos de la misma; va repitiendo como un mantra una frase sobre un pato que se estrella en la cara de alguien, desplazamiento simbólico del ataque a las torres gemelas... pero la curación viene a través de la red. Paradójicamente, la curación del trauma está ligada a esta película que a su vez tiene un trauma inscrito - reproduce en su estructura la forma de un fragmento de metralla que la explosión de la bomba de un terrorista dejó alojada en el centro de la cabeza de la misteriosa directora de la película (305)... A su vez, esta directora es rusa, una inocente jovencita asociada por familia a oscuras mafias post-soviéticas; hay una especie de hermanamiento entre Rusia y América a través de la herida del terrorismo, y de la promesa del márketing internacional en red. Y a mí que no me produce tanta tranquilidad esta resolución... y hasta el happy end es deliberadamente artificial y buscado, casi con mala conciencia, América encontrándose a sí misma a través de la red, veo la idea, pero... hay bastante wishful thinking. Al final de la novela, Gibson/Parkaboy y su ánima Cayce se encuentran al fin juntos. Y hemos vivido una casi casi de James Bond, con Parkaboy localizando a Cayce en la estepa rusa desde un helicóptero, en la mejor tradición de la caballería al rescate. Es un sueño de unidad consigo mismo que sólo se da, claro, desplazándose uno a alteregos ficcionalizados.pattern recognition

La historia acecha por debajo de la frenética modernidad: barrios japoneses quemados, Stukas desenterrados del barro de la estepa rusa... Todos temas bien hilados en la odisea de Cayce siguiendo la pista del misterioso pattern inscrito en el código de la red. Algunos de ellos tienen interés cibernético para info-yonquis ("the highest level of play, for techno-obsessives, is always and purely about information itself" - 169). Así, otro de los sub-argumentos lleva a Cayce a la Segunda Guerra Mundial, a los campos de concentración donde se diseñaron algunas de las primeras calculadoras, otro a ligues fantásticos por chat con objetos eróticos que se materializan... como le sucede de hecho a Cayce también, menos espectacularmente, con su mawg (middle-aged white guy) Parkaboy. En este sentido, quizá podría criticarse que Internet aparece no tanto como un nuevo contenido o experiencia, sino como un medio difusor y que permite contactos inesperados. La obra de arte dispersa, por ejemplo, es cinematográfica, no es una obra propiamente ciber-Nética, aunque sea diseñada por ordenador y se distribuya por la red. En este sentido la novela hace "menos" con la red que Neuromante. Y, claro, es una novela, y no una obra en red. Aunque intenta, sin duda, a través del website de Gibson, volverse en un fenómeno de comportamiento de grupo, el culto de Gibson, "a group behavior pattern around a particular class of object" (86). 


- And then?
- I point a commodifier at it. (86).

Gibson también está "scouting cool for the commodifiers" (195), en cierto modo. "Any creation that attracts the attention of the world, on an ongoing basis, becomes valuable, if only in terms of potential" (307).

Un tema importante en la novela es la diferenciación entre reconocer una regularidad emergente (pattern recognition) e imaginarla (apophenia). Así, el argumento juega a despistarnos insinuando posibles estructuras, tentando al lector, siguiendo las sospechas de Cayce, a volverse paranoico y ver conspiraciones inexistentes (como la obsesiva imagen del cantante Billy Prion que sigue a Cayce por doquier). Así la novela se sitúa en la tradición de la ficción paranoica: "Paranoia, he said, was fundamentally egocentric, and every conspiracy theory served in some way to aggrandize the believer" (124). Siempre debe haber lugar para la coincidencia, para el azar, para regularidades gratuitas e insignificantes. "When there’s not, you’re probably well into apophenia, each thing then perceived as part of an overarching pattern of conspiracy" (294). Así pues, también intenta el argumento darnos una lección de humildad, no esperar demasiado de los argumentos y de la capacidad de la vida para darnos resoluciones limpias. A la vez nos da un argumento bastante completito, las dos cosas se pueden hacer a la vez.

El mayor logro de Gibson, más allá de lo cuestionable del argumento básico, está en el lenguaje, la construcción de la percepción de la protagonista mediante las imágenes recicladas de la experiencia postmoderna. Así, por ejemplo, Cayce ve en directo, desde la ventana de un rascacielos de Nueva York, el ataque a las torres gemelas, pero en realidad no mira a la ventana, mira a la televisión que en ese cuarto está emitiendo la misma imagen. "An experience outside of culture" (137), dice el narrador sobre sus sentimientos. El libro en cierto modo busca palabras para esta experiencia, y otros traumas de la experiencia postmoderna. Una experiencia de white noise, que decía DeLillo. Y comenta Gibson / Parkaboy: "As to how blankness can yield image, I do not pretend to know, though I suppose that is the question, ultimately, that underlies the entire history of art" (170).

El sentido principal que cree descubrir Cayce, y Gibson, organizándose a su alrededor, es "a new paradigm of history" (340), la globalización en red, dirigida y explotada por gente como Bigend y esos tiburones rusos; y que nos lleva al apocalipsis de la postmodernidad, aquí sólo entrevisto:

"a world where there are no mirrors to find yourself on the other side of, all experience having been reduced, by the spectral hand of marketing, to price-point variations on the same thing. But as she’s thinking this, Marchwinska-Wyrwal taps his glass with the edge of a spoon" (341)

Me temo que volveremos a saber de esta asociación de ideas aquí interrumpida – lo sabremos ITF.



—oOo—

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Retropost #627 (26 de noviembre de 2005): Crusoe Islamicus

Retropost #627 (26 de noviembre de 2005): Crusoe Islamicus


Pues aquí estoy blogging live en la última jornada del congreso sobre "Translation and Cultural Identity", habiendo dejado a los pequeños a cargo del abuelo y de Mary Poppins. Acaba de hablar Beatriz sobre algunos aspectos de las traducciones españolas de Hemingway – que tienden a reforzar la imagen "balls and bells and bulls" de Hemingway, según lo caracterizaba Nabokov.

Y ahora habla una profesora de la Universidad de Mármara, Ayse Banu Karadag, sobre "’Religious’ ideology and Robinson Crusoe as a ’homo islamicus’ in Turkish literature". De homo economicus en el oeste a homo islamicus en la cultura islámica (el tema de su tesis), comenzando con una comparación entre Robinson y la obra de Ibn Tufayl (o Abentofail, o Abubacer), cuya obra filosófica medieval escrita en España fue traducida a numerosos idiomas. Allí aparece el tema del hombre solitario en una isla y que debe construir su propio mundo. Esto sirve de excusa en Abentofail para desarrollar una teología y una cosmogonía. En Turquía un tal Çankirili, crítico y traductor turco, intenta reducir la obra de Defoe (y otras de Spinoza, Bacon, Rousseau, Verne, Rousseau y Tomás Moro) a un plagio de Ibn Tufayl – y es que hay quien reduce todo tipo de intertextualidad a plagio. Defoe sí que había leído, según De Vaux, a la obra de Ibn Tufayl, a través de traducciones de Pocock o de Ockley. Pero si bien algunas situaciones básicas son comparables, la ideología y el detalle de ambas obras son totalmente diferentes. Pero la finalidad de Çankirili, sintomático traductor y crítico turco, es islamizar a Robinson. Relaciona Karadag algunas modificaciones al texto de Crusoe en la traducción de Çankirili con la influencia del el movimiento islamista Said Nursi, con quien están relacionados editor y traductor, y cuyo fin es "la revitalización del Islam para darle hoy el poder que solía tener". El "retoque" de clásicos occidentales por la editorial islamista Timas sería parte del proyecto educativo islamizante, para hacer versiones islamizantes de textos potencialmente influyentes. Es un capítulo más de la influencia persistente (o creciente) del Islam en la sociedad y el pensamiento turco (hay otras veinte traducciones de Robinson Crusoe al turco, pero no había aparecido ninguna tan islamizante). La ideología del Islam intenta penetrar todos los aspectos de la vida turca, y está también atenta a las traducciones...

En la sesión de preguntas y respuestas, nos aclaran las profesoras de Turquía que la influencia islámica se ve por todas partes, con un enorme sector de los estudiantes en algunas universidades influenciados por este movimiento islamista. Y aunque las universidades, y el Estado turco, siguen siendo oficialmente laicos, hay mucha influencia islámica entre líneas. Otras profesoras nos dicen que es una cosa que cambia mucho en Turquía de una universidad a otra; así, en la Universidad de Mármara, los islamistas "modernos" del movimiento Nursi son muy visibles; lo son mucho menos en la Universidad de Estambul, que sin embargo es igualemente estatal y próxima geográficamente.

¿Quién dijo que el Islam, o el catolicismo for that matter, son cosas del pasado? Es un prejuicio. Quizá tengan un gran futuro, incluyendo la función de reescribir el pasado a su medida. Alá nos coja confesados.




—oOo—

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Retropost: Gideon Toury - Some New (& Newer) Myths in Translation Studies

Retropost #626 (26 de noviembre de 2005): Gideon Toury - Some New (and Newer) Myths in Translation Studies

 


(Sigue, previamente a la clausura del congreso sobre "Translation and Cultural Identity", la última conferencia plenaria del congreso, de Gideon Toury, autor entre otros muchos libros de Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Versa la conferencia sobre "Mitos nuevos y novísimos en los estudios sobre traducción", y aquí hay unas notas sobre la misma, en inglés live).

A paper and a closing statement. As the conference ends, "I’ve had enough of translation for the time being". Let’s shift to translation studies, and the identity of translation scholars. A closing statement should provide some food for thought, perhaps inconvenient thoughts.

Pro trivial questions. ¿Can we (in our capacity as translator scholars) take it for granted that translators read their source texts before they set out to translate them? (We are other things apart from translation scholars -- please don’t bring translation studies to your children -- [Oops, Mary Poppins]). Simply a question out of curiosity, curiosity which leads us to new knowledge. Do they read the entire source text? Of course a measure of reading (or equivalent for oral translation) must take place. But is there a full reading of the text? 2 answers: "some do, some don’t" or "sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t" but they are not good answers because they contribute little knowledge. Further questions: "when", "how" -- when do translators read the whole thing, or how do they read the rest of the text? To what extent is the text read as text? A reading may not be "textual". 2 dimensions in reading a text: 1, forward-movement, 2 helical, non-linear, interactive, without any simple direction forward ("Serial" and "Structural", for some). Holmes describes the non-linear as generating a mental map of the text. The simple one-way linear reading would be a pathological phenomenon, reading 2 without reading 1 is unimaginable. "Can translators be assumed by translator scholars to give the text at least one full reading before the application of translation strategies proper?" Many translator scholars of the sixties and the seventies, foregrounding the textual reading, assumed that was the case. Slogans: "translation as text", etc. -- have their own function in making statements, goals, theories But usually these statements are presented not as hypotheses but as axioms, assumptions. Many translation theories are built on such unexamined assumptions. Critique of Christiane Noord, etc.
Apart from the myth of the text, we have the myth of "the definitive definition of translation" that would, supposedly, solve all the problems of translation studies – moreover, a definition which should be ahistorical and non-culture specific Such essentialist notions of definition do not hold water. The definition myth seems to have been exploded, but...

A more recent myth: the myth of the "translation universals" -- that there are phenomena which are found only in translations and would therefore be intrinsic to this activity. E.g. explicitation, disambiguation, avoidance of repetition, etc. Several research modes are used to examine texts in order to test for these supposed universals. Toury is skeptic, and would prefer to speak of probabilities. E.g. in some translations implicitation may be more important than explicitation.

Why so much focus on "myth"? We could even use the notion of "mythology" and of "gods and heroes" Some people whose authority is associated with the myth. An everyday notion of myth is "a commonly held but erroneous belief"; better still: "a story which is granted authority by a given community, irrespective of its mixture of fact and fiction". A myth is valid without evidence. It has a function which is not simply to reflect reality or give true reports on it. One of the functions of myth is to establish the group activity; it has a constitutive function for the group. It is not the myth itself that is important, but the fact that it is shared by a given group. Overlaps, etc., of course, but only partial: there are no two communities with the same mythology.

In the mythical end of the spectrum, the actual state of affairs becomes irrelevant. Myth as disguised propaganda to maintain a privileged social order, etc.? Community-making function. Translation scholars have long had a wish to belong, to become a community: with networks, associations, etc. We have already become a community, or a loose aggregate of sub-communities. But any attempt to find a common ground is bound to fail. For instance, there is no general agreement that a common ground should be identified or established. But that doesn’t prevent people form engaging into missionary activity, trying to convert people to their own myth, without telling them it is a myth.

Toury is not against any particular myth, or against myth in general. In fact, he has actively contributed to the creation of some myths and catchphrases. Actually, many myths are reduced to catchphrases through shortened, simplified and second-hand formulations. Reformulations replace the original story. Many people don’t bother to read the story that gave birth to the myth in the first place.

An example of a myth pushed to the extreme: "the relationship between translation and ideology – all translation is political". Research nowadays does not begin with the bare facts, but with an ideological agenda which predetermines the facts which are going to be focused on: feminist, postcolonial, or whatever. This leads to the neglect of other points of view; this leads to using texts as instruments in a political struggle. Although this has not led to much insight in translation methodology proper, it has created a sect, and has led to a politization of the discussion and a kind of new religion of political correctness.

E.g. the boycotting of translation studies done "in a particular country", as if the scholars represented the state as a whole, or the official politics of its government. Not giving names. Perhaps this will be leading to a new association, with different journals and the original myth originating this community, and the specific boycott which started everything in the summer of Summer 2003, will soon be forgotten.

Vs. the prospect of sectarianism in translation studies. People are choosing, little by little, different conferences to meet in, and the "politically-correct" and the "apolitical" group are drifting apart, although there are a good number of scholars connecting both groups, mediating and trying to prevent the growth of sectarianism.

Discussion generally agrees on supporting the speaker’s defense of a tolerant community of scholarly encounters which is not subordinated to specific nationalist or anti-nationalist political aims, and which does not make scholars the collateral victims of their governments’ policies.

(La discusión tras la conferencia apoya la defensa que ha hecho Toury de una comunidad académica que no esté subordinada a proyectos políticos, nacionalistas o anti-nacionalistas, su oposición a que se haga de los académicos víctimas colaterales de los conflictos políticos censurándoles de entrada en función de su nacionalidad -- como sucede en algunos foros con los académicos isralíes, y antes sucedió con los sudafricanos... En absoluto se apoya con esto las políticas de esos gobiernos, al contrario, se defiende la tolerancia y se lucha contra el sectarismo acrítico en que, sorprendentemente, acaban derivando algunas posturas políticas críticamente concienciadas.

Y con esto se cierra el congreso sobre "Translation and Cultural Identity", con numerosos participantes internacionales, de cerca de veinte países, y también de muchas partes de España; aunque, en contraste, con una asistencia un tanto escasa de profesores y alumnos del departamento organizador... ironías de la vida. Sectarismos también, a veces. Y eso que nos habían interrumpido las clases para que asistiese todo el mundo).


—oOo—

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Retropost: Traducing Shakespeare

Retropost #623 (24 de noviembre de 2005): Traducing Shakespeare


traducingHa empezado aquí el congreso sobre "Translation and Cultural Identity", con una conferencia de Julio César Santoyo, que fue catedrático de esta universidad cuando yo aún era estudiante de bachillerato. El programa completo puede verse en la web del departamento.

Versa la conferencia del Dr. Santoyo sobre cómo los autores que se autotraducen a otro idioma (que a veces es también el suyo materno) se toman unas libertades con los propios textos que jamás se tolerarían en otro traductor. El fenómeno de la autotraducción tiene así esta condicionante de la autoridad del autor, que lo particulariza, y lleva a la creación de traducciones que son también versiones y revisiones. Y subraya el conferenciante que es un fenómeno mucho más frecuente de lo que se suele creer – aparte de casos celebrados como mis favoritos Beckett y Nabokov. Sobre algunas cosas autotraducidas de estos autores he escrito yo, por cierto; por ejemplo este antiguo artículo sobre Beckett como autor bilingüe y autotraductor, "Abstracted to Death" (que por cierto apareció en unas actas editadas por Santoyo en los ochenta).

El cartel del congreso nos muestra a un siniestro traductor reescribiendo con estilográfica un soneto que un diestro poeta escribe con pluma de ave (es el soneto nº 2 de Shakespeare, ahora mío, ahora nuestro):



Cuando cuarenta inviernos asedien tu gentil frente
Y caven surcos hondos en ese campo bello,
Tu verdor juvenil que todos tanto admiraban
Será un rastrojo raído que nadie ha de apreciar.
Y si preguntan entonces que dónde quedó enterrado,
Dónde el tesoro y el lujo de esos tus días de hoy,
Contestar que está allí hundido en el fondo de tus ojos
Será vana alabanza, un reproche que te ha de devorar.
Cuánto más digno de tí usarte de otro modo,
Si pudieras entonces replicar, "Este hermoso hijo mío
Es hoy mi yo de antes, mi valedor, mi suma"
Probando su belleza por sucesión la tuya.
Sería encauzar de nuevo el curso de ese río,
Dar calor nuevo a tu sangre cuando se acerque el frío.



Según Mariano García Landa (no pariente mío), el traductor es el autor de su texto traducido. Aceptemos esta noción sólo como hipótesis de trabajo, y hagamos un experimento en autotraducción sobre este soneto.


Now your brow is besieged by forty winters,
Deep trenches burrow under beauty’s field.
Your youth’s proud flower, your dress unique,
Will soon be a tattered weed ignored by all.
And when they wonder where your beauty lies,
Where is the treasure of your waning prime,
To say within your own deep sunken I
Will be a sorry shame, and bitter praise.
Much better praise it were, and worthier of your worth,
If you could then reply, "This child of mine
Answers for me – my sum, my count, my self of old"–
With beauty proving by succession what it was,
And remains—and would remain—and you made new
Feeling your blood warm up as light grows cold.




—oOo—


A photo on Flickr

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Miércoles, 08 de Febrero de 2017 13:09. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: Contra el abuso del retruécano

Retropost #621 (24 de noviembre de 2005): Contra el abuso del retruécano



En algunos escritores, un uso excesivo del retruécano es el pan nuestro de cada día. Pero no sólo de pan vive el hombre (de hecho, ya dice el refrán que pan con pan, comida de tontos —y quizá también de ahí eso de dame un pan y llámame tonto). Este abuso de estilo, lejos de ser una panacea, es un recurso facilón, pan y circo, o más bien pan para hoy y hambre para mañana. Aunque hay contraejemplos... Shakespeare, por ejemplo, en cuestión de retruécanos no distingue entre el grano y la paja: sus obras son pan integral – pan y pan con ello, y pan para comello (panificación ésta que le daba pánico a su crítico Samuel Johnson). Un auténtico panal de retruécanos, casi un retruécano pantextual. Claro que a otros eso nos regocija, y le cantamos panegíricos por ello – con Shakespeare, pan y bolla.



—oOo—

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Miércoles, 08 de Febrero de 2017 08:52. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: Pragmática, interaccionismo y análisis crítico del discurso

Retropost #619 (22 de noviembre de 2005): Pragmática, interaccionismo, y análisis crítico del discurso



Cuando decimos o hacemos algo, las palabras y las acciones tienen varios niveles de significado. Uno es el significado "de diccionario" – descontextualizado. Varios niveles de significado se pueden distinguir a varios niveles de descontextualización. Pero el análisis realmente interesante del significado es el del significado plenamente contextualizado.

Así pues hay también muchos tipos de pragmática: pragmáticas que trabajan con modelos de acción o de lenguaje más o menos abstractos, y más o menos contextualizados. No es una cuestión de todo o nada, porque pueden incluirse en el análisis dimensiones contextualizadoras no plenamente concretizadas: así los tipos de actos de habla que analiza Austin en su libro sobre Cómo hacer cosas con palabras.

Una teoría pragmática más contextualizada es la que propone Jenny Thomas en su libro Meaning in Interaction. Traduzco:


En este libro desarrollaré una definición de la pragmática como significado en interacción. Según esta noción, el significado no es algo inherente a las palabras sólo, ni es producido sólo por el hablante, ni sólo por el oyente. La construcción del significado es un proceso dinámico, que incluye la negociación del significado entre hablante y oyente, el contexto de enunciación, (físico, social y lingüístico) y el potencial de significado de una enunciación. (1995: 22)


Es éste un punto de vista que recuerda mucho al planteamiento básico de algunas versiones de "Reader-Response Criticism" (por ejemplo en Stanley Fish), y, yendo más atrás, al interaccionismo simbólico de G. H. Mead y Herbert Blumer.  Según el interaccionismo simbólico, el significado (de hechos, cosas, acciones, palabras – es una teoría más general–) surge en el proceso de la interacción social con otros sujetos, y no es fijo, sino que se ve constantemente modificado en un proceso continuo de reinterpretación. Blumer expone que hay tres tipos de teoría del significado:

1) Que el significado es intrínseco al objeto. (En el caso de un texto, intrínseco a las palabras sería. En esta ficción se basan muchos protocolos de interpretación legal, y muchas semánticas que no pasan del diccionario).

2) Que el significado es subjetivo, y que es creado por el intérprete del mismo. Serían teorías psicológicas, subjetivistas como algunas teorías de la recepción, también. "Cada libro significa una cosa distinta para cada lector", etc.

3) La tercera es la tesis sostenida por Blumer, y a la que según digo recuerda la definición arriba citada de Thomas. Según ella, el significado no es inherente a la cosa ni subjetivo, sino que se construye mediante un proceso interactivo. Traduzco a Blumer:


El interaccionismo simbólico considera que el significado tiene un origen distinto de los que sostienen las dos perspectivas dominantes que acabamos de examinar. No contempla al significado como algo que surja de la constitución intrínseca de la cosa que significa, ni ve al significado surgir de una conjunción de elementos psicológicos de la persona. Antes bien, considera que el significado surge en el proceso de interacción entre personas. El significado de una cosa para una persona surge de las maneras en que otras personas actúan con esta persona en relación a la cosa significante. Sus acciones operan de modo tal que definen la cosa para la persona. Así, el interaccionismo simbólico ve los significados como productos sociales, como creaciones que se forman en y a través de las actividades definitorias de la interacción entre personas. (Symbolic Interactionism, 1986: 4-5)


Un problema parece plantearse: al analizar el significado de un acontecimiento, unas palabras, o un texto, el analista muchas veces se encuentra en una situación que no es la original: a veces analizamos o interpretamos algo mientras ocurre o mientras se dice: otras veces interpretamos en un contexto más o menos distante. Hay que tener en cuenta la distorsión que introduce el contexto analítico, que es un contexto interactivo propio, y puede modificar el sentido de maneras a veces sutiles e invisibles para quien esté poco atento a esta dimensión del metadiscurso.

Quizá, pues, desde el punto de vista del interaccionismo simbólico, podríamos modificar ligeramente la noción de análisis pragmático contextualizado e interactivo que proponía Jenny Thomas. Llegaríamos así a una noción de análisis reflexivo del discurso como significado en interacción, o una pragmática crítica plenamente contextualizada. Adaptando la definición de Thomas, tendríamos que

el significado no es algo inherente a las palabras sólo, ni es producido sólo por el hablante, ni sólo por el oyente, ni sólo por los analistas del discurso. La construcción del significado es un proceso dinámico, que incluye la negociación del significado entre hablante y oyente, el contexto de enunciación, (físico, social y lingüístico), el potencial de significado de una enunciación, y el contexto crítico/analítico en el que se estudia esa enunciación, que conlleva su propia interacción entre el analista y otros sujetos.

La misma definición podríamos extender a la crítica y pragmática de las acciones, pues las palabras son acciones, y decir es una de las maneras de actuar.



—oOo—

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Retropost: Otra vez bajo el volcán

Retropost #602 (12 de noviembre de 2005): Otra vez Bajo el Volcán



Cuánto han bajado las acciones de Malcolm Lowry desde los 80. De clásico moderno a autor de segunda o tercera fila. Leí Under the Volcano por entonces, y hasta escribí una reseña para un trabajo de clase, parte de mis amarillentas (aquí y en el original) notas sobre algunos clásicos ingleses, notas que termino de colgar en la red con este comentario sobre Lowry, que voy a traducir aquí también. No volví a leer Under the Volcano, pero a cambio ahora he releído este trabajo escrito a los veinte años, y es, cómo diría, un caso imaginado de retrospección anticipada, o de lectura completada en el futuro. Que hable el jovenzuelo berbe, si la traducción no le deforma la voz:


He terminado esta novela con la impresión de no haber conseguido apreciarla totalmente, por diversas razones. Primero, para comprenderla totalmente tendrías que sentarte a la mesa con una cantidad razonable de botellas de tequila, mezcal, anís, ajenjo, vino, cerveza y ron. Te aproximarías un poquito más a la sensibilidad del Cónsul.

Por otra parte, este libro es uno de esos que requieren una segunda lectura. El primer capítulo transcurre un año después del resto del libro, y sólo tiene sentido completo si se lee una vez conoces la historia. Y los demás deben de disfrutarse mucho más una vez hayas "hecho amistades" con los demás personajes, lo cual no resulta nada fácil en este caso.  
 Sea como sea, es un libro que debe leerse despacio; tiene un estilo barroco y complicado, lleno de refrencias a cosas que se han mencionado antes; me recuerda a Faulkner, en especial a Absalom, Absalom! El enfoque dado a la técnica de la corriente de consciencia es también similar: no recibimos las impresiones de los personajes directamente, tal como las experimenta el personaje. En lugar de eso, se nos presentan a través de la voz del autor. El autor es casi invisible: es un portavoz para las observaciones y sentimientos de los caracteres. Los juicios morales pertenecen por completo a los personajes.

El tema del libro, en su sentido más profundo, es lo absurdo de la vida humana. Los tres personajes principales – el Cónsul Geoffrey Firmin, su esposa Yvonne y su hermanastro Hugh – notan este absurdo y reaccionan a él de maneras diferentes.

El Cónsul escapa, del horror que supone ver las cosas tal y como son, mediante la bebida. Su problema no es que no pueda dejar de beber; antes bien, el alcoholismo es lo único que lo mantiene vivo. Si se curase, probablemente se suicidaría.

La vía de salida de Hugh es la "acción insensata." Su caso no es tan desesperado como el del Cónsul, pero es del mismo tipo. Estos personajes tienen un autoconocimiento monstruoso, entienden la vida humana demasiado bien para ser capaces de soportarla. El Cónsul intenta matar sus pensamientos mediante la bebida, Hugh intenta actuar de modo que le impida pensar. Pero es demasiado tarde: conoce los motivos que le llevan a la acción, no se comporta de modo "inocente," sino en relación a un mundo de ideas. Esto queda claro, por ejemplo, cuando se nos cuenta su vida como cantante y como marinero, especialmente cuando se cambia de barco, dejando el Philoctetes por el Oedipus Tyrannus, sólo porque éste último era más viejo, más sucio, más parecido a la idea que él tenía sobre los barcos antes de decidir enfrentarse a la aventura. Hugh lleva un tipo de vida, aparentemente interesante y afortunada, que sería envidiada por muchas personas. Pero cuando se la ve desde dentro, él la ve aburrida y corrompida.

Yvonne es una mente mucho menos intelectual, y ve esperanza en la vida, aunque desespera de la que ha llevado hasta el presente. Piensa que Geoffrey y ella pueden empezar de nuevo, pueden "renacer". Pero él debe dejar la bebida e irse a vivir a alguna otra parte, al Norte, lejos del surrealista México, donde la corrupción parece flotar en el aire mismo. Por un momento convencerá al Cónsul y a Hugh de que es posible una vida diferente, pero al final siente que su casita en los bosques con la que soñaba se ha incendiado. Los personajes tendrían que cambiar de almas para hacer esa vida posible. Pero el cambio ya no es posible, y es falso fingir que lo es, como hace Hugh. Estas personas han entrado en un laberinto del que no pueden salir, pero también sabemos que, si saliesen, quedarían empobrecidos.

"El Cónsul notó una punzada. Ah, tener un caballo, e irse galopando, hacia alguien a quien amas, quizá, al corazón de toda la sencillez y de la paz del mundo, no era ésa la oportunidad que la vida misma daba al hombre? Claro que no. Y sin embargo, por un momento, había parecido que lo era
".

 


—oOo—


Esto hace veinticinco años casi... entretanto, como diría Neruda, confieso que he bebido.




—oOo—

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Retropost: Serie dispersa

Retropost #601 (12 de noviembre de 2005): Serie dispersa



Ejercicio de reconocimiento de formas para aficionados a la Filología Inglesa, o a la cultura Internet: ¿Qué tiene en común la siguiente serie de expresiones y palabras?

1. The Website of Dreadful Night
2. Bitch
3. The Attachment
4. Math Grenades
5. What They Deserve
6. The Match Factory
7. The Proposition
8. Watermark
9. Trans
10. Jack Moves, Jane Faces
11. Boone Chu
12. Apophenia
13. Little Boat
14. The Gaijin Face of Bikkle
15. Singularity
16. Going Mobile
17. Making Mayhem
18. Hongo.
19. Into the Mystic
20. Uber-bones
21. The Dead Remember
22. Tarn
23. Dickheads
24. Cyprus
25. Sigil
26. Sigint
27. The Shape of the Enthusiast
28. Within the Meaning
29. Protocol
30. .ru
31. The Prototype
32. Participation Mystique
33. Bot
34. Zamoskvarech
35. KOFEIN
36. The Dig
37. Kino
37. Puppenkopf
38. Red Dust
40. The Dream Academy
41. A Toast to Mr. Pollard
42. His Missingness
43. Mail



 Nivel 2, para jugadores avanzados: explicar qué significa, por ejemplo, "Math Grenades", o "The Gaijin Face of Bikkle"...



—oOo—

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Retropost: Methodology, Research, and Criticism

Retropost #597 (11 de noviembre de 2005): Methodology, Research, and Criticism




 


Este es el título del curso de doctorado que empiezo hoy, con tres estudiantes (contra dos profesores, no está mal la proporción). Con lecturas de lingüística, teoría literaria, filosofía, teoría social, y crítica en general, todas sobre o contra el método. Aquí pongo la lista de lo que iremos viendo en cada sesión con los alumnos. Y digo adiós a doctorados y doctorandos, que para el año que viene no he propuesto curso de doctorado (quién sabe si aún existirán nuestros programas de doctorado, o nuestros estudios filológicos). Y, en el estado actual de la carrera universitaria, ¿a qué kamikaze le interesa hacer una tesis? Con tanta eficacia y calidad y acreditación va a haber muchas víctimas colaterales por el camino. Eso sí, los que salgan por el otro lado de la nueva maquinaria llevarán el marchamo de calidad en la frente. Lo que no está tan claro es que vayan a salir mejor formados. Y es que esto de la calidad no consiste en rellenar impresos ni en acumular programas de subvenciones; eso es formalización o estandarización de la calidad, que, naturalmente, va por otro lado; y muy en concreto en humanidades suele ir contra el método .




—oOo—

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Miércoles, 01 de Febrero de 2017 17:15. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Pérdidas de memoria

Pérdidas de memoria


Puede leerse en el último número del European English Messenger un artículo conmovedor, escrito por Martin Kayman, antiguo editor del Messenger, en memoria de Helmut Bonheim, que fue presidente de la Sociedad Europea de Estudios Ingleses (ESSE). Aquí puede bajarse en PDF, poniendo la clave Hermes. Recomiendo leerlo en plan memento mori, y recordatorio de en qué acaban nuestros esfuerzos, incluso los de una persona admirable y admirada como Helmut Bonheim, que llegó a los reconocimientos más altos en su profesión, y es recordado por muchos por su talento, su actividad y su generosidad personal.

Me lo presentaron, creo, en el congreso fundacional de ESSE, o quizá en algún congreso de AEDEAN donde vino como conferenciante invitado. En Galicia, quizá; y algo hablamos, o al menos siempre me escuchó muy educadamente. Ya lo conocía por sus libros; en especial había usado en mi tesis su libro de narratología The Narrative Modes. Me reclutó para donar revistas a las bibliotecas de Europa del Este, que era uno de los proyectos que llevaba entre manos; eran los 90, años muy movidos para él. Luego desapareció, tras regalarnos a nuestro departamento una colección entera de una revista sobre Joyce, al jubilarse. Me extrañó algo entonces, ahora me extraña menos. También se ocupaba de volver a poner en circulación bibliotecas de profesores jubilados. Esto nos dice Kayman sobre él, quince años después de sus últimas noticias.

Losses of Memory
  As I was researching an article for the Messenger last February, I came across the sad news that the first regular editor of the newsletter (1991-94) and two-term presidente of ESSE (1994-2000), Helmut Bonheim, had passed away three years previously on 13 February 2012.1  He had been followed a few months later by his wife, Jean. We knew that Helmut had suffered from Alzheimer's for a number of years, so the news of his death was not entirely unexpected among those who had worked closely with him in the past and had been friends with the Bonheims. What was shocking was the realisation that ESSE had been unaware of his passing. It turned out that the James Joyce Quarterly had formally noticed his death, as, I'm informed, had the Deutsche Anglistenverband, but past and present editors of the Messenger were unaware that Helmut had passed away, as were the past and present Secretaries, Treasurers and Presidents of the Society whom I was able to contact. Alzheimer's attacks short-term memory, but how is it possible that ESSE had 'forgotten' the man who had given the Messenger shape and purpose and established it at the Society's heart, and who had thereafter successfully presided over a period of major expansion? As Ado Haberer (President 2001-7) put it, with the end of Helmut's presidency, 'a page in ESSE's history had been turned', the 'romantic "great adventure" some thought [the Society] ass destined to be' had come to an end in the face of 'the realities of life', and the organisation had come into an age of 'maturity, stability and responsibility'. (...)
1 Printing the Messenger: The End of an Era', European English Messenger 24.1 (Summer 2015): 6-9.bonheim


Remito al artículo de Kayman para los detalles de cómo llevó Bonheim la complicadísima gestión de una organización internacional, en tratos con decenas de asociaciones nacionales de anglistas, en los años que siguieron a la caída del Telón de Acero. Pero me quedo con dos de los testimonios personales que recoge, uno de Robert Clark (que bajo los auspicios de ESSE comenzó, como yo, la edición de una gigantesca bibliografía):

Personally, it seemed to me that Helmut was a 'displaced person', having been brought up in America by Jewish parents exiled in the 1930s, and having chosen to return to Germany in 1965... I suppose this personal history was the origin of Helmut's highly philosophical irony: he was and was not German, was and was not Jewish. He was not American, though educated there, and not British, though married there and spending much of each summer in St John's Wood. It seemed to me he lived in what Thomas Mann called 'the pathos of the middle', constitutionally within and without his social situations. Perhaps this is why he was such a genial broker of a unifying Europe: he was thoroughly aware of our need for an Europe that would resist narrow islands of the mind.14


A esto comenta Kayman:

"For myself, despite many years of proximity, I was unaware of Helmut's origins, although I may have suspected them, being Jewish myself. It was then not so much his Jewishness as his relatinoship to it inthe context of his (inter)national heritage that is important here. Cambell observes: 'Jewish identity is another distinctive matter. Helmut declared himself entirely uninterested in his Jewish heritage, and felt no discomfort living in a country with a savage anti-Semitic past. He did not, he said, dwell on the Holocaust.' It was perhaps this that made Helmut such a positive, almost deliberately innocent, European, a learned philologist with his eye on the future. One should not mistake this for romanticism in any dismissive sense."


Si un judío tiene tendencia a ser un hombre de ninguna parte, un judío que ignora sus raíces quizá está doblemente desenraizado, y se vuelve un ciudadano del mundo sin más, o quizá un europeo— algo que según Henry James sólo un no europeo puede ser, pues los europeos son siempre además franceses, ingleses o alemanes. También era un tanto alemán, es cierto—un alemán de Danzig. Terminaré con el testimonio de uno de sus estudiantes y colegas de Colonia, Ringard M. Nischik, transmitido a Kayman:

When I travelled from Konstanz to visit him in the nursing home in Kóln-Porz, I first saw the door to his room with the sign: 'Helmut Bonheim' (no titles, anymore). He was lying in bed, in a slumber, still good-looking. I was amazed how little, relatively speaking, his appearance had changed even though he was by then in his eighties. After more than two decades, I was looking at the person to whom, because he had set me on the path, to a significant extent I owed my professional happiness.
    When I returned an hour later, I saw him sitting in the common room in a wheelchair: slumped, head down staring at the floor... I carefully approached him and slowly and cautiously, yet repeatedly, tried to tell him who I was. I told him how grateful I was to him for making it possible for me to choose a profession I have found so rewarding and fulfilling. By and by, I got the impression that he started to vaguely remember or that at least some of my urgent words got through to him in some degree. tears were running down his cheeks, yet he hardly said anything. I saw a copy of Joyce's Ulysses on the bookshelf in the common room, no doubt deposited there by his daughter. I took the book and put it in his hands. It was immediately obvious that this was a person who had spent a great deal of his life with books. He looked at the book as if at a very precious object, handled it very carefully, and slowly thumbed thorugh it, page by page, probably unable to read anymore. This went on for some minutes. Then seemingly purposefully he shut the book, carefully haded it over to me, and ceremonially placed it into my hands—from the teacher to his former doctoral and postdoctoral student, as if he wanted to tell me that it was now up to others to continue the work, and that his time was over... That was the last time I saw Helmut Bonheim. He died five weeks later. Memories of his kindness live on, together with profound respect for his extraordinary personality and his life achievement, and with deep gratitude.







—oOo—


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Miércoles, 01 de Febrero de 2017 14:16. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: Yahoo!

Retropost #595 (10 noviembre 2005): Yahoo!

 

En mis notas del año la polka, (http://www.unizar.es/departamentos/filologia_inglesa/garciala/publicaciones/notes.html) hoy cuelgo mis opiniones sobre Los Viajes de Gulliver de cuando me lo releí hacia 1981... aún me lo releería varias veces más, y os recomiendo que lo hagáis. Es la leshe de la inteligencia, el humor negro y la mala baba. La primera vez me lo había leído cuando aún era Arias Navarro el ruling Yahoo; y de las versiones para niños recuerdo una casi completa (es decir, con Laputa y Yahoos) que me regaló mi tía Carmen – mi querida tía Carmen – cuando tenía once años o así. Ya me impresionaron entonces esos extraños animales, los yahoos, pero por entonces no se le auguraba al Yahoo un futuro tan brillante en Internet, ni en el sábado noche, ni sabía yo que iba a leerme ese libro tantas veces.


 _______



Diez años más tarde - Yahoo anuncia pérdidas y cierra su oficina de Madrid.


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Miércoles, 01 de Febrero de 2017 12:58. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: Ever Fixèd Mark

domingo, 31 de enero de 2016

Retropost #591 (8 de noviembre de 2005): Ever fixèd mark


En la traducción procuro conservar algunas dimensiones del soneto 116 de Shakespeare:


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.



Al maridaje de espíritus verdaderos no
Admita yo obstáculos. No es amor el amor
Que cambia cuando encuentra cambio
O se inclina a quitar con el que quita.
Oh, no: es una marca fija para siempre
Que mira a la tempestad y nunca tiembla,
Es la alta estrella para toda barca errante;
Mides su altura, su valor lo ignoras.
El amor no sirve al Tiempo; si mejillas y labios rosas
Caen bajo el círculo de su hoz torcida,
Amor no alteran meses breves y horas,
Sino que puja hasta el fin del Juicio.
Si esto es error, y me queda probado,
Nunca he escrito, y ningún hombre amado.



He intentado mantener la sugerencia específicamente masculina-homoerótica en el "maridaje de espíritus verdaderos" y en la ambigüedad del verso final, que debería poderse entender a la vez como "ni ningún hombre ha amado jamás" y como "ni yo he amado jamás a ningún hombre" – aunque en la traducción se conserva mejor la ambigüedad si oímos leer el poema. No he conservado la asociación entre "bends" (v. 4) y "bending sickle" (v. 10), aunque el movimiento de "inclinarse" sí evoca los gestos del Tiempo/Muerte como segador.

De entre las imágenes que utiliza Shakespeare para ilustrar este amor casi sobrehumano destaca la de la barca y el faro enmedio del soneto. La señal para barcos, fácilmente asimilable a un faro en la mente del lector, se convierte en una estrella, alcanza un valor eterno muy lejos del "cambio" denunciado en el primer cuarteto. Ahí he conservado la ambigüedad de referente de "whose" y "his"– que pueden referirse a la estrella y a la barca. En el primer caso, el verso significaría algo así como "puedes medir con instrumentos la posición de una estrella, pero sólo con eso no conoces el influjo astrológico que pueda tener sobre tí"; referido a la barca, significa "puedes despreciar a la barca por su tamaño, pero no sabes qué tal navega, qué tal se comporta en el mar" – (seaworthiness). En otros sonetos el poeta se compara a sí mismo a un barco poco impresionante comparativamente – así "my saucy bark (inferior far to his)" del s. 80 – , pero que se atreve a competir con grandes navíos en el mar – como los ingleses contra los españoles de la Gran Armada. Aquí el poeta se deja guiar por ese faro o estrella que no es tanto el amado como el amor. También encontramos, quizá, implícita, una oposición entre "valía aparente" (social, o retórica) y "valía auténtica" (intrínseca, no en boca de la gente) – quizá oímos aquí al poeta de clase media enfrentado al aristócrata, y al autor que sabe que su público es el futuro frente al autor de moda.

El círculo de la hoz torcida es también el círculo de la esfera del reloj, por asociación con otros sonetos: "Time’s fickle glass his sickle hour" (nº 126): "la hora, hoz del veleidoso cristal del tiempo". "Fickle" y "sickle", gráficamente próximos, también están asociados implícitamente en el soneto 116; la hoz del tiempo puede volvernos inconstantes y veleidosos en el amor. Es decir, si no estamos atentos a ese alto ideal, esa "ever fixèd mark".

Y veamos, por último, esa "ever fixèd mark", ese aviso a navegantes, esa estrella. En el contexto de los sonetos hay pocas cosas que permanezcan fijas "to the crack of doom". El amor del poeta, sí. Los ideales platónicos. Y la escritura, claro, que guarda la belleza presente para el futuro. El último verso del soneto asocia amar y escribir, y también el fracaso en el amor y el fracaso en la escritura. La escritura es una marca fija para siempre, testigo inmutable de lo que fue y por tanto sigue siendo en cierto modo, inscrito en la eternidad. (¿En dónde está esa eternidad? En ningún sitio, claro. Sólo en el espacio del poema. Tanto mayor el poder creador del poeta, creador de eternidad). La escritura, el amor inscrito, nos propone un modelo para imitar y ajustarnos a él.

Pero la escritura también tiene algo funerario y contraproducente – negra tinta. Los libros tienen algo de siniestro e inhumano, con sus palabras calladas, sus pensamientos y sentimientos de muertos guardados en conserva. Nuestra muerte está inscrita, por contraste, en la permanencia misma de la literatura. Una empresa fúnebre, la escritura, que desborda las limitaciones de nuestra vida. Quizá de ahí la vacilación final del poeta, en el corazón mismo de su última puja: quizá yo no haya amado a fin de cuentas, quizá yo no vaya a estar a la altura de ese ideal que ahora queda escrito en este soneto, quizá por tanto la escritura es escritura, pero no es mía, es de ella misma, se mantiene sola: cae el autor y el poema sigue su curso, falla el hombre aunque el Poeta sigue amando. Siempre fija en el poema la marca de su amor, y siempre inscrita también su duda, y la consciencia de que la poesía, como todo lo que queda escrito, nos pone un listón muy alto.


 


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Miércoles, 01 de Febrero de 2017 09:29. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Retropost: Cleopatra según como se mire

sábado, 30 de enero de 2016

Retropost #588 (6 de noviembre de 2005): Cleopatra según como se mire

 

Desenterrando mis notas de cuando era joven e inexperto, me releo (y traduzco aquí) una de las primeras cosas que escribí sobre Shakespeare, sin tener la menor idea de que en el futuro me dedicaría a enseñar Shakespeare en la universidad. Va sobre Antonio y Cleopatra, una obra que muestra entre otras cosas que personas mayores y muy expertas a veces también son capaces de comportarse como jóvenes inexpertos y llevarse una sorpresa:

Esperaba que esta obra fuese, ante todo, una tragedia de amor, pero me encontré en lugar de eso un drama histórico. Hay demasiado Pompeyo (junior), Octavio y Lépido, y demasiada poca Cleopatra. Shakespeare pensó este drama como una continuación de Julio César. Aquella obra terminaba con la derrota final de los asesinos de César a manos de los triumviros Octavio, Antonio y Lépido. En Antonio y Cleopatra contemplamos el enfrentamiento gradual entre Antonio y Octavio; sólo uno de los dos puede emerger de él ostentando el poder absoluto, y será Octavio. Es interesante comparar el final de ambas obras: en Julio César, las palabras se refieren a Bruto, en Antonio y Cleopatra a Cleopatra:

De modo adecuado a su virtud tratémosle,
con todo respeto y ritos fúnebres.
En mi tienda sus restos reposarán esta noche,
Como los de un gran soldado, honorablemente dispuestos.
Sonad, pues, el final de la batalla, y vámonos,
A despedirnos de las glorias de este día feliz. (Julio César, V,iv)

Será enterrada al lado de su Antonio (...)
ha sido la historia de ellos
no menos triste que grande fue la gloria de él,
que les llevó a ser lamentados. Nuestro ejército,
con desfile solemne, acompañará este funeral. (Antonio y Cleopatra, V, ii)

En ambos casos es Octavio quien habla. Las dos obras pueden verse como el trayecto inevitable hacia la concentración del poder en las manos de una sola persona, y los efectos que un destino tal tiene en las personas que en él se ven atrapadas (César, Antonio, Octavio) o en las que intentan evitarlo (Bruto, Casio, Casca). Bruto quería a César, pero sin embargo lo mató, intentando oponerse al curso de la Historia. Antonio y Octavio eran amigos, pero era inevitable que uno de ellos matase al otro. En palabras de Agripa,

Y es extraño,
que la Naturaleza nos obligue a lamentar
Aquellas acciones en las que más hemos perseverado. (Antonio y Cleopatra V,i)

Y así la Historia. Pero, claro, el interés principal de la obra está en Antonio y en Cleopatra, igual que en Julio César estaba en la tragedia de Bruto, y no en los acontecimientos históricos. Acusan a Antonio de ser un juguete en manos de Cleopatra: para los otros romanos es "el adúltero Antonio", que "se ha vuelto el fuelle y abanico / que refresca la lujuria de una gitana" (Antonio y Cleopatra, I,i). Pero Cleopatra ve (o al menos hace que Antonio vea) las cosas de una manera muy diferente:

La eternidad estaba en nuestros labios y nuestros ojos,
El éxtasis de gozo en nuestras frentes vueltas una a otra, y no había parte de nosotros tan pobre
Que no fuese de la raza del cielo.
(Antonio y Cleopatra, I,iii)

Y Shakespeare dibuja a Cleopatra de modo tal que ambas versiones de los hechos podrían ser ciertas; de hecho, ambas lo son, porque el valor que tienen los hechos para nosotros está en nuestras interpretaciones de ellos. Cleopatra traiciona a Antonio y a veces lo manipula ("Si lo encontráis triste, / decid que estoy bailando; si de buen humor, comunicadle / que he caído enferma de repente" – I,iii), pero no se burla de él; es sólo que no puede evitar ser así. A veces Shakespeare parece burlarse de las limitaciones del punto de vista subjetivo de los seres humanos. Por ejemplo, en la última escena, Cleopatra está preparando su suicidio y, por tanto, está de un humor trágico. Pero la persona que le trae los áspides que han de morderle es un payaso, y el humor de él está completamente desacompasado con el de Cleopatra: ella intenta despacharlo rápidamente para volver a sus "ansias inmortales". El problema es que el lector o espectador también comparte el humor de Cleopatra, y el payaso casi estropea toda la tragedia.


Hasta aquí lo que escribía en ¿1981? – Ya había leído Julio César unos años antes; tenía en el instituto un profesor de inglés muy entusiasta que nos hizo leer en el original a Swift, Jane Austen, Goldsmith... y hasta Shakespeare. Me costó lo mío, pero me fue muy bien. En mis colegas, me temo, el efecto fue contraproducente. Todo según se mire.



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Retropost: Rereading Notes

sábado, 30 de enero de 2016

Retropost #587 (5 de noviembre de 2005): Rereading Notes


He encontrado en el baúl de los recuerdos unas trabajos de curso que escribí cuando empezaba a estudiar literatura inglesa, y a la red que estan empezando a ir (aunque mi propósito al colgarlos no es ilustrar al mundo, jeje...). Los empiezo a colgar hoy, en un archivo que seguirá creciendo durante unos días, a menos que me vuelva a olvidar de su existencia. Son una colección de resúmenes comentados de varias novelas y narraciones de las que leía durante la carrera, y los titulo por tanto con un título accordingly sosorrio, "Reading Notes on Some English Classics". Allí empezaba a leer (y a veces terminaba de leer) a Sir Gawain, Tomás Moro, Dickens, Orwell, Lowry, Huxley, Joyce... Releer los trabajos de cuando uno era estudiante siempre produce sentimientos encontrados, que van desde el ridículo y la vergüenza (no se sabe si llamarla ajena o propia)– hasta el reencuentro con ingredientes archivados de uno mismo. Aquí hay un trocito interesante sobre Far From the Madding Crowd, de Thomas Hardy.

Bathsheba doesn’t care about the future results of her actions: she thinks she can have fun at the present moment and that the future will come by itself. But it is ourselves who make our own future and that of those around us: each of our actions may leave a long trail behind it, and hurt other people. Bathsheba sends a valentine to Boldwood and then forgets about it. And later she is terrified when she sees the effects of the letter on him. Then she tries to repair that evil by being kind to Boldwood, and gives him hopes of marriage. But that was another false step: when Troy enters the scene she can’t keep that course of action, and Boldwood gets even more hurt. It is only when her turn comes to suffer, when she is despised and abandoned by Troy, that she learns her lesson.


Produce una sensación curiosa leer estas notas tantos años después, después de haber pasado por los quatre cent coups de dramas tremebundos de ese estilo, sin que sirviese de previo aviso lo que uno escribía a los veinte años.



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Retropost: Soneto, espejo, reloj, bloc y libro

jueves, 28 de enero de 2016

Retropost #576 (31 de octubre de 2005): Soneto, espejo, reloj, bloc y libro



Hoy he ido a mi clase de Shakespeare y los alumnos habían desaparecido, de puenting, o aplicándose el carpe diem por la vía rápida. Pues este es uno de los sonetos que no han comentado, y que se quedará esperando a otros lectores.

Sonnet 77

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste,
The vacant leaves thy mind’s imprint will bear,
And of this book, this learning mayst thou taste:
The wrinkles which thy glass doth truly show
Of mouthèd graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial’s shady stealth mayst know
Time’s thievish progress to eternity;
Look what thy memory cannot contain
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
Those children nursed, delivered from thy brain,
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book.


A ver si me marco una traducción literal:

Soneto, espejo, reloj, blog y libro
Te mostrará el espejo cómo le va a tu hermosura
Tu reloj esos momentos que se echan a perder,
Las hojas llenarás con huellas de tu mente,
Y podrás probar, de este libro, este saber.
Las arrugas que tu espejo te muestra sin mentira
De tumbas como bocas memoria te traerán.
La sombra que callada se mueve por la esfera,
Cómo te hurta el tiempo que va a la eternidad.
Mira, lo que tu memoria no pueda contener
Si a esos vacíos blancos lo dieras hallarás
Los hijos que soltaste, ya criados;
Viéndolos ante tí te vas a conocer.
Estas labores te dan provecho, cada vez que miras,
Y enriquecen el libro de tu vida.



Shakespeare era un poeta metafísico, claro - "conceptista", que se dice en Filología Hispánica. Y construye este poema sobre una cuádruple analogía entre un espejo, un reloj, un cuaderno vacío y un libro. Hay críticos que dicen que el soneto acompañaba a un regalo o regalos que hacía el poeta a su amigo: por ejemplo, un libro de poemas, o una libreta, o las dos cosas, o las dos y un reloj quizá, o también un espejo para hacer más méritos. Aunque se trasluce más bien, quizá, que el muchacho ya tiene un espejo, y lo usa con cierta frecuencia. El poema es una llamada a la responsabilidad existencial, a través de la meditación, el conocimiento de uno mismo, la escritura y la lectura. El espejo de la vanidad puede servir como el primer paso en esta educación cuando lo miramos detenidamente y sentimos el horror que se esconde tras los espejos.

Yo creo que Shakespeare no es tan generoso con su amigo, y que le da sólo el soneto. Pero el soneto es a la vez espejo, reloj, libro y espacio en blanco (los sonetos dejan mucho margen vacío para anotaciones). Le da un soneto que es espejo, pero un espejo que es reloj, y un reloj que es un libro, y un libro que es una hoja en blanco. Le da una hoja en blanco que es un espejo donde reconocerse, y un espejo que es un libro de la vida, y un soneto que avanza con la precisión de un reloj.

Todo texto es un reloj, que desgrana letras y palabras y contiene su tiempo preciso. Ese tiempo también es una eternidad: podemos ver el texto ya como proceso que transcurre en la lectura, ya como producto acabado en la página: así la poesía perdura en el tiempo más allá de la medida de nuestras vidas, pero vuelve a ser palabra que fluye cada vez que la leemos. El texto es así una imagen de la vida humana: a la vez como un breve instante del tiempo, y como una inscripción que queda en el libro de la eternidad, en ese registro imaginario de las cosas que fueron y por tanto siempre habrán sido. (La responsabilidad de esa escritura de nosotros mismos da escalofríos).

Somos relojes vivientes, envejecemos ante nuestra mirada en el espejo. Esa arruguita es una línea escrita, tiene su historia. También el soneto nos contempla distintos, más viejos, cada vez que volvemos a él. Pero al releerlo años después vemos en él cosas distintas, y en nosotros mismos. Nunca te sumergirás dos veces en el mismo libro. Por eso el soneto – cualquier libro – es un libro en blanco. Sólo termina de escribirse con la experiencia del lector, del lector que es un escritor, igual que el ingenuo diarista que años después vuelve sobre sus escritos y encuentra que los ha escrito otro que, para mayor sorpresa, es él mismo. Mirarse en el espejo de tinta es ver una cara distinta detrás de la nuestra, quizá esa cara que dicen que aparece en los espejos cuando te quedas mucho rato mirándolos.

Quizá Shakespeare no fuese tan generoso con su amigo; le regaló sólo un soneto en lugar de un Rolex, una Moleskine, un portátil y un libro suyo con autógrafo. Pero salimos ganando nosotros: el soneto que le llegó al Amigo también nos llega a nosotros, y por tanto somos los felices recipientes de un soneto que es un espejo que es un reloj que es una página en blanco que es un libro de la vida.

Look twice, my Friend.



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SSRN Rhetorical Theory Top Ten

miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

SSRN Rhetorical Theory Top Ten

 

SSRN top ten Rhetorical Theory

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En Filología en la UNED

miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

En Filología en la UNED


Me ponen un enlace a la bibliografía que hago, A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism, and Philology, en la guía de investigación de Filología en la UNED, aquí: http://www.uned.es/biblioteca/guiasinvestigacion/filologia.htm

Obsérvese en qué buena compañía estoy: L'Année Philologique, la bibliografía de la MLA, Recolecta, Perseus Digital Library...

Filología UNED

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Retropost #573 (30 de octubre de 2005): Literatura e historia

miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

Retropost #573 (30 de octubre de 2005): Literatura e historia



Me escribe desde Norwich una alumna del programa Erasmus, pidiéndome mi opinión sobre este tema, cito:

Me han mandado un trabajo que consiste en recopilar varias opiniones de profesionales relacionados con la literatura acerca del siguiente tema: "Algunos criticos opinan que la literatura no se puede leer sin recurrir a la historia mientras que otros creen que la literatura se define por su capacidad de trascender tiempo y espacio. Señala pros y contras de cada vision. Tu trabajo constará de dos partes. En la primera tendrás q recopilar distintas opiniones de profesionales relacionados con la literatura, lo más cercanos posibles a ti. En la segunda, argumenta tu propia opinion con referencia a uno o más textos de los que has estudiado". Asi que necesito tu ayuda para la primera parte del trabajo ( . . . ) Ah!,he mandado el mismo correo a varios compañeros tuyos!!!

No sabía la señora si me acordaba de quién era. Le contesto que Hola, pues claro que te sitúo, aunque te aseguro que no soy precisamente un hacha en eso de acordarme de nombres y caras, y los dos juntos ni te digo, creo que esa parte del cerebro la tengo changada. Pero en fin, que sí que me acuerdo de tí, vaya. Así que en Norwich, en la universidad de hormigón armado, eso era un sitio vanguardista en los años sesenta, yo también estuve ahí una temporada, hay (o había) unos paseos preciosos al lado de ese estanque detrás de la uni... y Norwich city también es muy bonito, ójala lo pases muy bien. Yo me puse hasta las cejas de comprar libros viejos por cuatro perras, que es lo que me iba entonces, y los empaquetaba en Correos por adelantado. Je, sobre el tema de "history" tienes una bonita novela de campus ambientada allí, o en su equivalente ficticio, The History Man, de Malcolm Bradbury, que era profesor de allí y te recomiendo sus entretenidos escritos. A lo que íbamos, y seré breve:

"Yo creo, y a la evidencia me remito, que la literatura sí se puede leer sin recurrir a la historia. Mucha gente lo ha hecho, de modo que posible es. Otra cosa es preguntar si yo considero conveniente, o imprescindible para mí leer la literatura siempre en relación con la historia. Creo que la lectura y usos de la literatura es un fenómeno complejo, no es "un juego" con un conjunto de reglas fijas sino una cantidad enorme de juegos posibles, en parte coincidentes sobre el espacio común de una obra, y en parte no. Si se habla de qué enfoque crítico sobre las obras considero más productivos o interesantes, en general (pues todos pueden tener su interés en un momento dado), pues en efecto, considero que un enfoque crítico que tenga en cuenta al autor y a la obra (y a las lecturas de ésta) como un fenómeno histórico es más inclusivo, explicativo y global que uno que no tenga en cuenta esos aspectos. Las lecturas ahistóricas también se pueden explicar como un fenómeno históricamente situado. Enfoques críticos como el Nuevo Historicismo o el materialismo cultural, que conjuntan la explicación detallada de la estructura, convenciones y episodios concretos de la obra con una perspectiva histórica global son generalmente los que más me aportan para entender una obra y disfrutarla más con esa comprensión añadida".

Un abrazo, y feliz Erasmus, JOSE ANGEL. Pero tras un mail pidiendo aclaraciones suplementarias, ahí va la respuesta interlineada:

Hola JoseAngel. Muchas gracias por ser tan rapido contestando al email. Me parece muy interesante todo lo que dices en el pero tengo algunas dudas. Tal vez deberia saber las respuestas pero no estoy muy segura y prefiero preguntartelo antes de meter la pata explicando tus ideas en la primera parte del trabajo. Ahi van las preguntas.

Dices que la literatura se ha leido sin recurrir a la historia. Se refiere al "New Criticicism" o hubo movimientos anteriores que tambien favorecian la separacion de literatura e historia?

Sí que los hubo, sí... bueno, en realidad habría que decir que todo el mundo es consciente de la historia o tiene una teoría de la historia implícita o explícita hasta cierto punto, hasta los New Critics y otros mas antihistoricistas aún... cuando decimos que alguien es ahistoricista o antihistoricista en realidad decimos que su teoría de la historia nos parece pobre, incorrecta o mal integrada con el resto de sus ideas. Como teoría ahistoricista en este sentido: pues pongamos el neoclasicismo. Si los clásicos son modelos eternamente válidos, quizá se los esté sacando de la historia, o disminuyendo el valor de otros "no clásicos" que tengan su función o sentido en su contexto histórico concreto.

Bueno, y cuales serian los pros de este tipo de teorias porque yo no veo ninguno. Se me ocurre q puede tener algo de sentido en un poema (si quieres centrarte mucho en los aspectos linguisticos o algo asi) pero en prosa, teatro, etc no veo ningun aspecto positivo de este tipo de lectura. Crees que puede haber alguno?

Un poco lo que dices de la atención a cierto tipo de aspectos formales: así que lo que ganas en detalle en algunos aspectos parece que requiera una ceguera correspondiente en otros. Desde luego hubo muchos historiadores literarios que jamás se molestaron en leer de cerca el modo de funcionamiento del lenguaje en un poema como lo hacían los New Critics, y hubo que esperar a que aparecieran éstos, hartos de historia literaria, para que se hiciera posible prestar atención a otras cosas en literatura. Lo mismo podríamos decir de los "valores universales" transmitidos por los clásicos. Muchos historicistas los denuncian como ilusiones ideológicas, y en muchos casos puede que lo sean; otras veces los ignoramos at our peril y los redescubrimos en carne propia más adelante. Como te decía, creo que los contextos de uso de la literatura son variadísimos, y que más vale no generalizar mucho sobre lo que es útil, o bueno, o provechoso, en sí; puede que otra persona esté usando la literatura de otra manera. (Que no hace falta que nos guste, claro).

Tambien señalas que las lecturas ahistoricas se pueden explicar como un fenomeno historicamente situado. Podrias explicarme esta idea. No entiendo muy bien a que se refiere (lo siento).

Es extraña esta mezcla que haces de llamarme de tú y de usted, pero bueno, también se podría analizar, contextualizando ¿no? Pues eso, las lecturas ahistóricas, al igual que las históricas, son un fenómeno histórico (Todo, menos la eternidad si existe, es un fenómeno histórico). Por ejemplo, una escuela literaria que tienda a aislar la literatura de la sociedad que la produce nos dará lecturas ahistóricas de los textos (siempre relativamente, recordemos). Pero un historicista, marxista o lo que sea puede venir luego y analizar, desde un punto de vista histórico, por qué se produjo la hegemonía de esa escuela crítica, y por qué en determinado contexto la gente buscaba o producía ese tipo de lecturas. Y, por ejemplo, en una sociedad que rechace el pensamiento marxista o materialista, como en los Estados Unidos en los años cuarenta, cincuenta, sesenta, setenta... estas lecturas marxistas o materialistas serán marginales o minoritarias.

Y finalmente una pregunta sobre el nuevo Historicismo. Quiere decir que la literatura esta subordinada a la historia? Porque eso me parece a mi que no seria muy justo. La literatura tiene entidad propia igual que lo tiene la historia, no?

"Literatura" quiere decir dos cosas en esta frase tuya, 1) maremágnum de textos literarios, y 2) disciplina académica que estudia (1). "Historia" también quiere decir dos cosas: A) Procesos históricos, el transcurrir de las cosas en el tiempo, y B) Disciplina académica que estudia (A). Una disciplina académica llamada "literatura" puede no querer subordinarse, por cuestiones estratégicas, de organización educativa, profesional, etc. a una disciplina académica llamada "historia-B", pero difícilmente se puede sostener que la literatura como conjunto de textos producidos a lo largo de la historia no sea sino una pequeña fracción de lo que entendemos por "historia - A". Y otra cuestión que nos llevaría más lejos es si (2) estudia adecuadamente (1) o si (B) estudia adecuadamente (A), o si las disciplinas académicas de "literatura" y de "historia" ignoran el 90% de la "literatura" y de la "historia", respectivamente. El Nuevo Historicismo simplemente encuentra relaciones donde otros no veían antes nada, o poquito. Donde parecía que no había historia, nos hace ver que sí que la había después de todo. Eso lo hace interesante.

Bueno, espero que no te hayas echado las manos a la cabeza al ver mis preguntas y hayas pensado que como puedo estar de Erasmus y tener esas dudas pero la verdad es que nunca me habia parado a pensar sobre este tema. Es algo que lo das por hecho y ni te planteas. Muchas gracias por todo y perdon por mi ignorancia.

Hala, anda ya. Tú pregunta a otros (que ya lo has hecho) y verás como cada cual tenemos una ignorancia distinta.

Un abrazo, La Estudiante de Erasmus.

Pues otro. Ah, y no te mencioné a otro escritor de Norwich, uno de mis favoritos: Sir Thomas Browne, autor de Religio Medici, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, y otras cosas para leer en momentos en los que nos sentimos fuera de la historia.

(Hm. No suelo colgar mails ajenos sin aviso, pero haré una excepción. Smile, you’re on candid camera).



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Un momento de Virginia Woolf - Retrospection

lunes, 25 de enero de 2016

Un momento de Virginia Woolf - Retrospection

Official Full-Text Publication: Un momento de Virginia Woolf on ResearchGate, the professional network for scientists.

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Miércoles, 25 de Enero de 2017 09:23. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante

domingo, 24 de enero de 2016

Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante

Una nota sobre la estética teatral, y la identificación del actor (y del autor) con el personaje, examinando algunos pasajes de la "Paradoxe sur le comédien" de Diderot (1773/1830), así como su ejemplo favorito, David Garrick, y el dramaturgo favorito de éste, William Shakespeare.

 garrick pritchard



_____. "Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante." In García Landa, Vanity Fea 19 Oct. 2013.*

         2013
_____. "Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante." Ibercampus (Vanity Fea) 3 Feb. 2015.*
         2015
_____. "Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante." Academia 19 Dec. 2014.*
           https://www.academia.edu/9838396/Garrick_Shakespeare_y_la_paradoja_del_comediante
         2014
_____. "Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante." Social Science Research Network 13 May 2015.*
         2015
         Psychological Anthropology eJournal 13 May 2015.*
         2015
         Cultural Anthropology eJournal 13 May 2015.*
         2015
         Cognition & the Arts eJournal 13 May 2015.*
         2015
         Literary Theory & Criticism eJournal 13 May 2015.*
         2015
_____. "Garrick, Shakespeare, y la paradoja del comediante." ResearchGate 24 Jan. 2016.*
         2016




 



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Retropost - El poema de la semana - 'To Hear with Eyes'

domingo, 24 de enero de 2016

Retropost #568 (25 de octubre de 2005): El poema de la semana - "To Hear with Eyes"



En realidad ni me comprometo a poner un poema cada semana ni éste se titula "To hear with eyes". Hoy lo hemos comentado en clase (bueno, hemos mayestático, porque los alumnos para variar no se lo habían leído y no tenían por tanto mucha opinión al respecto). Es el Soneto 23 de Shakespeare:


As an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put besides his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength’s abundance weakens his own heart;
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love’s rite,
And in mine own love’s strength seem to decay,
O’ercharged with burthen of mine own love’s might:
O let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.
O learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.

Vamos a traducillo, aunque recomiendo otra traducción, la de García Calvo (que no soy yo, a pesar de lo que pueda pensar algún malintencionado).


Igual que un actor imperfecto en la escena
que por su miedo se sale del papel
o alguna cosa fiera repleta de tal rabia
que su exceso de fuerza le afloja el corazón,
Así dejo no dicha, por miedo a confianza,
la ceremonia entera del rito del amor,
y parece que me hundo en la fuerza de mi amor
cargado con el peso de toda su potencia.
Oh, que sean pues mis libros la elocuencia
y presagios mudos de mi alma que habla,
que ruegan amor y buscan recompensa
más que esa lengua que más y más se expresa.
Aprende a leer pues lo que el amor callado ha escrito:
Oír con ojos es en el amor saber más fino.

Muchos lectores parecen sentir que el soneto trata del contraste entre la palabra y los gestos; sobre el lenguaje gestual o no codificado como una expresión más sincera de la verdad del corazón que el lenguaje hablado. Así parece funcionar la imagen inicial del actor, que no sólo se olvida de su papel sino que expresa vívidamente en su gesto el miedo que lo embarga: nos muestra el auténtico personaje, digamos, no el personaje que quería interpretar. Las palabras de amor convencionales quedan así desacreditadas como una retórica sospechosa de ser sólo eso, retórica.

Pero el problema es que el soneto no pone en contraste explícito "eloquence" contra "body language", sino "eloquence" contra "books". Vaya. Aquí hay algo que no pega, y muchos editores han procedido a corregirlo por la vía rápida. En el verso 9, donde el original dice "books", interprétese error del copista o del cajista, y póngase "looks", es decir, gestualidad, proxémica, expresión, miradas lánguidas, body language, etc. Todo perfecto... salvo que no hay acuerdo (ni lo habrá, adelanto). Sobre las disensiones de los editores en torno a esta letra ha escrito Igor E Klyukanov ("What’s in a Letter? Shakespeare’s 23rd Sonnet Revisited." Analecta Malacitana 19.1 [1996]: 111-20). (Y aún tengo que ver qué dice al respecto George T. Wright, "The Silent Speech of Shakespeare’s Sonnets", en Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Critical Essays, ed. James Schiffer; Nueva York: Garland, 1999, 135-60... hmm, interesante, sobre el desarrollo de la poesía como voz de la interioridad, aunque no dice gran cosa sobre este soneto en concreto, sí parece relevante).

Propongo una interpretación que reconcilia los dos sentidos: el soneto pide "looks", pero tenemos "books." El soneto se basa en una tradición petrarquista de sonetos anteriores donde los gestos del amante son más elocuentes que sus palabras. "Looks" no es necesario, es redundante. Está escrito en la cara del soneto. El poeta recomienda a la persona amada que lea sus libros para enterarse de su amor... pero no leerá ahí, blanco sobre negro, las palabras que es incapaz de pronunciar cara a cara. Los libros hablan de ese amor pero sólo entre líneas, para quien sabe leerlos: quizá aún más, para quien quiere leerlos así, quien se ha dejado convencer por la petición del poeta y se entrega a ese ejercicio de complicidad.

La literatura también tiene su gestualidad. Lo que leemos entre líneas, el espacio de la interpretación, es para Shakespeare el espacio donde puede tener lugar el encuentro erótico-textual con su lector. Le plaisir du texte, que diría Barthes. No hay contradicción entre el lenguaje y el gesto: el lenguaje también es gesto, precisamente porque en su uso comunicativo, que siempre es también poético, el lenguaje se recrea a sí mismo: no puede reducirse a un código sino que siempre fuerza el sentido literal de las palabras para expresar algo más a donde no llega lo ya dicho hasta entonces.

O, podíamos decir, haciéndonos eco de Eco: "te amo" es lenguaje apropiado para Barbara Cartland. Shakespeare dice, más bien – esto que escribo tiene una mirada febril. (Vamos, mírala).



—oOo—



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Retropost: Time out of Joint

domingo, 24 de enero de 2016

Retropost #567 (24 de octubre de 2005): Time Out of Joint



Many theorists since Marshall McLuhan have emphasized the connections between the medium and the message: the constitutive importance of the medium is the message of this line of reasoning. A new medium absorbs many of the functions of the old media, it enhances some of them, it adds new functions, and, if anything is lost, no sweat: the old media are still there, both in their original form and in their new avatars through what has been called "remediation" or "intermediality" – the ability of new media to reproduce and contain old media as one more ability, the way new interfaces of computers are able to reproduce the layout and design of obsolete systems. Some media, of course, are better than others at doing certain things. Print can be reproduced on TV, but there is a limited role for that experiment. The digital medium, however, has provided the basis for multimediality: it is such a flexible medium that it can be used, with the appropriate hardware and interfaces, to contain, manipulate and combine in increasingly elaborate and user-friendly ways all previous media: voice, text, images and video, together with all the semiotic sub-systems which may be codified and represented by these (such as cultural subsystems of gestures, languages, fashions, etc.). Every day we learn of some novelty in the treatment and manipulation of digital information: blogs, tags, TIVo, the video iPod, the special-purpose interface configurations known as widgets, web search on cell phones, etc.

Now media have never been static. The printing press of the late 17th century was not the same as Gutenberg’s printing press, the techniques for the manufacture of images were a revolution in themselves. But the present-day explosive rate in the development of cybermedia since the advent of the computer, and especially of the personal computer and the cell phone clearly has no equivalent in ealier centuries as to its rate of personal usability, and of invention and obsolescence. If novelties create a peculiar double time in which the old and the new coexist, a flood of novelties creates a peculiar no-time, or postmodern time, in which all historical periods seem to be superposed chaotically one next to the other in a jumble, or a jumble sale of cultural modes. The increasing ability to travel and the recent influx of migrant population in Spain also contributes to this sense of a time out of joint, in which the old is partly displaced by the new, but still remains in the new times, albeit somewhat disoriented as to its proper place and function.


(From "Linkterature" ... in the making)






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Retropost #564 (22 de octubre de 2005): En el retrovisor

sábado, 23 de enero de 2016

Retropost #564 (22 de octubre de 2005): En el retrovisor


Hace tiempo que me interesa el tema de cómo la narración realiza una labor retroactiva, creando (en la vida o en la ficción) argumentos, causas, precedentes, historias y objetos complejos donde sólo había acontecimientos más o menos inconexos o singulares. Muchos fenómenos históricos o narrativos sólo adquieren consistencia en retrovisión: narrar algo es darle forma como tal acontecimiento, es actuar sobre lo narrado para darle solidez, interpretarlo y de hecho articularlo como objeto de conocimiento. En la ficción, una buena historia no existe hasta que es contada; en la historiografía, decía Oscar Wilde que nuestra primera obligación hacia la historia es reescribirla. En ambos casos tiene la narración un poder configurativo, y organiza retroactivamente el pasado. Hasta las películas, que parece que avanzan hacia adelante, siguen una lógica de la narración retrospectiva: lo que se nos muestra está predeterminado por el conocimiento que los artífices narradores tienen del final, y del conjunto; y ese conocimiento organiza retroactivamente la manera en que se nos presenta todo el proceso. Por supuesto que esta retrovisión se presta a muchas distorsiones de perspectiva, y falacias: lo que en inglés se llama hindsight bias, la distorsión retrospectiva, y que muy bien podríamos también llamar "la falacia narrativa". He escrito bastantes cosas sobre el tema, en especial sobre cómo la crítica literaria y la interpretación participan tambien de esta falacia (de esta necesaria falacia). En tiempos pensé en reunir estos artículos en un libro. Pero me temo que pasó para mí el tiempo de los libros. Por tanto, aquí constituyo, retroactivamente, un objeto virtual, y reúno en un libro inexistente todos mis escritos sobre el tema.

Idealmente, si todos estos materiales estuviesen en red, el lector tendría ahora, por arte de birlibirloque, un libro electrónico. Pero por desgracia sólo parte de los dispersos capítulos están accesibles en edición electrónica. Como tantos académicos, he cometido muchas veces el error de regalar alegremente y sin pensarlo el copyright de mis artículos a editores que no me han dado un duro por ello. Suena extraño, pero lo hacemos constantemente. Así que el libro virtual se quedará en un estado todavía más virtual de lo que podría ser, cosas del copyright. En fin, igual un día me tomo la molestia de pedir permiso para reimprimir mis escritos a esos editores... y hasta hago el libro de verdad, all too solid. Los americanos, que saben mucho de esto, presentan sus trabajos en conferencias y congresos, y sólo una vez exprimidos los publican en una versión en actas o similar, luego en una revista académica, versión luego reimpresa en una colección editada por otro y monográfica sobre el tema, y luego otra vez en una colección de artículos del propio autor transformada en libro. Hete ahí arte. Entretanto lo voy perfeccionando, aquí presento mi último libro:


 OBJECTS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR 
MAY APPEAR MORE SOLID THAN THEY ARE: 
Retrospective/Retroactive Narrative Dynamics in Criticism

(Zaragoza: Vanity Press, 2005)

mediobanner

Súmese éste, pues, a los demás libros que dejamos atrás, para pasar a otra cosa – aunque sin duda seguiremos mirando por el retrovisor.





—oOo—

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Sobre la narración conversacional

jueves, 21 de enero de 2016

Sobre la narración conversacional

Este ensayo/reseña versa sobre las estructuras narrativas y otros aspectos narratológicos de la conversación presencial. Incluye apuntes sobre el libro Conversational Narrative, de Neal Norrick (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2000), y una crítica al mismo.



English abstract: On conversational narrative
   
This is a review essay on narrative structures and other narrative phenomena in conversation, structured as a commentary and critique of Neal Norrick's book Conversational Narrative (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2000). The paper is written in Spanish.

José Angel García Landa. "On Conversational Narrative / Sobre la narración conversacional." PDF en red (en español) en Social Science Research Network 21 sept. 2008.*
2008
Literary Theory & Criticism eJournal 21 Sept. 2008.*
2012
Philosophy of Language eJournal 21 Sept. 2008.*
2016
    
_____. "Sobre la narración conversacional." Zaguán 1 julio 2009.*
2009
_____. "On Conversational Narrative / Sobre la narración conversacional." PhilPapers 28 Enero 2009.*
2013
_____. "Sobre la narración conversacional." Academia 26 enero 2014.*
2014
_____. "Sobre la narración conversacional." ResearchGate 21 enero 2016.*
2016

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Retropost: Which Is to Be Master

jueves, 21 de enero de 2016

Retropost #559 (19 de octubre de 2005): Which Is to Be Master



Más másteres. Másteres y máster con acento es la terminología correcta, palabros que no están admitidos por la Real Academia, pero qué remedio le quedará ahora que son términos legales y no viles anglicismos. Ha habido en el Departamento una reunión preliminar del programa de Doctorado de "literatura y cultura", el titulado "Estudios textuales y culturales en lengua inglesa II", para hacer una propuesta de máster. El Departamento debe enviar una propuesta de título de máster ya elaborada a principios de febrero, lo cual quiere decir que tiene que estar elaborada para Navidades. Que ya están aquí, y nunca se había planteado el Departamento hablar de este tema. A principios de mes le escribí al Director del departamento (ver aquí), recordándole la urgencia de este asunto: en los últimos dos años he solicitado numerosas veces que el Departamento prepare un plan de postgrado, empezando al menos a hablar de qué tipo de estudios de postgrado quiere ofertar. Hasta ahora no ha habido manera de que se trate el tema, como si fuese una nimiedad, o no fuese con nosotros, y claro, ahora vienen las prisas. Semejante indiferencia no es extraña si se tiene en cuenta que cuando nos han suprimido la titulación propia de Filología Inglesa tampoco se ha movido un párpado, y me costó lo mío lograr que el Departamento tratase el tema y elevase una protesta ante el Consejo de Gobierno (de hecho me temo que no llegó a hacer esto último). En ese caso podía interpretarse como impotencia la reacción; en el caso de los másteres es más bien miedo a meneallo, porque hay temas espinosos de por medio, y gatos a quienes poner cascabeles.

Bueno, tras insistir me contestó el Director que en efecto se trataría la cuestión, tras una reunión por "programas" (de los programas de doctorado podrían surgir los futuros másteres. El Departamento tiene dos programas). Conclusión de la reunión del programa de "Estudios textuales..": proponer la continuidad de este programa, que tiene Mención de Calidad (en nuestra facultad la tienen sólo éste y otro), y proponer un Máster en "Estudios Ingleses" (¿suena de algo? Sí, es la propuesta de título de grado que había de sustituir al actual de Filología Inglesa, propuesta avalada por la AEDEAN y por la mayoría de los departamentos, y que viene siendo desestimada por el Consejo de Universidades y el Ministerio). Total: "Estudios Textuales y culturales en Lengua Inglesa II" –––> "Estudios ingleses". Streamlining. OK: Pero, problemilla... en teoría los dos programas del Departamento se repartían fifty/fifty el área de conocimiento de "Filología Inglesa" (con los solapamientos y tierras de nadie inevitables, pero... "la mitad derecha de los estudios ingleses" no sé yo si equivale a "Estudios ingleses". Es una opción legítima, desde luego, darle un sesgo "literario/cultural/cinematográfico" al máster; falta por saber si será la opción tomada por el Departamento. Es posible que se solicite un re-reparto del pastel, no se sabe si sabroso o no, de la docencia, si va a ser el Máster del departamento, y ya no el de medio departamento. También se ha dejado la puerta abierta a incluir profesores y contenidos de la otra mitad del muro invisible, hay que subrayar. Pero tendrán que tener mucho sexenio-appeal.

Mi propuesta era que más bien se atendiese a la estructura que debería tener un programa de "Estudios ingleses", y qué contenidos debería incluir. Porque se pregunta uno si unos "Estudios ingleses" sin gramática inglesa, sin traducción español/inglés/español, sin fonética del inglés, sin historia de la lengua inglesa ni variedades de la lengua inglesa, sin análisis del discurso, ni composición en lengua inglesa, sin inglés para fines específicos, ni estudios de inglés como lengua internacional, ni del inglés en los medios de comunicación.. ¿igual se quedaban un poco cojos? Bueno, por ser ecuánimes, podía quedar el equivalente de lo que se hace en los programas de English studies de muchísimas universidades anglófonas. Esto no es Cincinnati, pero todo depende cómo se defina y entienda lo de "estudios ingleses" – de which is to be master. Cuando me han preguntado cómo lo entendía yo, he dicho que también son estudios ingleses el Derecho inglés (o americano), la Geografía Económica de las Islas Británicas, la Historia de Inglaterra, la Historia del Pensamiento Político, Científico y Filosófico Británico, etc. Y que convendría recordar que nuestra área de conocimiento es Filología Inglesa, que esos "estudios" tienen que ser filológicos. También he sugerido, como apuesta arriesgada, un máster de cine. Ahí se me ha dicho que no era apuesta arriesgada, sino más segura de cara al éxito que un máster de literatura inglesa – pero sin embargo también era una opción inoportuna...al parecer.

Tengo curiosidad por saber qué opina el "ala lingüística" del Departamento de esta propuesta. Se ha dicho que sus esfuerzos se van a dirigir más a un futuro máster interdepartamental de traducción con una fuerte componente de Filología Inglesa, el "postgrado de la Expo" de momento... O a otros másteres organizados por los centros respectivos de cada profesor (hay profesorado de este departamento en más de veinte centros aparte de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras). Seguiremos atentos; y veremos si hay contrapropuesta, negociación, o asentimiento.

Por mi parte, yo he propuesto que se oferte un máster de Filología Inglesa. Pero se me ha dicho que esa vetusta disciplina ya no se lleva hoy en día.

Hay que actualizarse. Pero qué pesadumbre me produce estar dedicándome a una área de conocimiento obsoleta. Y todos atrapados en ella, y en un departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana...




—oOo—

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Retropost: Rayuela 104

miércoles, 20 de enero de 2016

Retropost #557 (18 de octubre de 2005): Rayuela 104

 

Al pasar por un kiosco, después de dejar a los críos en el cole, compro el primer volumen de las Obras completas de Cortázar, y voy leyendo al sol y andando y pisando charcos:

104. La vida, como un comentario de otra cosa que no alcanzamos, y que está ahí al alcance del salto que no damos.
La vida, un ballet sobre un tema histórico, una historia sobre un hecho vivido, un hecho vivido sobre un hecho real.
La vida, fotografía del número, posesión en las tinieblas (¿mujer, monstruo?), la vida, proxeneta de la muerte, espléndida baraja, tarot de claves olvidadas que unas manos gotosas rebajan a un triste solitario.


Ficción existencialista. Ponte un blog, Morelli. Casi me atropella un coche. Yo ya leí esto, lo sé porque que leí Rayuela, pero no me acuerdo. Lo pienso como si fuera mío, sin embargo. ¿Me acuerdo? Podría haberlo escrito creyendo que era mío. Pero de fue Cortázar antes. El intertexto interno. Veinticinco años. Los átomos ganchudos de la memoria, cómo lo decía Lowes. Coleridge. Estamos hechos de retazos. Esto es un libro total, un libro extremo, poem unlimited. Me ha tenido que influir. Estoy hecho de esto, sin duda. Pero no me acuerdo. No me acuerdo porque lo soy. No, estúpido, la memoria es más débil que todo eso. Por una oreja me entra y por la otra me sale. La vida ya era así antes, nunca tan bien dicho. Ahora es más así. Ha relativizado nuestra perspectiva sobre el mundo (todos somos Hamlet ahora). Nos vemos todos desde la calle haciendo piruetas en lo alto. Ese instante. Por eso siento que sos mi doppelgänger. Consultá a Dostoyevski para eso de las sustituciones.




—oOo—

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Retropost: Internewroman

miércoles, 20 de enero de 2016

Retropost #556 (17 de octubre de 2005): Internewroman



William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer (1984) is the paradigmatic Internet fiction. It is not by chance that the word "cyberspace" was coined by Gibson in this novel. It still has no parallel as an imaginative exploration of the web and of the oscillations it creates between the real and virtual dimensions of experience. Other novels by Gibson, such as Idoru or Pattern Recognition explore other aspects of the way human experience is transformed by cybernetics, and the first experience which is transformed is the reader’s experience. As the characters confusedly surf channels between their fleshly existence and their cybernetic avatars, the reader has to do cognitive acrobatics to interpret each word-processor generated phrase and its peculiar blend of "solid" fictional world and interface en abyme. In Neuromancer we do not find "metafictional" experiments in the line of Barth or Beckett, but what Gibson writes is indeed metafiction: the metafiction our cybernetically-grounded web society is itself becoming – the metafiction of the new ways our brain processes information and structures reality as it adopts/adapts its perceptual patterns from computer-mediated environments. Who has not had computer dreams after some hours of web surfing? We are in for more and more computer dreams, and those dreams are going to spill out into what used to be called reality.

"Linkterature" in progress... Ecce abstract:

The lecture will offer a perspective on the Internet and literature interface, with a special focus on the issue of intertextuality, in an attempt to delimit those issues specific to networked literature, as against digital or hypertextual literature. I will focus on literature as a family of medium-conditioned discursive practices, and examine the consequences of digital networks for a redefinition of these practices. These consequences will be approached from four viewpoints: a perspective on the Internet as literature, and of literature as an Internet: together with an examination of literature in the Internet, and of the Internet in literature. Among the topics addressed will be issues of interactivity, the blogosphere, postmodernist fiction, and the cyborganization of social communication.




 


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Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1986)

martes, 19 de enero de 2016

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1986)







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William Cowper

William Cowper


From the Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.


COWPER, William (1731-1800), elder son of the rector of Great Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, whose mother died when he was 6. He was educated at a private school (where he was bullied) and at Westminster, where he was a contemporary of Charles *Churchill and W. *Hastings. He was called to the bar in 1754. Sensitive and hypochondriac by nature as a child, he began to suffer from severe depression, and when called for examination for a disputed clerkship in the House of Lords he broke down completely and attempted suicide; his illness may have been aggravated by the failure of his hope of marrying his cousin Theodora Cowper. From this time he was subject to periods of acute melancholia which took a religious form; he felt himself cast out of God's mercy, and wrote later in his moving autobiographical Memoir (c. 1767, pub. 1816), 'conviction of sin and expectation of instant judgement never left me.' He spent some months in Dr Cotton's Collegium Insanorum at St Albans, and turned increasingly to evangelical Christianity for consolation. In 1765 he became a boarderr (in his own words, 'a sort of adopted son') in the home of the Revd Morley Unwin at Huntingdon, and on Morley's death moved with Mary, his widow, to Olney.

There he came under the influence of J. *Newton, the evangelical curate, with whom he wrote Olney Hymns (1669); his contributions include 'God moves in a mysterious way' and 'Oh, for a closer walk with God'. He became engaged to Mrs Unwin, but suffered another period of severe depression and made another suicide attempt; he spent a year with the Newtons before returning to Mrs Unwin's home. A calmer period followed, during which at her suggestion he wrote his satires ('Table Talk', 'The Progress of Error', 'Truth', 'Expostulation', 'Hope', 'Charity', 'Conversation', and 'Retirement') which were published in 1782 with several shorter poems 8including 'Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk; see SELKIRK); in the same year he wrote 'John Gilpin' and in 1783-4 his best-known long poem The Task (1785), both subject suggested by his new friend and neighbour Lady Austen. The volume in which these appeared also contained 'Tirocinium', a vigorous attack on public schools. In 1786 he moved with Mrs Unwin to Weston Underwood, where he wrote various poems published after his death, including the unfinished 'Yardley-Oak' (admired by *Wordsworth), the verses 'On the Loss of the Royal George' ('Toll for the brave . . . '), 'To Mary', and 'The Poplar-Field'. His translation of *Homer, published in 1791, was not successful. From 1791 Mrs Unwin suffered a series of paralytic strokes; she died in1796, leaving Cowper in severe depression from which he never fully recovered.

He wrote 'The Castaway' shortly before his death; like many of his poems it deals with man's isolation and helplessness. Storms and shipwrecks recur in his work as images of the mysterious ways of God, and Cowper's search for a retired and quiet life of simple domestic and rural pleasures gave him little sense of permanent security. Yet his poems and his much admired letters (published posthumously) have been highly valued for their intimate portrait of tranquillity and for their playful and delicate wit. His sympathetic feelings for nature (expressed in the lines from The Task admired by Jane *Austen's Fanny Price, 'Ye fallen avenues! Once more I mourn, / Your fate unmerited') presage *Romanticism, and his use of blank verse links that of James *Thomson with that of *Wordsworth. He was also, like his evangelical friends, a champion of the oppressed, and wrote verses on *Wilberforce and the slave trade. Whether religion was cause or cure of his depression has been much disputed; the sense of guilt and paranoia displayed in his Memoir has much in common with that of Bunyan's *Grace Aboundin. A life by his friend W. *Hayley was published 1803-4; see also The Stricken Deer (1929) by David *Cecil and a critical biography by M. Quinlan (1953). Cowper's *Letters and Prose Writings, ed. J. King and C. Ryskamp, appeared in 3 vols, 1979-82.





The Task, a poem in six books by Cowper, published 1785.

When Cowper's frien Lady Austen (whom he met in 1781) suggested to him the sofa in his room as the subject of a poem in blank verse, the poet set about 'the task'. Its six books are entitled 'The Sofa', 'The Time-Piece', 'The Garden', 'The Winter Evening', 'The Winter Morning Walk', and 'The Winter Walk at Noon'. Cowper opens with a mock-heroic account of the evolution of the sofa ('I sing the sofa') and thence digresses to description, reflection, and opinion. The poem stresses the delights of a retired life ('God made the country, and man made the town'), Bk I, 749); describes the poet's own search for peace ('I was a stricken deer, that left the herd', Bk III, 108), and evokes the pleasures of gardening, winter evenings by the fire, etc. The moral passages condemn blood sports, cards, and other diversions; the poet manifests tenderness not only for his pet harebut even for worms and snails.The poem was extremely popular: *Burns found it 'a glorious poem' that expressed 'the Religion of God and Nature', and it helped to create and supply the growing demand for natural description and tender emotion that found a fuller expression in Wordsworth's *Prelude, a poem which contains many echoes of Cowpar.





'The Castaway', a poem by Cowper, written 1799, published 1803. It is based on an incident from *Anson's Voyage Round the World. Cowper depicts with tragic power the suffering of a seaman swept overboard and awaiting death by drowning. Mr Ramsay in V. Woolf's *To the Lighthouse is given to declaiming its last lines: 'We perish'd, each alone: / But I beneath a rougher sea, / And whelm'd in deeper gulphs than he.'


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Miércoles, 18 de Enero de 2017 05:45. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica






'Cecilia', de Fanny Burney: La nece(si)dad de guardar las apariencias

viernes, 15 de enero de 2016

’Cecilia’, de Fanny Burney: La nece(si)dad de guardar las apariencias

Se ha dicho que el tema central de la novela de sociedad inglesa es la tensión entre las exigencias asfixiantes de la clase social, imponiendo la conformidad, y el impulso individual hacia la autenticidad personal y hacia la libertad de acción, expresando en la vida y en los actos de los protagonistas una personalidad propia y una respuesta creativa a su entorno, en el marco de una escena social cuyas reglas trascienden al individuo. La interacción creativa con esas reglas del escenario es el auténtico drama de este género dramático que es la vida social, en especial para personajes jóvenes que están buscando su papel en la escena. De lleno en esta tradición podemos colocar a Cecilia y a su autora.

Leemos la novela de Frances (’Fanny’) Burney Cecilia (1782) como una obra sintomática de la sofocante sumisión de la autora a la ideología patriarcal burguesa, y al control de la identidad sexual y de clase efectuados por ella mediante los rituales de la cortesía social. La novela también es una negociación simbólica de las tensiones creadas por el conflicto entre la necesidad de una expresión auténtica y los protocolos sociales.


Jose Angel Garcia Landa


Universidad de Zaragoza

August 28, 2015

Ibercampus (August 28, 2015)


English abstract: 

Fanny Burney’s ’Cecilia’: The Foolish Compulsion to Keep Up Appearances

 Frances (’Fanny’) Burney’s novel Cecilia (1782) is read as a work symptomatic of the author’s suffocating submission to patriarchal bourgeois ideology and its control of sexual and class identities through the rituals of social politeness. The novel is also a symbolic coming to terms with the conflicting demands of authentic self-expression and social proprieties.

 

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8




_____. "Compradores de deuda." In García Landa, Vanity Fea 6 August 2012.*
          2012
_____. "Compradores de deuda." Ibercampus (Vanity Fea) 5 Sept. 2012.*
          2013
_____. "La nece(si)dad de guardar las apariencias." In García Landa, Vanity Fea 27 August 2015.*
         2015

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Osborne

miércoles, 13 de enero de 2016

Osborne



From the Oxford Companion to English Literature:



OSBORNE, John James (1929-94), playwright, born in Fulham, London, the son of a commercial artist who died in 1940; the first volume of his autobiography, A Better Class of Person (1981), describes his childhood in suburbia, his brief spell as a journalist, and his years as an actor in provincial repertory, during which he began to write plays, the first of which was performed in 1950. He made his name with Look Back in Anger (1956, pub. 1957), which was followed by Epitaph for George Dillon (1957, pub. 1958; written in the mid-1950s in collaboration with Anthony Creighton).; The Entertainer (1957, which starred Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice, a faded survivor of the great years of music hall), Luther (1961, based on the life of Martin *Luther, with much emphasis on his physical as well as his spiritual problems); Inadmissible Evidence (1965, the tragedy of a down-at-heel solicitor, Bill Maitland, plunging rhetorically towards self-destruction); and A Patriot for Me (1965, a highly theatrical piece set in Vienna, based on the rise and fall of Redl, a homosexual officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, ruined by blackmail). Iconoclastic, energetic, and impassioned, Osborne's works at their most positive praise the qualities of loyalty, tolerance, and friendship, but his later works (which include West of Suez, 1971; A Sense of Detachment, 1972; Watch It Come Down, 1976), became increasingly vituperative in tone, and the objects of his invective apparently more arbitrary. His outbursts of rage against contemporary society are frequently exhilarating, for the anger that made him known as an 'Angry Young Man' remained one of his strongest theatrical weapons, but he also expressed from time to time an ambivalent nostalgia for the past that his own work did so mucho to alter. His last play, Déjàvu (1991), is a sequel to Look Back in Anger, presenting the same characters in their regrouped, bad-tempered, but occasionally companionable middle age. Almost a Gentleman (1991) was a second volume of autobiography; Damn You, England (1994) a miscellany of reviews and letters to the press. (See also KITCHEN SINK DRAMA).



Look Back in Anger, a play by J. *Osborne, first produced by the *English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre on 8 May 1956, published 1957. It proved a landmark in the history of the theatre, a focus for reaction against a previous generation (see KITCHEN SINK DRAMA), and a decisive contributionto the corporate image of the *Angry Young Man.

The action takes place in a Midlands town, in the one-room flat of Jimmy and Alison Porter, and centres on their marital conflicts, which appear to arise largely from Jimmy's sense of their social incompatibility: he is a jazz-playing ex-student from a 'white tile' university, working in a market sweet satall, she is a colonel's daughter. He is by turns violent, sentimental, maudlin, self-pitying, and sadistic, and has a fine line in rhetoric. The first act opens as Alison stands ironing the clothes of Jimmy and thir lodger Cliff, as Jimmy reads the Sunday papers and abuses her and the 'Edwardian brigade' which her parents represent. In the sencond act the battle intensifies, as Alison's friend Helena attempts to rescue her from her disastrous marriage; Alison departs with her father, and Helena falls into Jimmy's arms. The third act opens with Helena at the ironing board; Alison returns, having lost the baby she was expecting, and she an Jimmy finda a manner of reconciliation through humiliation and games-playing fantasy. In its use of social milieu, its iconoclastic social attitudes, and its exploration of sadomasochistic relationships, the play was highly influential.



Angry Young Men, a journalistic catchphrase loosely applied to a number of British playwrights and novelists from the mid 1950s, including Kingsley *Amis, John *Osborne, *Sillitoe, and C. *Wilson, whose political views were radical or anarchic, and who described various forms of social alienation. It is sometimes said to derive from the title of a work by the Irish writer Leslie Paul, Angry Young Man (1951).

kitchen sink drama, a term applied in the late 1950s to the palys of writers such as *Wesker, S. *Delaney, and J. *Osborne, which portrayed working class or lower-middle class life, with an emphasis on domestic realism. These plays were written in part as a reaction against the drawing-room comedies and middle-class dramas of *Coward and *Rattigan, and also undermined the popularity of the verse drama of T. S. Eliot and C. *Fry. *Tynan was a principal advocate of this new group of writers.





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Motifs, Topics, Thematics

miércoles, 13 de enero de 2016

Motifs, Topics, Thematics

Motifs, Topics, Thematics (from A BIBLIOGRAPH OF LITERARY THEORY, CRITICISM AND PHILOLOGY) by JAGL . uploaded Turopicu

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Oliver Goldsmith (Oxford Companion)

Oliver Goldsmith (Oxford Companion)



From the Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:


GOLDSMITH, Oliver (?1730-74), the second son of an Anglo-Irish clergyman, born probably at Pallas, Co. Longford, or perhaps at Elphin, Roscommon. He spent much of his childhood at Lissoy, and is thought to have drawn on his memories of it when writing The Deserted Village. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated after some upheavals in 1750; he then presented himself for ordination, was rejected, and went to Edinburgh, where he studied medicine but took no degree. He studied in Leiden, and during 1755-6 wandered about France, Switzerland, and Italy, reaching London destitute in 1756, where he supported himself with difficulty as a physician in Southwark and as an usher in Peckham; he may at this period have received a medical degree from Trinity, though this remains unclear. He applied for a medical post in India, but failed to obtain it; meanwhile he had embarked on a literary career as reviewer and hack-writer for Griffith's Monthly Review, one of his early pieces being a favourable review of Burker's Philosophical Enquiry . . . into the *Sublime and Beautiful. *Burke was to become a close friend. In 1758 he published, under the pseudyonym 'James Willington', his translation of The Memoirs of a Protestant, Condemned to the Galleys in France Because of His Religion (by Jean Marteilhe of Bergerac, a victim of the Edict of Nantes), and in 1759 his frist substantial work, An Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe. It was at this period he met *Percy, later bishop of Dromore, who was to become a loyal friend and also his biographer. He was by now contributing to many periodicals (the Busy Body, the Monthly Review, the *Critical Review, the Ladies' Magazine, etc.), and during Oct. and Nov. 1759 published his own little periodical, the Bee, in which appeared his 'Elegy on Mrs Mary Blaize' (a pawn-broker) and 'A City Night-Piece'. He contributed to *Smollett's British Magazine, started in 1760, and was also employed by *Newbery, for whose new Public Ledger he wroter his 'Chinese Letters', subsequently republished as The Citizen of the World in 1762; he is also said to have written the nursery tale Goody Two-Shoes. In 1761 he met Dr. *Johnson, who admired his work; he became on of the original members of Johnson's *Club. Johnson remained his friend and champion, and in 1762 sold for him the (possibly unfinished) manuscript of The Vicar of Wakefield to Newbery, thereby saving him from arrest for debt. Goldsmith was still struggling as a writer, and making his living with a variety of hack-work in the form of biographies, compilations, translations, abridgements, etc: these include lives of *Voltaire (1761) and Beau *Nash (1762), an abrdigement of *Plutarch (1762), a History of England in a series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764), a Roman History (1769), a Grecian History (1774), lives of T. *Parnell and *Bolingbroke (1770), etc.—in all more than 40 volumes. But he first achieved literary distinction with his poem The Traveller (1764), who introduced him to his only patron, Lord Clare; it was his first signed work, and was much admired by Johnson and *Fox among others. The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), who was to become one of the most popular works of fiction in the language, was slower to find its audience, possibly because it was, as the Monthly Review commented, 'difficult to characterise'.

Goldsmith's first comedy, The Good-Natur'd Man, was rejected by *Garrick but produced at Covent Garden in 1768 with moderate success; She Stoops to Conquer followed in 1773 with immense success. Goldsmith had criticized the vogue for *sentimental comedy and the prejudice against laughter (see CHESTERFIELD) in an essay in the Westminster Magazine entitled 'A Comparison between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy' (1773); his own play's lasting popularity justified his comments.

His best-known poem, The Deserted Village, was published in 1770; his lighter verses include Retaliation (1774) and the posthumously published The Haunch of Venison (1776), written to thank Lord Clare for a gift of game from his estate. His An History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1774), also published posthumously, in eight volumes adapted from *Buffon, *Linnaeus, *Ray, and others, inventively portrays 'tygers' in Canada, and squirrels migrating on bark boats in Lapland, fanning themselves along with their tails.

There are many anecdotes about Goldsmith in Boswell's Life of *Johnson which represent him as ridiculous, vain, extravagantly dressed, improvident, and naive, but also as tender-hearted, simple, and generous, with flashes of brilliance in conversation (despite Garrick's gibe that he 'wrote like an angel, but talked like poor Poll'). He was regarded with much affection; Johnson, in his Latin epitaph, stated that he adorned whatever he touched. He never married, and his relationship with Mary Horneck, his 'Jessamy bride', remains mysterious. He was introduced to the Horneck family by *Reynolds in 1766, when Mary was 14, and accompanied Mrs. Horneck, Mary, and her other daughter Catherine ('Little Comedy', who married H. W. *Bunbury) to Paris in 1770; in 1773 he attacked Thomas Evans for publishing in the London Packet a letter from 'Tom Tickler' mocking his feelings for 'the lovely H——k'. She long outlived him, and provided material for J. Prior's life (1837); another biographer, W. *Irving (1844), concluded that Goldsmith had suffered from unrequited love, but this has been much disputed.

The 1801 Miscellaneous Works contain Percy's memoir, and there are other lives by J. Forster (1848) and Ralph M Wardle (1957). The Collected Works (5 vols, 1966) were edited by A. Friedman, and the correspondence by K. C. Balderston (1928).





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JAMES, Henry, Jr.

JAMES, Henry, Jr.

From Hart and Leininger's Oxford Companion to American Literature, 6th ed.



JAMES, HENRY, JR. (1843-1916), son of Henry James, Sr., was born in New York City, and, with his brothers William, Garth (1845-83) and Robertson (1846-1910), received a remarkably cosmopolitan, eclectic education. The father, desiring his sons to be citizens of the world, believed that they should avoid forming definite habits of living or of intellect, until prepared to make wise choices of their own. Accordingly, Henry was privately educated by tutors until 1855, when the family went to Europe for a three-year stay. He also lived for a time in Newport (1858, 1860-62) before he entered Harvard Law School (1862). After 1866, although he lived mostly in Europe, his American home was at Cambridge. His conception of himself as a detached spectator of life was maturing, as was his idea that the American scene was hostile toward creative talent and offered no adequate subject matter.

For the time being, however, he divided his interest between European and American materials. During the late 1860s, encouraged by Howells, C. E. Norton, and others, he wrote critical articles and reviews, exhibiting admiration for the technique of George Eliot , and also produced short stories, frequently showing the influence of Hawthorne, one of his masters; a realistic novelette, "Watch and Ward" (Atlantic Monthly, 1871; in book form, 1878), concerned with a guardian who loves and marries his ward; and a farce, "Pyramus and Thisbe" (1869). His first important fiction was "A Passionate Pilgrim" (1871), in which he deals with the first of his great themes, the reactions of an eager American "pilgrim" when confronted with the fascinations of the complex European world of art and affairs.

The author himself during this period was often a pilgrim to the transatlantic world, which he came to regard as his spiritual fatherland, moving there permanently in 1875. During a year in Paris he associated with such masters of his art as Turgenev and Flaubert, but after 1876 he made his home mainly in London, with which much of his writing is concerned. His first novel, following A Passionate Pilgrim and Other Tales (1875) and Transatlantic Sketches (1875), mainly treating his views of England and Italy, was Roderick Hudson (1876), concerned with the failure of an American sculptor in Rome, resulting from a lack of inner discipline. Other novels and tales of this early London period, when James's course of life was still for him a matter of doubt and self-questioning, include The American (1877), contrasting French and American standards of conduct; The Europeans (1878), reversing the situation by bringing Europeans into a New England background; Daisy Miller (1879), whose wide popularity is probably owing to its portrayal of a charming, ingenuous American girl; An International Episode (1879), a novelette showing the reactions of Englishmen to the American scene and of an American heiress to aristocratic Britain; The Madonna of the Future and Other Tales (1879); and Confidence (1880), a romantic, melodramatic novelette about a group of expatriated Americans.

In Washington Square (1881), James again revealed American character, this time in its native environment, but after The Bostonians (1886), a satirical novel of New England reformers and philanthropists, he devoted himself to British and continental themes. The Portrait of a Lady (1881), the first of his mature masterpieces, is a triumph of his method of psychological realism, analyzing the relations of a young American woman with a group of European and expatriated Americans, who objectify her conscientious moral attitude, her sensitive appreciation, and her endurance under suffering. In nearly all of James's fiction, the environment is one of affluence and leisure, in which the preoccupations are with manners and the appreciation of character and the arts, including that of conversation. He treats this society with an infinite refinement of particulars, and in a prose style considered to be unapproached in English for subtlety of phrase and rhythm.

Following The Portrait of a Lady, James temporarily turned from the writing of novels. He collected his fiction (14 vols., 1883), and published several new works: a dramatization of Daisy Miller (1883); The Siege of London (1883), short stories, Portraits of Places (1883), a travel book; Tales of Three Cities (1884); A Little Tour in France (1885); and Stories Revived (3 vols., 1885), reprinting earlier tales.

He returned to the novel with The Princess Cassamassima  (1886), a melodramatic story of revolutionaries and lower-class life in London, told, as all of James's later fictions are, through the observations of one character, who usually remains outside the events. This was followed by The Reverberator (1888), a novelette concerned with American travelers on the Continent; The Aspern Papers  (1888), a novelette which tells of the attempt of a critic to gain a celebrated poet's letters; A London Life  (1889), short stories; The Tragic Muse (1880), a novel dealing with the lives of artists in English society; The Lesson of the Master (1892), short stories; The Real Thing and Other Tales  (1893); The Private Life (1893) and The Wheel of Time (1893), collections of tales. At this time he also wrote four comedies, collected in Theatricals (2 vols., 1894-95), but none of them was successful in the theater, owing perhaps to his essentially cerebral attide towards life, his extreme refinement of motive and situtation, and his unlifelike dialogue and inability to create dramatic simplifications.

His next series of fictional works includes Terminations (1895) and Embarrassments (1896), books of stories, the latter containing "The Figure in the Carpet"; The Other House (1896), an unsuccessful melodramatic novel; The Spoils of Poynton (1897), a tragic novel of mean passions magnified by the excellence of their object, a household of precious objects of art; What Maisie Knew  (1897), a novel told through the medium of a little girl's mind; In the Cage (1898), in which a telegraph clerk observes his aristocratic patrons ; The Two Magics (1898), containing the fine tale of the supernatural "The Turn of the Screw"; The Awkward Age (1899), portraying a British society girl between adolescence and marriage; The Soft Side (1900), a collection of tales; The Sacred Fount (1901), a novelette that seems to satirize the typical "detached observer" of James's novels; The Wings of the Dove (1902), another of his masterpieces in subtle character portrayal; The Better Sort (1903), short stories; The Ambassadors (1903), a novel that shows the author's genius for formal structure, as well as his discernment of the values of Old World culture; and The Golden Bowl (1904), his last completed novel, which also exhibits him at the height of his artistry.

With the addition of two volumes of stories, The Altar of the Dead (1909) and The Finer Grain (1910), and two unfinished novels, The Ivory Tower (1917) and The Sense of the Past  (1917), this completed his prolific output of fiction. He edited a second collection of his novels and tales (1907-9), which included the valuable critical prefaces, and other writings of the last decade include William Wetmore Story and His Friends (2 vols., 1903); English Hours (1905), essays; The Question of our Speech, and The Lesson of Balzac (1905), two lectures delivered in the U.S.; The American Scene (1907), a descriptive work written after a long journey through the U.S.; Views and Reviews (1908), essays, and the autobiographical books, A Small Boy and Others (1913), Notes of a Son and Brother (1914), and The Middle Years (1917). He also returned to playwriting, but of three plays only The High Bid was produced (1908).

These last years were troubled ones, saddened by deaths, including that of his brother William, and at the outbreak of World War I he was particularly agitated. To show allegiance to the Allied cause, he became a British subject in 1915. Always strongly conscious of the formal and thoretical phases of his work, he kept Notebooks (published 1948) and wrote criticism of his own practice and that of other masters of fiction. Even his Letters (3 vols, 1974, 1975, 1980), edited by Leon Edel, display his creative and critical turn of mind. His formal critical writings, sufficient in themselves to establish an author's reputation, were published in French Poets and Novelists (1878); Hawthorne (1879); Partial Portraits (1888), including the essay "The Art of Fiction"; Picture and Text (1893); Essays in London and Elsewhere (1893); Notes on Novelists (1914); Within the Rim and Other Essays (1918); and Notes and Reviews (1921). Thus he fulfilled his cosmopolitan destiny, detached even from the art that absorbed him, for his self-judgements are as subtle and well formed as is the substance of his fiction.

His artistry was conscious at every point, but his intellectual perceptivity in later life seemed to make him a rarefied observer, apparently largely out of touch with many of the more commonplace realities of his times. His eminence in the realm of his choice, however, is unquestioned, as is his influence in the history of the novel, in which he was a pioneer of psychological realism and formal architectonics, and the master of a rich, highly complex prose style and an extremely sensitive appreciation of values of character.






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La novela de Luz Gabás, y su película

La novela de Luz Gabás, y su película

 

MARIO CASAS, BERTA VÁZQUEZ, LUZ GABÁS, ALAIN HERNÁNDEZ Y FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ MOLINA PROTAGONIZARÁN EL VIERNES 15 DE ENERO LA SESIÓN 147 DE LA “LA BUENA ESTRELLA” ALREDEDOR DE “PALMERAS EN LA NIEVE”
Los actores Mario Casas, Berta Vázquez y Alain Hernández, el director de cine Fernando González Molina y la escritora aragonesa Luz Gabás, protagonizarán el viernes 15 de enero la sesión 147 de “La buena estrella”, el ciclo de coloquios organizado por el Vicerrectorado de Cultura y Política Social de la Universidad de Zaragoza.
El acceso a la sala se realizará mediante invitación. Estas invitaciones podrán recogerse el mismo día a partir de las 9 de la mañana en la conserjería del Paraninfo. Aforo limitado. 
“Palmeras en la nieve”, la película dirigida por González Molina basada en el best seller de Luz Gabás, y que se rodó parcialmente en Huesca, se estrenó en las salas españolas el 25 de diciembre y se ha convertido en uno de los grandes fenómenos del cine español de los últimos tiempos
El coloquio se celebrará a las ocho de la tarde en el Aula Magna del Paraninfo de la Universidad de Zaragoza (Plaza Basilio Paraíso, 4) y será presentado y moderado por el coordinador del ciclo, el escritor, periodista y profesor de la Universidad de Zaragoza Luis Alegre.
Hasta este miércoles 6 de enero, la película había sido vista por 1.300.000 espectadores, alcanzando el número uno de la taquilla española, por encima de películas como Star Wars, el despertar de la fuerza.

“Palmeras en la nieve” cuenta cómo el descubrimiento accidental de una carta olvidada durante años empuja a Clarence (Adriana Ugarte) a viajar desde las montañas de Huesca a Bioko para visitar la tierra en la que su padre Jacobo (Alain Hernández) y su tío Killian (Mario Casas) pasaron la mayor parte de su juventud, la isla de Fernando Poo. En las entrañas de un territorio tan exuberante y seductor como peligroso, Clarence (Adriana Ugarte) desentierra el secreto de una historia de amor prohibido enmascarado en turbulentas circunstancias históricas cuyas consecuencias alcanzarán el presente.




(Luz Gabás era compañera de nuestro departamento, y ex alumna mía. Le dirigí un trabajo de Tercer Ciclo, e incluso comenzó a hacer una tesis, sobre Brian Friel... pero me temo que la aparcó cuando dejó el departamento, para dedicarse a montañesa, madre, alcaldesa, novelista de éxito... ¡Con lo bien que estaría haciendo una tesis!)

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Miércoles, 11 de Enero de 2017 07:37. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica
















Corrección del epitafio a Pablo Iglesias

miércoles, 6 de enero de 2016

Corrección del epitafio a Pablo Iglesias


José de Espronceda no escribió, al parecer, un epitafio a Pablo Iglesias, y sin embargo nos ha llegado una obra de él bajo ese título. (Aclaremos que se refiere al héroe liberal Pablo Iglesias González, ejecutado en 1825, y no a Pablo Iglesias "PSOE" Posse, que murió cien años después —ni tampoco por supuesto a Pablo Iglesias pose).

Esto es lo que nos ha llegado, según la edición de las Obras Poéticas de Espronceda por Leonardo Romero Tovar (1994; RBA, 1999, p. 333):

(EPITAFIO A PABLO IGLESIAS)1

    Mártir sublime de la patria, un día
fue honor y gloria del hispano suelo;
y ora del libre, luminosa guía,
astro de libertad brilla en el cielo.2

    1. Texto publicado en El Español (28-VI-1836). Pablo Iglesias fue un héroe liberal ejecutado en 1825. El 25 de junio de 1836 se celebraron en Madrid solemnes funerales en su memoria; al acto fúnebre contribuyó Espronceda con estos cuatro versos.
    2. Este verso pasa a ser el primero del soneto A Guardia, con lo que un texto generado por un acto cívico de carácter político se convierte en la pauta inicial de otro texto que cumple las mismas funciones.



Se verá por qué digo que, aunque lo compuso, Espronceda no escribió este epitafio a Pablo Iglesias—y si en efecto lo escribió es más que probable que no entregase el texto para su publicación. Al parecer lo recitó durante el funeral, y el periodista de El Español debió tomar nota de lo que creyó entender. El tercer verso parece ser defectuoso, y el defecto va perpetuándose. Un texto parecido aparece en Poesía Castellana (Epitafio a Don Pablo Iglesias), con una ligera corrección, "luminoso guía." No conozco la autoridad de este texto, y (salvo corrección) daré por bueno el texto de Leonardo Romero, pues el editor especifica (LXXIX) que en el caso de otros poemas aparecidos en publicaciones periódicas se ha atenido a ese texto. Hay que decir que según el DRAE guía es nombre de género común, y por tanto (aunque quizá sea un uso extraño o atípico) bien podría llamarse a Pablo Iglesias "una luminosa guía". El uso común pide sin embargo el masculino, y eso han hecho en
Poesía Castellana, quizá siguiendo alguna edición anterior: luminoso guía.

Pero el verso tercero sigue siendo imperfecto.  Propongo la siguiente corrección:

Mártir sublime de la patria, un día
fue honor y gloria del hispano suelo;
Y ahora de él libre, luminoso guía,
astro de libertad brilla en el cielo.


El sentido es así claro y gramatical: Pablo Iglesias, en vida, fue honor y gloria del hispano suelo, pero ahora está libre de él (no creo que se refiera a que fue ahorcado, sino meramente a que "ya no está entre nosotros"), y al modo de los héroes clásicos, se ha convertido en una estrella o constelación, es un astro de libertad (por eso "guía" ha de ser masculino, no sólo para concordar con Pablo, sino para concordar con "astro"). Un astro de libertad, libre del hispano suelo, que ahora brilla en el cielo.

Observaré sólo que ora, si bien es una aféresis de ahora, según el DRAE aparece sólo como conjunción distributiva, ora en tierra, ora en el cielo, y no parece habitual ni gramatical usarlo como adverbio. Pero en fin, cada cual en realidad habla como quiere y continuamente damos giros extraños a términos habituales (por ejemplo, no sé si es altamente atípico o perfectamente normal orar en el cielo). Pace la RAE.

Lo que no tiene rescate posible, creo, es la expresión "del libre", cuánto menos "ora del libre". Sería ensanchar las tragaderas de la tolerancia. Con la misma razón podría haber transcrito el periodista que había llegado la hora del libre, en 1836. Para entonces, terminada en 1833 la década ominosa con la muerte del infame rey felón,  Espronceda ya había vuelto de su exilio londinense; no era ya un mozuelo, como lo era en 1825 cuando Pablo Iglesias fue ejecutado, y enterrado, me parece recordar, sin grandes funerales ni epitafios memorables. Vaya por ellos la corrección poética, y líbranos Señor de borbonerías, de tiranos, y de errores gramaticales en nuestos epitafios.




—oOo—


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Traducción - Interacción - Retroacción

lunes, 4 de enero de 2016

Traducción - Interacción - Retroacción

Exponemos en este trabajo las ideas teóricas sobre la traducción desarrolladas por Walter Benjamin en 'La tarea del traductor', un ensayo que articula no sólo una teoría de la traducción, sino también una filosofía del lenguaje y de la interpretación. Destacaremos los elementos relativos a la perspectiva historica sobre la tradición, y los efectos de la retrospección, a los cuales Benjamin era especialmente sensible, como puede verse en sus 'Tesis sobre la filosofía de la historia'. Criticaremos un cierto idealismo que aparece en su concepción, resultado de unas maneras de concebir el tiempo, la retrospección, de la intertextualidad y de la tradición que son insuficientemente interaccionales. Un análisis de la interpretación desconstructiva según la entienden diversos miembros de la escuela de Yale sacará a la luz idealismo comparable, y puntos ciegos similares, unidos a la perspicacia crítica de estas perspectivas.

Traducción – Interacción – Retroacción: 

Una relectura de Benjamin y de Man desde la teoría materialista del discurso

 

 

 

English abstract: 

 Translation – Interaction – Retroaction: A Rereading of Benjamin and de Man from a Materialist Theory of Discourse

This paper expounds the main conceptions of Walter Benjamin's theory of translation as they appear in 'The Task of the Translator', an essay which propounds not only a theory of traslation, but a philosophy of language and interpretation as well. Emphasis will fall on the historical perspective on tradition, and on the effects of retrospection and hindsight, to which Benjamin was particularly attuned (witness his 'Theses on the Philosophy of History'). This paper criticises some elements of idealism which surface in his conception, resulting from insufficiently interactional notions of time, retospection, intertextuality and tradition. An analysis of deconstructivist interpretation as understood by several members of the Yale school will reveal a comparable idealism, and similar blind spots, attending the critical insights of these approaches.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Translation, Theory of translation, Interpretation, Hermeneutics, Deconstruction, Walter Benjamin, Critical theory, Idealism, Materialism, Dialogism, Discourse analysis, Interpretation

Reference Info: La traducción: Nuevos planteamientos teórico-metodológicos, ed. Azucena Penas Ibáñez (Madrid: Síntesis, 2015)



SSRN eJournal Classifications (Date posted: December 26, 2015

Cognitive Science Network Subject Matter eJournals
    
        
            

Literature Network Subject Matter eJournals
    

Philosophy Research Network Subject Matter eJournals
    
        

    
        

    
        





Doin' Pragmatics
—oOo—

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Miércoles, 04 de Enero de 2017 10:37. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


The Structure of the Fabula (I): Aristotle's Poetics (Narrative Theory, 1)

domingo, 3 de enero de 2016

The Structure of the Fabula (I): Aristotle's Poetics (Narrative Theory, 1)

 

'Narrative Theory' is an online introduction to classical structuralist narratological analysis. The first section addresses the structure of the action or fabula, a mode of analysis that originates in Aristotle's 'Poetics', a seminal work in the theory of narrative. Aristotle's main concepts bearing on fabula structure are examined: his definition of plot and unity of action, his classification of kinds of plots, taking into account the characters' knowledge, and his conception of the sections of plots. This is followed by an account of his theory of characters.

  Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Poetics, Narratology, Action, Representation, Plot, Discourse structure, Literary theory,

The Structure of the Fabula (I):

Aristotle's Poetics (Narrative Theory, 1)

 

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Date posted: November 19, 2015
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PYGMALION by George Bernard Shaw

 

Pygmalion. TV adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play. Dir. Cedric Messina. Script ed. Nicholas Lom. Cast: Lyn Redgrave, James Villiers, Ronald Fraser, Emrys James, Lally Bowers, Nicholas Jones, Angela Baddeley, John Westbrook, Joyce Grant, Joanna McCallum. Designer: Eileen Diss. Prod. Christopher Morahan. (BBC Play of the Month). UK: BBC, 1973. Online at YouTube 16 July 2014.*
         https://youtu.be/l4TEy6n7grA 
         2015


 (Discontinued).

Another TV adaptation of Bernard Shaw's play:







Pygmalion. Dir. John Glenister. Adaptation of Bernard Shaw's play by Pat Sandys. Cast: Twiggy, Robert Powell, Arthur English, Ronald Fraser, Mona Washbourne, Helen Shingler. Exec. prod. David Cunliffe. Yorkshire TV / ITV, 1981. Online at YouTube (Phil P) 3 March 2013.*

         2016
 
 
 
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TOM JONES (from a TV series on Fielding's novel)

lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2015

TOM JONES (from a TV series on Fielding's novel)






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Miércoles, 28 de Diciembre de 2016 01:12. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


The Novel & Morality: Samuel Johnson's 'Rasselas' - Professor Belinda Jack

Lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2015

The Novel & Morality: Samuel Johnson's 'Rasselas' - Professor Belinda Jack







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Wilde y el enigma de la esfinge

sábado, 26 de diciembre de 2015

Wilde y el enigma de la esfinge

Mostramos cómo "El crítico como artista" de Oscar Wilde anticipa algunos conceptos clave de la hermenéutica postestructuralista—por ejemplo, la dialéctica necesaria entre ceguera y percepción crítica (Lacan, Paul de Man) o el efecto retroactivo que tiene la interpretación sobre la construcción de la obra. Más específicamente, la lectura del enigma de la Esfinge que propone Wilde en esta obra a la vez teoriza y dramatiza la relación paradójica que se da entre ceguera y percepción, al formular una profecía irónica que puede leerse como el anuncio por parte de Wilde de su propia caída trágica—en la que hay un elemento de actuación interpretativa de un guión previo, elemento que ha sido comentado previamente por diversos críticos. Es decir, la Esfinge de Wilde se usa como vehículo para un enigma sobre el propio Wilde, y es un emblema de la ambivalencia de su propia actitud ante la cuestión de la revelación pública de su homosexualidad.


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Oscar Wilde's "The Critic as Artist" is shown to foreshadow some key concepts of poststructuralist interpretive theory - such as the necessary interplay of blindness and insight in criticism (Lacan, Paul de Man), or the retroactive effect of interpretation in the construction of the work. More specifically, Wilde's reading of the riddle of the Sphinx in a passage of this work both theorizes and dramatizes the paradoxical relationship between blindness and insight, in the shape of an ironic prophecy which can be read as Wilde's announcement of his own tragic downfall - in which there is an element of compulsive acting out that has been noted by a number of previous critics. That is, Wilde's Sphinx is used as the vehicle of a riddle about Wilde himself, and is an emblem of his own ambivalent attitude toward the public revelation of his homosexuality.

 

 

Links to the paper in the following websites, journals and repositories:

Wilde and the Riddle of the Sphinx


Date posted: January 14, 2008  

http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1082721

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_____. "Wilde y el enigma de la Esfinge." Online PDF at Zaguán 23 April 2009.*

        2009
_____. "Wilde y el enigma de la Esfinge." ResearchGate 15 April 2012.*
         2012
_____. "Wilde y el enigma de la Esfinge (Wilde and the Riddle of the Sphinx). PhilPapers 28 Jan.           2009.*
         2013
_____. "Wilde y el enigma de la Esfinge." Academia 26 Dec. 2015.*
         2015

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HERMAN MELVILLE

martes, 22 de diciembre de 2015



From The Oxford Companion to American Literature, by Hart and Leininger:


Herman Melville was born in New York City, a descendant of English and Dutch colonial families in whom he took great pride. His father, a cultivated gentleman, underwent financial reverses, entered bankruptcy and died when Herman was 12 years old. The boy's mother, left virtually destitute with seven other children, seems from the portrait of Mrs. Glendinning in Pierre to have been an imperious, unsympathetic woman. His schooling ended when he was 15, and, after clerking in a New York bank, working in his brother's fur and cap store, farming, and teaching, he shipped as a cabin boy to Liverpool (1839). This voyage, described in Redburn, was both romantic and harrowing, and ingrained in him a love for the sea. Upon his return, he again taught school in upstate New York, until he sailed on the whaler Acushnet for the South Seas (Jan. 1841). The 18-month voyage provided a factual basis for his later novel Moby-Dick. When he tired of whaling, he jumped ship at the Marquesas (July 1842) with a companion, Richard Tobias Greene, and lived for a month in the islands, as he later described in Typee and Mardi. He escaped from the savages who were holding him captive in the valley of Typee on an Australian trader, from which he deserted at Papeete (Sept. 1842). In Tahiti he worked for a time as a field laborer, studying the island life that he later depicted in Omoo. He left Tahiti on a whaler, and at Honolulu enlisted as an ordinary seaman on the frigate United States (Aug. 1843). His life aboard the man-of-war until his discharge at Boston (Oct. 1844) is the basis of White-Jacket. Having completed his education in what he later termed the only Harvard and Yale that were open to him, he returned home to begin fashioning novels from his experiences, and to enter literary society in New York and Boston.


His first five books, Typee (1846), Omoo (1847), Mardi (1849), Redburn (1849), and White-Jacket (1850), won him fame and a wide following. He became a member of the literary circle of the Duyckinck brothers, who opened a new world of literature to him through their great libraries. In 1849 he made a trip to England to arrange for foreign publication, and visited Paris. The following year, with his wife, whom he had married in 1847, he moved to the Massachusetts farm that was his home for the next 13 years. Here he formed a friendship with his neighbor Hawthorne, who became his confidant after he outgrew the Duyckinck set of New York literati. His greatest work, Moby-Dick (1851), was dedicated to Hawthorne, and it is worth noting that the tortured novel Pierre (1852) was published at the same time as Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance, since both deal with idealists who are crushed in their attempts to pursue the ways of heaven upon earth.

Melville's popularity, which began to wane with the publication of Moby-Dick, was entirely lost through the confused metaphysics and iconoclasm of Pierre, for the public's preference was always for his early exotic romances. Opportunity for revaluation was lost when a fire at his publishers (1853) destroyed the plates of his books and most of the unsold copies. Hawthorne's removal to Concord deprived him of his last great stimulus, and from this time he drew farther within himself in his tireless search for a key to the universal mystery. Israel Potter (1855), the story of the Revolutionary soldier, was a weak historical romance, but it was followed by Melville's finest achievements in short fiction, The Piazza Tales (1856), which includes "Bartleby the Scrivener," "Benito Cereno," and "The Encantadas." After The Confidence Man (1857), an abortive satire on the commercialism and selfishness of the age, he wrote no further prose except the novelette Billy Budd, completed just before his death.

Clarel (1876), a long, involved poem concerned with his search for religious faith, grew out of a tour to the Holy Land (1857). His diary of the trip was published as Journal Up the Straits (1935). Melville's other verse includes Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), John Marr and Other Sailors (1888), and Timoleon (1891), the last containing poems based on his travels in Greece and Italy. Clarel, John Marr, and Timoleon were privately financed and published in small editions. About 80 short uncollected poems were first printed in the collected edition of his works (1924).

Melville's great creative period having perished from public neglect and his own inanition, he attempted to eke out a living by lecturing. Failing to receive a desired consulship, after a trip to San Francisco (1860) on a clipper ship commanded by his brother, he moved to New York City (1863) and three years later received a mean appointment as an outdoor customs inspector, in which position he continued for 19 years. His last years were spent in complete obscurity, and his death passed virtually unnoticed. It was not until 1920 that he was rediscovered by literary scholars, and in subsequent years the previous neglect was atoned for by a general enthusiasm. An elaborate collected edition appeared (12 vols., 1922-23) including some work left in manuscript; individual works were frequently reprinted; and some magazine sketches were collected as The Apple-Tree Table (1922). Other books published for the first time included Journal of a Visit to London and the Continent (1948), Journal of a Visit to Europe and the Levant (1955) and Letters (1960), including all 217 then known.

A wealth of  scholarly research on his life and writings has been made, and recent students have revaluated his long-obscure literary reputation. Publication of a scholarly edition of his Writings was begun in 1968 by Newberry Library and Northwestern University Press, and by the 15th volume had reached the Journals (1989). He has come to be considered not only an outstanding writer of the sea and a great stylist who mastered both realistic narrative and a rich, rhythmical prose, but also a shrewd social critic and philosopher in his fiction.

 
 


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Some works:

Moby-Dick, or, The Whale, novel by Melville, published in 1851. Within this realistic account of a whaling voyage is set a symbolic account of conflict between man and his fate. Captain Ahab declares, "All visible objects are but as pasteboard masks," and Melville, holding this thesis, strikes through the surface of his adventurous narrative to formulate concepts of good and evil imbedded as allegory in its events.

The outcast youth Ishmael, feeling "a damp, drizzly November" in his soul, goes to New Bedford, planning to ship on a whaler. There he draws as a roommate Queequeg, a Polynesian prince, and the two become comrades. After Ishmael hears a symbolic sermon by Father Mapple, he and Queequeg go to Nantucket and sign on the Pequod, which sails on Christmas Day. The captain, Ahab, is a monomaniac whose one purpose is to capture the fierce, cunning white whale, Moby-Dick, who had torn away his leg during their last encounter. He keeps below deck for some time, but finally declares his purpose and posts a doubloon on the mast as a reward for the man who first sights the white whale. The characters of the sailors are revealed by their reactions. The chief mate, Starbuck, earnest, prudent, and fretful, dislikes it. Stubb, the second mate, is happy-go-lucky and takes perils as they come. Flask, the third mate, is incapable of deep thought and for him killing whales is just an occupation. Others in the crew include Fedallah and his mysterious Asiatics; the American Indian harpooner, Tashtego, the African, Daggoo; and the black cabin boy, Pip. Through the plot of the voyage, which carries the Pequod nearly around the world, runs a comprehensive discussion of the nature of the whale, the history of science and art relating to the animal, and the facts of the whaling industry. Whales are captured during the pursuit, but circumstances seem to conspire against Ahab: storms, lightning, loss of the compass, the drowning of a man, and the insanity of Ahab's favorite, Pip. The white whale is finally sighted, and in the first day's chase he smashes a whaleboat. The second day, another boat is swamped, and the captain's ivory leg is snapped off. On the third day the whale is harpooned, but Ahab, fouled in the line, is pinioned to Moby-Dick, who bears down on the Pequod. The ship is sunk and, as the final spars settle in the water, one of the men nails to the mast a sky hawk that pecks at the flag he is placing as a signal. The ship, "like Satan, would not sink to hell till she had dragged a living part of heaven along with her, and helmeted herself with it." Ishmael, the only survivor, is rescued by another whaler, the Rachel.


Pierre; or, The Ambiguities, novel by Melville, published in 1852. It is considered to be semi-autobiographical.

Pierre Glendinning, only son of an affluent and haughty widow, is engaged to Lucy Tartan, daughter of another prominent family in upstate New York. He accidentally meets Isabel, discovers that she is his illegitimate half-sister, and feels that it its his duty to protect her in opposition to his proud mother. To acknowledge Isabel as a sister would disgrace his father's memory, so Pierre pretends to marry her. They seek refuge in New York, and Pierre, poor and without friends, turns to writing a book that no publisher will issue. Lucy, still in love with Pierre, follows him to New York. Threatened by her brother and his own cousin, Pierre kills the latter. Both Lucy and Mrs. Glendinning die of grief, and Pierre and Isabel, now in love with each other, commit suicide in his prison cell. In grappling with the ambiguities of good and evil, Pierre has followed the "chronometrical" standards of ideal Christian conduct, instead of the "horological" standards of contemporary society. He is accordingly undone by his ideals, and becomes "the fool of Truth, the fool of Virtue, the fool of Fate."







Benito Cereno, story by Melville, published in The Piazza Tales (1856). Its source is a chapter in Amasa Delano's Voyages and Travels (1817). Robert Lowell adapted Melville's story in a one-act verse play of the same title in The Old Glory (1965).


In 1799 Captain Delano puts in for water at an uninhabited island off Chile, where he encounters a Spanish merchantsman in ruinous condition, commanded by Benito Cereno, a sensitive young Spaniard now gravely ill and enabled to pursue his duties only with the solicitous care of his black servant Babo. Cereno tells the American that he sailed from Buenos Aires for Lima, with a crew of 50 and a cargo including 300 Negroes owned by Alexandro Aranda. Off Cape Horn, he says, many of the crew were lost in a storm, and disease destroyed most of the other whites and blacks. Delano offers aid, but is uneasy at the insubordination of the slaves and the careless seamanship and seeming ingratitude of Cereno. He is about to return to his ship when Cereno jumps into his boat, precipitating an attack by the Negroes from which they barely escape. Cereno explains that the blacks had mutinied, led by Babo, and wanted to be carried to Africa. Delano seizes the slave ship, and takes it with his own to Lima, where Babo is executed. Cereno enters a monastery, but soon dies.


Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street, symbolic tale by Melville published anonymously in Putnam's Magazine (1853) and reprinted in The Piazza Tales (1856). One view is that it reflects Melville's futility at the neglect of his novels ("Dead Letters") and his uncertainty about how to relate to society. 

A Wall Street lawyer hires Bartleby, a curious, wraith-like figure, as a copyist. Barleby refuses to mingle with the other employees, and, when asked to do anything besides copying documents, invariably says "I would prefer not to." Som inner dignity or pathos in him prevents his being discharged, even when he ceases to work and uses the office for living quarters. The lawyer moves to another building, and the new tenant has Bartleby arrested. Visited in prison by the lawyer, he is silent and refuses favors. Soon he dies, and the lawyer hears a rumor that Bartleby was formerly a clerk in the Dead Letter Office, whose strange atmosphere affected his attitude toward life to the end.



The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade, unfinished satirical novel by Melville, published in 1857. This last novel printed during the author's life shows a pessimistic view best described by the title of a handbill that figures in the story: "Ode on the Intimations of Distrust in Man, Unwillingly Inferred from Repeated Repulses, in Disinterested Endeavors to Procure His Confidence."

A deaf-mute boards the Mississippi  steamboat Fidèle, bound from St. Louis to New Orleans, and displays to the passengers a slate on which he writes: "Charity thinketh no evil; suffereth long, and is kind; endureth all things; believeth all things; and never faileth." This is regarded as a proof of lunacy, although the passengers consider the barber's "No Trust" sign as wise and well expressed. Optimistic, faith-seeking mankind then appears in a variety of other disguises, as the "Masquerade" continues, and distrust replaces confidence in the course of each episode.




Billy Budd, a novelette by Melville, was written during the five years before his death and pubnlished in 1924. The much revised manuscript, left without definitive form, was reissued in a very careful edition in 1962. A dramatization was made by Louis O. Coxe and Robert H. Chapman as Uniform of Flesh (1949), revised as Billy Budd (1951). 

Billy Budd is the typical Handsome Sailor of 18th-century balladry, and because of his innocence and beauty is hated by Claggart, a dark, demon-haunted petty officer. In his simplicity, Billy cannot understand why Claggart hates him, why evil should desire to destroy good. Claggart concocts a fantastic story of mutiny, supposedly plotted by Billy, whom he accuses to the captain. Billy, unable to speak, in his only act of rebellion strikes Claggart a fatal blow. Captain Vere, who sympathizes with Billy and recognizes his essential innocence, is nevertheless forced to condemn him, and though Billy is hanged he lives on as a legend among sailors.






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Jueves, 22 de Diciembre de 2016 07:20. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Bibliografía sobre novela y narrativa de ficción inglesa

lunes, 21 de diciembre de 2015

Bibliografía sobre novela y narrativa de ficción inglesa

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Jueves, 22 de Diciembre de 2016 07:18. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death and Women 2010 (sub español)

lunes, 21 de diciembre de 2015

Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death and Women 2010 (sub español)






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Miércoles, 21 de Diciembre de 2016 06:04. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Martín Caparrós. Inauguración 5ª Jornadas de Periodismo.

martes, 15 de diciembre de 2015

Martín Caparrós. Inauguración 5ª Jornadas de Periodismo







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Jueves, 15 de Diciembre de 2016 06:26. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Charles Dickens (Victorian Values)

Charles Dickens (Victorian Values)

 

From The Short Penguin History of English Literature, by Stephen Coote ("Victorian Values", 3):



(...) Bulwer-Lytton also developed many other genres of fiction. Paul Clifford (1850), for example, is a 'novel with a purpose' in which the author campaigned against 'a vicious prison-discipline, and a sanguinary penal code'. His resurrection of the eighteenth-century 'Newgate novel' was to influence the Dickens of Oliver Twist (1838), while occult fantasies such as Zanoni (1842), ghost stories such as 'The Haunted and the Haunters' (1859) and works of science fiction furthered Bulwer-Lytton's popularity. So did The Caxtons (1849), a gentle saga of domestic family life, and one of a trilogy of pleasantly reassuring works which include My Novel (1853) and What Will He Do with It? (1858). Compromise and good humour are the essence of these works.

Two contemporary exponents of comic fiction were Charles Lever (1806-72) and R. S. Surtees (1805-64). Lever's works were principally concerned with Ireland and the Irish, and range from picaresque military adventure through to Lord Kilgobbin (1872), a more sombre reflection on the life of the Irish aristocracy. The picaresque was also to be favoured by Surtees in Jorrocks's Jaunts and Jollities (1838), his sporting sketches of a rumbustious 'Fox 'unting' grocer whose Sancho-Panza-like servant Pigg is introduced in Handley Cross (1843).

With such novels as these, the enormous range of Victorian prose fiction had begun to be explored. Social and political theory, protest, and historical and domestic works had all been essayed, but it is with the comic possibilities opened up by social reportage that we come to the early career of one of the supreme figures of nineteenth-century English literature: Charles Dickens (1812-70).

3


Dickens began his career as a freelance journalist, reporting legal and parliamentary affairs with an accuracy that was to win him a high reputation. An increasingly informed and passionate response to Victorian social conditions sustained the great achievements of his maturity, while the exuberance apparent in his early pieces led to the writing of anecdotal sketches, character studies and tales. Derived in part from the essays of Leigh Hunt and the young Dickens's extensive reading in the novels and journalism of the eighteenth century, these very successful essays were issued in volume form and under Dickens's pseudonym as Sketches by Boz (1836).

The publishers Chapman and hall were aware of this early work, and when the failing artist Robert Seymour approached them with some sporting illustrations of cockneys in the countryside, they asked the newly contracted Boz for linking passages of narrative prose. Confident now of his imaginative power, Dickens insisted that the illustrations serve the narrative rather than the other way around. The publishers agreed, and at the close of March 1836 they began the monthly serial publication of one of the great comic works in the language, Pickwick Papers. As the novel developed along its haphazard route and the plump and prosperous hero acquired his worldly wise servant Sam Weller—a figure who shows Dickens's remarkable powers of characterization through speech—so this genial comedy of middle-class life slowly became a publishing phenomenon. The eighteenth-century picaresque novel had been given fresh life, and the newly married author of twenty-four eventually found his work circulated in print runs of 40,000 a month.

The commercial success of this experiment in serial publication was to have an immense influence on subsequent Victorian fiction. Authors and publishers were now often to issue their works in parts before republication in a 'three-decker' or later as a single volume. The demands and conventions of issuing a novel in what was often as many as twenty monthly parts of three or four chapters, with a concluding double issue, challenged authors to organize their themes, plots and character developments within a regular framework of climaxes. In addition, writers learned how to bind their material together through parallelism and imagery. The enormous length of such publications encouraged the depiction of a comprehensive social range, while the relatively low cost of serial publication—a shilling an issue compared to the guinea and a half charged for a bound novel—greatly enlarged the market.

In Pickwick Papers itself, many of the technical possibilities offered by serial form are still unexplored. However, with Jingle as the none-too-serious villain of the work and the humorously contrived misunderstanding whereby the innocent Pickwick is mistakenly supposed to have offered marriage to his landlady Mrs Bardell, the work develops via such hilrious scenes as Bob Sawyer's bachelor party (later one of Dickens's favourite recital episodes) towards the high comedy of the trial of Bardell v. Pickwick. Pickwick's refusal to pay damages and his consequent stay in the debtors' prison gave Dickens the chance to confront boyish innocence and the charitable high spirits of Dingley Dell with a suggestion of the claustrophobic horror that characterizes the world of his maturity. Against this he then set the hero's magnanimity—the essential Pickwickian benevolence—by which Pickwick himself contrives to relieve the wretchedness of his fellow prisoners. The rich man who intervenes to alleviate suffering was to remain a standard figure in Dickens's fiction.

With Pickwick gaining ever-greater popularity, Dickens began a work whose characters were to obsess his imagination and whose incidents began to probe the painful worlds of abused childhood and official incompetence in a manner that reveals the great social critic. The sentiment and high melodrama of Oliver Twist (1838) derive from the popularity of the Newgate novel, while the somewhat clumsily handled conventions of the wronged woman, the dispossessed heir and the death-bed secret explore the social horrors of Victorian England with considerable power.

Oliver in the Malthusian hell of the workhouse is an image of eternal innocence caught in Victorian corruption, in particular the evils of the 1834 Poor Laws and the blighted imagination and sheer ineptitude of Bumble the beadle. The institutionalized physical hunger of the workhouse is at one with the emotional starvation, and both lead to legendary pathos: 'The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the tabl; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: "Please, Sir, I want some more."' Here is an emblem of a heartless, system-dominated world that tries to crush the individual and stands perpetually indicted for failing to protect the innocent and the weak. Dickens's loathing of the mechanical inhumanity of systems places him firmly in the line of the great Victorian sages.

Where supposedly respectable adults have abused their trust the Devil steps in, here as Fagin the red-bearded master of the underworld frying sausages with a toasting fork and ironically encouraging the cockney resilience of the Artful Dodger and his school of thieves in the Victorian values of hard work, family loyalty and useful education. If official charity is heartless, the criminal world at first appears warm. The irony is scathing, but it leads to the nightmare of the Devil trying to reclaim his own, of nancy mnenaced by Fagin and Sikes, and Dickens's portrayal of the wicked pusued by justice after the brutal murder of Nancy herself.

Perhaps no moment in Dickens more surely raises melodrama to high art than this last—the strands of Nancy's hair crackling in the fire as Sikes burns his murderous club echo forever in the mind—and it is the sheer imaginative force of Dickens's underworld that remains with the reader long after the machinery that leads to Oliver's security in the middle-class world of Mr Brownlow has been forgotten. A simplistic faith in acceptable Victorian values pales when confronted by the anarchic forces that underlay them and suggests that the artist and the moralist were not yet at one.

Such problems of focus are also evident in Nicholas Nickleby (1839) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1841), where they partly derive from both being novels of the road. However, where the first is comic and resilient, the second is often sentimental to a maudlin degree.

In his previous novels, Dickens's heroes had been a portly old gentleman and a child. In Nicholas Nickleby, he took what he described as 'a young man of impetuous temper and of little or no experience' and placed him in a plot that is too often dependent on eavesdropping and coincidence. It is also uncomfortably suspended between the stage villainy of Uncle Ralph and the sickly benevolence of the Cheeryble brothers. Such effects suggest the world of Victorian melodrama, and Dickens's love of the theatre is evident throughout. Popular culture, indeed, was one of the mainstays of his art.

If the stage villainy of Ralph, the pathos of the mentally defective Smike and the often rather priggish virtue of the hero strain credibility, what gives the novel its continuous fascination is Dickens's portrayal of a cast of grotesques acting out their roles with conscious hypocrisy like Ralph or the superabundant dottiness of Mrs Nickleby. The success and limitations of such a proceeding can be seen in the book's most famous character: Mr Squeers, the sadistic and rapacious principal of a nightmare school for the unwanted sons of the gentry. Evil is here tempered by broad comedy indignation Squeers certainly rouses but also laughter, and in the end it is sufficient that he is flogged by Nicholas who then absconds with his chief victim, Smike.

In contrast to Squeers are the Crummlees, that marvellous theatrical family who become ever more vivid as their plays become ever more absurd. Mr. Crummles's memory of falling in love with his consort as she stood 'on the butt-end of a spear surrounded with blazing fireworks' has a bizarre yet heart-warming innocence, a richly imaginative psychological verisimilitude. Such invention suggests that uniquely Dickensian gallery of snobs, fools and minor villains, obsessives who are often the life of his work. Among such figures here are Mrs Nickleby herself whose mental flutterings rise to the greatness of Mistress Quickly as she hears of the death of Smike:


'I am sure,' said Mrs Nickleby, wiping her eyes, and sobbing bitterly, 'I have lost the best, the most zealous, and most attentive creature that has ever been a companion to me in my life—putting you, my dear Nicholas, and Kate, and your poor papa, and that well-behaved nurse who ran away with the linen and the twelve small forks, out of the question of course.'


In The Old Curiosity Shop, a novel developed out of a story in Dickens's unsuccessful periodical Master Humphrey's Clock (1840), the death of Little Nell is a transfiguration of innocence in a corrupt world, the world of London and the industiral cities of the Midlands, of darkness, vain hope and the evil Quip.

In a world built on contrasts of light and dark, Quilp is the deformed embodiment of evil, the Rumpelstiltskin in the fiairy-tale elements of the plot. As a grotesque, he is a masterly creation. 'He ate hard eggs, shell and all, devoured gigantic prawns with the heads and tails on . . . and in short performed so many horrifying and uncommon feats that the women were nearly frightened out of their wits, and began to doubt if he were really a human creature.' And therein lies the problem. Compelling as he is and revolting as the sexual and financial plots he hatches are, Quilp is unable fully to embody Dickens's loathing for 'the mountain heap of misery' in the novel. He is a figure of fear rather than a means of analysis. He belongs to fairy-tale, and the lurid hellisness of his death is too obviously his creator's revenge on horrors not yet fully understood.

By contrast, the plangently sentimental death of Little Nell, exhausted after forced wanderings with her grandfather, is too obviously an attempt by Dickens to come to terms with his own very personal feelings about the deaths of girls whose lives were too good for the world. Nell and her grandfather's flight from the city to the supposed innocence of the countryside is essentially a pursuit of sentiment and a place 'where sin and sorrow never came . . . a tranquil place of rest, where nothing evil entered'. Only here, Dickens seems to suggest, silent under a moonlit tomb, can innocence finally be left in peace with God. Meanwhile, the world goes on in the life of the stalwart Kit (one of Dickens's most delightful heroes) while the dead and the houses in which they lived pass away 'like a tale that is told'.

One of the most alarming horrors faced by Little Nell was violent industrial unrest in the Midlands. With Barnaby Rudge (1841), Dickens's historical novel on the Gordon Riots of 1780, the mob surges to the centre of attention. While the Scott of The Heart of Midlothian was an important influence here, the range of Dickens's social analysis had now been deepened by his contact with Carlyle, and in Barnaby Rudge itself a number of important elements from Carlyle's thought are clearly present. In the opening chapter, for example, we are shown the sins of the fathers that are to be visited on the sons. Sir John Chester—'soft-spoken, delicately made, precise and elegant'—personifies Carlyle and Dickens's loathing of the eighteenth-century 'Dandiacal Body', of feckless patrician government and of the paternal irresponsibility by which Chester himself casts off his son Edward while also causing the bestial Hugh, his 'natural' or illegitimate child, to join in the destruction of the Maypole inn and the traditional values suggested by the nearby great house. Hugh is the personification of the corrupt old order, 'that black tree of which I am the ripened fruit'. In this, he forms the perfect complement to the simple-minded Barnaby Rudge, the 'natural' or idiot son of a murderous servant. Together, Hugh and Barnaby suggest the brutality and idiocy which will lead a rebellion in society against the values their parents have betrayed.

The forces of the Terror as presented by Carlyle made a deep impression on Dickens, and the wanton destructiveness of the mob roars throughout his novel with a power that is as ruthlessly conceived as his master's. The mob gives frightening expression to contemporary fears of a Chartist uprising, and its mindless fury is exactly caught when Dickens describes the sacking of Lord Mansfield's house. To ravage the work of the father of the common law is to bring about a society where all coherence has gone. In the end, the heroes of the novel—Varden, Joe, Edward Chester—are obliged to align themselves with the older forces whose weakness they all too painfully know. For Dickens, society must redeem itself through traditional resources, however corrupt these may have become.

Between the completion of Barnaby Rudge and starting on Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), Dickens made the journey described in his American Notes (1842), much of which had in fact been toned down from the private letters on which his book was based. In Martin Chuzzlewit—and partly as a response to criticism levelled at American Notes—Dickens painted an even harsher picture of the United States. It becomes a morass where the 'cash nexus' had reached such appalling dimensions that 'men were weighed by their dollars, measures gauged by their dollars; life was auctioned, appraised, put up, and knocked down for its dollars'. Dickens's powerful symbol of this thin self-destructive greed is the putrid swamp which his hero is tricked into investing in and which goes by the name of Eden.

The American scenes in Martin Chuzzlewit, excellent though their satire is, are nonetheless too loosely connected to a novel which is itself messily constructed. Martin is sent to the States (partly, it has been suggested, to boost the book's poor sales) after falling in love with his grandfather's ward and becoming a victim of the machinations of that ogre of hypocrisy, Mr Pecksniff. And it is with figures like Pecksniff and Sarah Gamp that Dickens's genius for moral caricature is seen at its most developed. The energy with which these figures have been created takes over the book, while their actions and speech lead in the case of Pecksniff especially to a portrait of hypocritical duplicity and self-seeking that was without parallel in Dickens's work so far.

 Pecksniff is financially ruined by the trickster Montague Tigg, a character who again took Dickens's imagination into areas that had never been so powerfully explored, a world not just of financial chicanery, but of claustrophobic criminal psychology, nightmare and murder. The death of Tigg at the hands of Jonas Chuzzlewit points forward to Edwin Drood (1870) and the horrors of Doestoevesky's Crime and Punishment (1866). If the focus of Martin Chuzzlewit as a whole is rather too diffuse, it is nonetheless one of the most richly inventive of all Dickens's works and suggests powers that his mature genius was to harness to triumphant effect. 

Part of this discipline was provived by Dickens's deepening awareness of social problems, and throughout his career he was to turn to journalism as a means of publicizing abuses and venting his anger. For a brief period he was editor of the Daily News, but the most telling of his journalistic pieces from this period are the 'Letters on Social Questions' (1846-50), published in his friend and biographer John Forster's Examiner. In these articles (so superior in their passion to the contemporary Pictures from Italy (1846) and their labored travelogues) Dickens railed against capital punishment, ragged schools, 'Ignorance and Crime', the vile exploitation to be found on paupers' farms and the wretchedness of a legal system where 'A Truly British Judge' could linger over the possibilities of flogging, transporting or imprisoning a ten-year-old child who had stolen 5s 3d.

In A Christmas Carol (1843), the first and finest of the Christmas Books Dickens issued up to 1848, the heartless forces of Malthus, the Utilitarians and the market-place are presented by means of a fairy-tale that has become a permanent part of the mythology of modern man. Scrooge—'hard and sharp as a flint, from which no steel had ever struck out a generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster'—is the eternal type of the miser. His solipsistic existence is at once a psychological deformity and a satire on the hard-faced Victorian business man bound to his work, dutifully contributing a pittance to the workhouse, yet ultimately indifferent to the means that serve to 'decrease the surplus population'.

The ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the reverse of this state. The domestic virtues of Bob Cratchit his wretched clerk—values which, in The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), Dickens was to dwell on a maudlin degree—reveal a Christian benevolence that allows the Cratchits to toast Scrooge's health amid the poverty he has inflicted on them. When the ghost of Chistmas Future shows Scrooge the scenes after his own death, the miser is finally converted into that essential Dickensian figure, the wealthy but benevolent man who, far from seeing money as his chief business, can say with the ghost of Jacob Marley: 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.'

Dickens's next work again conveys the conversion of a hard and life-denying business man, but where A Christmas Carol is a moral fable, Dombey and Son (1848) is the first work of Dickens's maturity and a novel of exceptional range and subtle suggestiveness. In offering a panoramic view of a society in the throes of change, Dickens here emerges as one of the supreme figures of nineteenth-century fiction, the first great English novelist to describe the discontents of urban industrial life. His genius at last stands fully revealed.

So great an advance required a major extension of technique. What in Dickens's earlier works often appears improvided or even careless is here focused through telling juxtapositions of character and a play of imagery that at once probes the personal and social influences at work in the late 1840s and relates these to a view of the ultimately mysterious forces of life, a view that is truly poetic in its subtle comprehensiveness.

At the centre of the novel stands Dombey himself, the representative of the great business house of Dombey and Son. And it is the implications of a 'house' as both a commercial enterprise and a home for living souls that lie near the heart of the work. In a world of pride and money-consciousness however the first meaning brutally crushes the second:

The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were made to give them light. Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships; rainbows gave them promise of fair weather; winds blew for or against their enterprise; stars and planets circled in their orbits, to preserve inviolate a system of which they were the centre.

Dombey is stiff and cold with commercial pride, a man whose blinkered, utilitarian vision reduces all around him to the chilling soullessness of the cash nexus, a brutal, masculine and ultimately self-defeating rigidity. The birth of his son, little Paul Dombey, is seen by him not as the coming into the world of a human being but as the arrival of a commodity that will extend the life-denying existence of the firm. Paul's coldly funereal christening at which Dombey's glance seems to freeze even the water at the font is a brilliantly ironic rendering of a heartlessness that turns all to ice.

But the boy's birth has been accompanied by his mother's death, and with this comes a source of imagery opposed to that associated with Dombey. We are shown the warm salt tears of his daughter Florence, the novel's heroine and the apparently redundant female embodiment of sentiment and love. And with Florence's tears are associated the great, ever-moving expanses of the sea. Throughout the novel, the ocean suggests death, eternity and the natural rhythms of life—mysterious, profound, but ultimately spiritual and free. It is to such forces as these that she dying Mrs Dombey surrenders when, with Florence in her tearful embrace, and 'clinging fast to that slight spar within her arms, the mother drifted out upon the dark and unknown sea that rolls round all the world'. The dying Paul is also identified with the waves. Later, the sea cruelly separates Florence from her father's clerk Walter Gay when Dombey and Son has become merely Dombey and Daughter. Nautical images also sustain the warm but threatened world of Captain Cuttle and his kin.

One threat posed to these old and often decaying forces of life is that of modern industrial progress, here symbolized by the railway. Dickens's handling of this theme shows the power of his imagination whereby social forces can be portrayed almost as characters. The railway invades lives, is praised or reacted against, but changes all about it irrecoverably. People like the inhabitants of Staggs Gardens see an old-fashioned life transformed into a new world of threat and promise. As the tracks are laid, so such characters are forced to recognize how 'the yet unfinished and unopened Railroad was in progress; and from the very core of all this dire disorder, trailed smoothly away, upon its mighty course of civilization and improvement'.

But if the railway is a power fro new life in the novel it is also a force for death. After he has been left a widower, Dombey marries into a hollow and heartless aristocracy (the ancient nobility and the nouveaux riches are lethally described) only to have his new wife deceive him with his villainous employee Carker. But Carker himself is eventually crushed beneath the iron forces of progress. In addition, Florence deserts her father and Dombey's business fails. His house is reduced to a hollow shell for thoughts of suicide and despair.

The ending of Dombey and Son is not pessimistic however. The man who frozed his daughter with a stare is humanized and redeemed. Florence returns amid rain and tears in a scene of the greatest Dickensian melodrama. Nor are Walter and Florence herself finally parted. The sea brings the boy home while turning to good his uncle's investments. Walter's path to success is now assured and is tempered by our knowledge of his humanity. Hearts do change. An improvement in the sometime leaders of society can be wrought. As the ageing Dombey sheds tears of love over his family, so a mechanistic world is redeemed by natural feeling.

David Copperfield (1850) was Dickens's own favorite among his novels and has remained so with generations of his readers. The reasons for such popularity are not far to seek. In this work, Dickens drew on the traumas of his own childhood and the unhappiness of his youth to create a fictional autobiography in which the psychological forces of personal experience are revealed through a series of the most vivid characters and incidents, thereby suggesting a richly human passage to maturity.

The hero's boyhood is deprived of strong parents (David's father is dead, his mother is flighty and empty-headed) and it is populated by good fairies and ogres: Peggotty, the loving, rough-handed opposite to David's mother, and the sadistic Murdstone and his repellent sister by whom David is humiliated on his return from his idyllic stay at Yarmouth. It is Murdstone who also sends the boy first to a cruel school and then to the horrors of the blacking factory. Here Dickens the novelist touches the anguished centre of Dickens the man. His own parents, confined to the debtors' prison, had obliged him to similar degradation, and it left a permanent scar on his emotions. As Dickens wrote to Forster:

The deep remembrance of the sense I had of being utterly neglected and hopeless; of the shame I felt in my position; of the misery it was to my young heart to believe that, day by day, what I had learned and delighted in, and raised my fancy and my emulation up by, was passing away from me, never to be brought back any more; cannot be written. My whole nature was so penetrated with the grief and humiliation of such considerations, that even now, famous and caressed and happy, I often forget in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children; even that I am a man; and wander desolately back to that time in my life. 


In the novel, only the Micawbers, feckless and irresponsible asthey are, can bring laughter into this hell. Mr Micawber—comically orotund, hopelessly optimistic that 'something will turn up'—is an image of Dickens's father and one of the most memorable of the author's inventions. That he is later used to work the downfall of Uriah Heep, whose hypocritical fawning makes him an equally effective character, suggests the novel's intricate patterning of good and evil, of thwarted childhood innocence and fallen idols, themes personified in the lubricious Steerforth and his seduction of Little Em'ly. Similarly, David's first wife Dora, a psychologically telling simulacrum of his mother, proves to be an illusory angel. It is only when David has married Agnes Wickfield, dispatched many of the figures of his childhood to Australia and then established himself as a successful novelist that this archetypal Victorian hero finally feels able to count his blessings.

During the composition of David Copperfield, Dickens launched his weekly periodical Household Words (1850-59). 'Conducted', as the rubric expressed it, by Dickens himself, this twopenny magazine was to reach a circulation of 40,000. Dickens's own contributions, some of which were later issued as Reprinted Pieces (1858), reveal the passionate social commentator. In 'A Nightly Scene in London' (January 1856), for example, we see him shaking a ragged bundle by the workhouse door. 'The rags began to be slowly stirred within, as little by little a head was unshrouded.' Asked if she has eaten, the woman twice denies it. But proof leads to helpless compassion. 'She bared her neck, and I covered it up again.'

Such was the Victorian England of Malthus and the disciples of laissez-faire, the butts of Dickens's profound moral indignation. 'I utterly renounce and abominate them in their insanity,' he wrote, 'and I address people with respect for the spirit of the New Testament, who do mind such things, and who think them infamous in our streets.' These streets were now those of the richest capital in the Western world, of an England mounting to the high plateau of mid-Victorian prosperity, and celebrating its confidence in the Great Exhibition of 1851. Against the vulgarity of the Crystal Palace however, Dickens now juxtaposed the nightmare of Bleak House (1853). The most famous novelist of Victorian England became one of its greatest critics. Dickens's engagement with his age was complete.

Bleak House is a labyrinthine indictment of contemporary conditions and a work in which Dickens's range of techniques was wrougth to its hightest pitch and then augmented with a new daring. Brooding over the whole is the court of Chancery and the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Dickens's fog-bound, life-denying symbol or what John Jarndyce himself calls 'trickery, evasion, procrastination, spoliation, botheration . . . false pretences of all sorts'. The Court of Chancery and the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce itself which eventually swallows the disputants' moneys are Dickens's images of an England debilitated by 'the system' and a hideously perverse society.

This last ranges from the magisterial pomposity of Sir [Leicester] Dedlock to little Jo the crossing-sweeper, ignorant, abused, neglected, yet central to the whole vast and hideous machinery of the Victorian England that crushes him. As in his life, so in his death from smallpox, Jo is a figure who links the highest to the lowest. He is the most pathetic of many victims of political mismanagement and complacency, of filth, the slums and the absurdity of philanthropists who ignore the wretched sitting on their own doorsteps. In Bleak House, these forces collide as Victorian society gropes its way through a fog of corruption, greed and terrible spiritual deadness.

Dickens's imagery of corruption is one of his supreme techniques for exposing the society about him while binding together a novel whose social range—the awareness of a whole society— is an imaginative achievement of the highest order. Yet within the complex entanglements of Bleak House, and worked out with an assured narrative mastery, are other devices which, for original readers of the monthly parts, provided a degree of suspense comparble to the detective fiction Dickens here helped to inaugurate. These techniques also offered a diversity of comment and a range of incidents that were without precedent. The interconnectedness of this huge work is phenomenal achievement, and repeated readings bear out Forster's claim that 'nothing is introduced at random, everything tends to the catastrophe, the various lines of the plot converge and fit to its centre'.

The narrative of Esther Summerson is one of these devices. Virginal, self-deprecating and sensitive, Esther is Dickens's largely passive voice of human decency and a figure who develops from a maudlin dependence on John Jarndyce, through a recognition of her love for the worthy Alan Woodcourt and the ravages of smallpox (no figure is immune to the contaminations of society), and on to the nightmare revelation that she is the illegitimate daughter of Lady Dedlock. Finally, she achieves happiness.

Esther observes nearly all the characters in the novel and provides a moral register against which to measure them. She is involved, for example, with many of the victims of Chancery: Ada Clare and the weak Richard Carstone, who inevitable deteriorates as he is drawn into its workings; Gridley, another figure destroyed by the system; and the marvellous figure of Miss Flite, half-crazed yet full of humanity and suggesting in her confused way that the day of judgment in Jardndyce and Jarndyce will be at one with the Day of Doom itself. Miss Flite's cracked mind prompts thoughts of the fall of the mighty and the coming of divine vengeance. We might laugh at her obsessions, but she also suggests that in this corrupt land the day of the Apocalypse may well be nigh.

Such an awareness of doom is also suggested through other grotesquer yet sinister figures in the subplot, above all 'Chancellor' Krook, the villainous rag-and-bone dealer with his 'liking for rust and must and cobwebs' and his sadistic sense of power and greed. The masterpiece of symbolic narrative that is Krook's death by 'Spontaneous Combustion' suggests the inevitable end of an entire way of life. 'Chancellor' Krook is incinerated by a force 'inborn, inbred, engendered in the corrupt humours of the vicious body itself'. An incident so amazing that only a novelist of genius could have risked it provides a grotesque summation of all the evils in Victorian society.

Dickens's comic genius flays the social parasites in the novel with merciless inventiveness, while Esther's appalled response deepens his criticism of such figures as Mr Skimpole, the irresponsible and mercenary aesthete, and Turveydrop, the dandy and exploiter of his wife. Other grotesques include Chadband, the nauseating voice of evangelical Anglicanism; Mrs Pardiggle, the High Church philantropist 'pouncing upon the poor, and applying benevolence to them like a strait-jacket'; and Mrs Jellyby, reducing her home to slovenly chaos and ignoring the likes of Jo as she pursues plans for 'cultivating coffee and educating the natives of Borrioboola-Gha on the left bank of the Niger'.

Yet the comic grotesque is only one aspect of the rottenness in Bleak House. Nearer Chancery and the rapacious centre of a corrupt society move figures of sinister and sterile energies. There are the Smallweeds, that 'horny-skinned, two-legged, monkey-getting species of spider'. There is 'Conversation' Kenge, who, as he praises the law, gently moves 'his right hand as if it were a silver trowel, with which to spread the cement of his words on the structure of the system and consolidate it for a thousand ages'. There is Vholes the solicitor glimpsed as he 'takes off his close black gloves as if he were skinning his hands', and, above all, there is Tulkinghorn. Lone, sadistic, secret, 'mechanically faithful without attachment', dead to all feelings save his own perverse relish of power, Tulkinghorn stals through Chancery, the slums and the houses of the great, closing in on Lady Dedlock in order to blackmail her over her long-dead affair with Jo's friend the drug-addict Nemo and his knowledge of Esther, the child of Lady Dedlock's liaison. Tulkinghorne's murder is one of the novel's greatest moments and ironically deprives the lawer of his victory over his prey.

In these terrible areas, the voice of the third-person narrator carries the weight of Dickens's indignation by the exhilarated variety of his language. This range is one of the supreme achievements of nineteenth-century fiction. Here is the voice that can create the image of a fog-bound Chancery and connect it to the inertness and horror of the Dedlocks' home at Chesney Wold. It is the voice of invocation and apostrophe that winds about Nemo in his pauper's grave, the voice that conjures up the slum of Tom-All-Alone's. The narrator's is a voice that explores every variety of hell and hypocrisy in Victorian England and, as a result, it is finally the voice of righteous indignation. Nowhere does Dickens more effectivelly combine pathos with prophetic denunciation than as Woodcourt watches over the dying Jo:


'Jo, can you say what I say?'
'I'll say anythink as you say, sir, fur I knows it's good.'
'OUR FATHER.'
'Our Father!—yes that's weery good, sir.'
'WHICH ART IN HEAVEN.'
'Art in Heaven—is the ligth a-comin', sir?'
'It is close at hand.
'HALLOWED BE THY NAME!'
'Hallowed be—thy—'
The light is come upon the dark benighted way. Dead! Dead, your majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, Right Reverends and Wrong Reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, both with Heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day.


As Dickens here speaks out in his own person and addresses the whole community of his readers, so, in a manner of the greatest importance to nineteenth-century fiction, we hear the novelist himself rousing what he can assume o be the best, fundamental and shared values of his audience. His art is an appeal to the experience of stable and universal moral truths. However bizarre his characters, however contrived his events and however far the wrold he criticizes has veered from these assumptions, Dickens believes he can share with his readers an essetially New Testament morality, a core of timeless values against which to denounce the aberrations of the present.

In Hard Times (1854), Dickens's voice of denunciation is levelled at the irresponsible excesses of industrial laissez-faire and the blighting force of utilitarianism. Coketown, Dickens's image of the industrial cities of the North, is an unnatural hell sweltering in machine oil, a place where nature has been ousted by insdustry and 'the whir of shafts and wheels'. Such an environment is the hideous outcome of a hideous philosophy, the utilitarianism caricatured (much to Mill's annoyance) in Dickens's portrayal of Gradgrind and his school:

Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.  You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle upon which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!

This is a philosophy tht brings its terrible revenges. The life of Gradgrind's daughter is blighted, while his son finds relief in compulsive gambling. When Tom Gradgrind is eventually tracked down by Bitzer, a product of Gradgrind's school, a callous system rebounds on its patron's head. Bitzer brings a villain to justice but also serves his own ends. He will be promoted to Tom's job. Gradgrind himself is horrified at this, but he is the victim of the very rules he has promulgated. '"I beg your pardon for interrupting, sir," returned Bitzer; "But I am sure you know that the whole social system is a question of self-interest."'

The paranoid logic of this belief is personified in Josiah Bounderby the self-made industrialist, a man wholly devoid of compassion and yet, by a telling paradox, driven partly by the forces of imagination he himself would deny. So obsessive is his ideal of the self-made man that he himself would deny. So obsessive is his ideal of the self-made man that he invents for himself a destitute childhood, an imaginary gutter from which he has risen by a triumph of commercial drive. In his delusion, Bounderby believes that he has genuinely brought about the greatest happiness of the greatest number. For him, the pollution and industry of Coketown are not a nightmare but a dream come true. Smoke becomes 'the healthiest thing in the world', while the grinding toil of the factory is 'the pleasantest of work there is, and it's the lightest work there is, and it's the best paid work there is'. with a bizarre flight of fantasy, Bounderby even claims that Turkey carpets on the factory floors might be a final refinement of felicity, but this is an expense he will not be put to. Inflated with self-satisfied delusion, Bounderby is Dicken's horrific image of the trumph of modern industrial man and laissez-faire gone mad.

Dickens's portrayal of his working-class characters is less successful, and points to the limits of his social criticism. Massively indignant though his response to contemporary suffering was, his anger was essentially what Walter Bagehot (1826-1877), the miscellaneous gentleman journalist and mildly progressive authority on The English Constitution (1867), was to call 'sentimental radicalism'.

The crushing effect of the mechanical and unimaginative is sharply delineated in Hard Times, yet in the character of Stephen Blackpool, Dickens fails to give a wholly adequate account of the industrial proletariat. Blackpool is too easily the martyr, a victim of the plot as much as of the system. His refusal to join a trade union leads to him being ostracized by his fellow workers and paradoxically to his being sacked. Dickens's portrayal of the union movement itself as a hectoring and aggressive centre of self-interest is crude and suggests the author's failure adequately to come to terms with the forces of the industrial world about him. In the end, what stands against heartless exploitation is not the genuine efforts of the workers and a real engagement with society but a retreat into the innocent glitter of the circus world of Mr Sleary and his kind. 'There was a remarkable gentleness and childishness about these people,' Dickens wrote, 'a special inaptitude for any kind of sharp practice and an untiring readiness to help and pity one another, deserving often of as much respect, and alwas of as much generous construction, as the everyday virtues of any class of people in the world.' But this is mere sentimentality, and its obverse was the profound pessimism embodied in Little Dorrit (1857).

Little Dorrit is an intricate maze of real and metaphorical prisons and of characters trapped in the worlds of self-seeking aristocratic patronage, bungling bureaucracy, criminal financial schemes, rigid class loyalties, wretched families and corrupting self-deceit. It is Dickens's darkest work. 'I have no present political faith or hope—not a grain,' Dickens had written to a friend in 1855. His disillusion with public life is conveyed in Little Dorrit through one of his most telling social symbols: the Circumlocution Office. Here, under the pompous sway of the Barnacle and Stilstalking families, nepotism and incompetence thrive, while the England that this corrupt civil service is supposed to administer is paralysed by institutional inertia and jobbery. 'The Circumlocution Office went on mechanically, every day, keeping this wonderful, all-sufficient wheel of statesmanship, How not to do it, in motion . . . The Circumlocution Office was down upon any ill-advised public servant who was going to do it, with a minute, and a memorandum, and a letter of instructions, that extinguished him.'

Where the Circumlocution Office is an image of corruption in high and public places and of a system that emasculates those who come into contact with it, Bleeding Heart Yard is a prison for the unfortunate, a poverty trap of soul-destroying squalor. Here live families like the Plornishes whose father has eventually to be consigned to the workhouse. This prison of the spirit has its governor in Casby 'the Last of the Patriarchs', the useless and exploitative langlord who in his turn is the victim of his agent who eventually exposes him for the sham he is. It is part of Dickens's purpose in the novel to show that Casby is a bad father, a man who has played his part in separating the novel's middle-aged and depressive hero Arthur Clennam from his first love. Dickens's most telling image of parental irresponsibility and the effects of imprisonment however is William Dorrit, the 'Father of the Marshalsea'. Twenty-three years in the debtors' prison turn the feckless Dorrit into a foolish and often heartless victim of self-delusion. Just as society outside the prison is conceived as a series of gaols and cells, of lying and hypocritical characters trapped in the confinement of their fantasies, so the Marshalsea sets up its own absurd and debilitating illusions. As Mr Dorrit languishes his life away, 'a disposition began to be observed in him, to exaggerate the number of years he had been there; it was generally understood that you must deduct a few from his account; he was vain, the fleeting generation of debtors said'.

Among these drunken and shabby inmates, Dorrit himself acquires a spurious social status and with it an ever-deepening moral blindness. This is suggested when he suddenly inherits the money that frees him, throws a party for the prisoners and leaves the Marshalsea in a triumphal procession but without Little Dorrit herself who has fainted and been forgotten. Shades of the prison house never leave the family however. The proudly nouveaux riches Dorrits roam Europe, constantly meeting people whose empty lives 'greatly resembled a superior sort of Marshalsea'. Finally, in Dorrit's pathetic speech to his horrified dinner guests in Rome, the senile recidivist is transported back in his imagination to the gaol he has never really left.

The world of high society is likewise a gaol and place of corruption. Mrs Merdle the financier's wife believes society has 'made its mind up on the subject, and there is nothing more to be said'. Her caged parrot hideously mimics such attitudes, and together mistress and bird suggest a claustrophobic and foolish world that is a sham beneath. Mr Merdle the financier, as mysterious in his origins as in his activities, admired and courted by society, proves to be a villain whose suicide removes from the world 'the greatest Forger and the greatest Thief that ever cheated the gallows'. This was nonetheless the man whom bishops courted and politicians praised.

But just as society is seen in terms of fraud and the prisons in which it would place its erring members, so the dour religion of Mrs Clennam is a monstrous hypocrisy which masks criminal actions, emasculates the man she pretends is her son and reduces the woman herself to a neurotic cripple imprisoned in a crumbling house. The worst excesses of Victorian piety are here revealed as a festering gaol of the spirit. In such a world, heroes and heroines can be no glittering figures. Amy Dorrit, living by the New Testament, forgiving, meek and loving, and Arthur Clennam, blighted yet eventually finding love and a home, suggest by their marriage the only positives Dickens could now offer. After a ceremony solemnized in the shadow of the Marshalsea, they go down the church steps together and to 'a modest life of usefulness and happiness . . . and as they passed along in sunshine and in shade, the noisy and the eager, and the arrogant and the froward and the vain, fretted, and chafed, and made their usual uproar'. The couple find an autumnal happiness in a world of stifling corruption and psychological constraint. The romantic triumphalism that concludes David Copperfield is here chastened to a brave and modest ordinariness which marks the deepening of Dickens's mature thought.

The psychological effects of long imprisonment are one of the more telling areas in a novel that is otherwise a historical melodrama written to launch Dickens's magazine All the Year Round (1859-95). A Tale of Two Cities (1859) clearly shows the influence of Dickens's reading of The French Revolution and Carlyle's analysis of a decadent aristocracy. Dickens's use of the identical figures of Charles Darnay and Sidney Carton is deft rather than analytical however. Much of the tension and historical detail are well handled, while Carton's last speech is perhaps the best-known passage in all of Dickens's work—a highly professional tear-jerker. It is in the figure of Dr Manette however, imprisoned for nearly eighteen years and just holding on to his sanity through the exercise of his shoemaking craft, that the novel's most telling power resides.

Great Expectations (1861) is an altogether finer work. Here Dickens turned from corruption in society to the corruption of the individual. The novel is much concerned with the nature of true gentility and discusses this theme through the voiceof an autobiographical narrator. Pip's chastened reflections after the collapse of his hopes reveal his youthful aspirations to status to have been a hollow and heartless sham. Such a procedure allowed Dickens to ally shrewd and sensitive moral awareness to a plot in which mystery and suspense are expertly controlled. Great Expectations also reveals the mature dramatic mastery that allowed its author to create some of his greatest set-piece scenes.

None of these is more powerful than the boy Pip's first encounter with the convict Magwitch. The superbly sensationalistic effects are nonetheless subtly related to the book's main themes. The innocent and frightened charity that provides food and a file for the starving prisoner, for example, is finely contrasted to the disdain with which the adult Pip observes Magwitch's gross manners on his illicit return from transportation. We see not only how the child has matured to a snob, but how the snob is a product of his ignorance of his true nature and circumstances. Pip's growing charity and Christian forgiveness however show a reawakening of moral virtue. In addition, the  dawning realization that it is the criminal Magwitch who is both the true source of his wealth and the father of his beloved Estella unites the narrative to the theme of growing self-awareness.

Pip slowly realizes that his aspirations to gentility have been founded on money rather than goodness of heart. But that money itself proves illusory. As the worldly wealth of an illegally returned convict it is forfeit to the Crown. In the midst of growing self-awareness, Pip is suddenly left penniless. He has been trained for nothing useful and is also deeply in debt after a feckless life spent dancing attendance on Estella. The discovery that this superbly characterized embodiment of frigid sexual allure—the product of the jilted Miss Havisham's desire for revenge on men—is also Magwitch's childe reduces all Pip's expectations to dust.

At the nadir of his fortunes he is saved by the resources of true gentility. First, Herbert Pocket, the natural gentleman, offers his friend a job. Pip must now earn his keep. He must also recognize who his true benefactors are. The orphan boy, who, led into moral delusion by Magwitch's money, thought he was Miss Havisham's heir and wilfully adopted her values, finally discovers that his real mainstay is neither a criminal nor an old and embittered woman but Joe the blacksmith who first took him in as a child. Big-hearted, honestly simple, well adapted to his world and his work, it is Joe who nurses Pip in his sickness and Joe who wins Biddy, the country girl Pip in his pride had shunned.

Self-awareness and the knowledge that human goodness is true gentility are bought by Pip at the cost of painful isolation and suffering, a process that Dickens, swayed by his friend Bulwer-Lytton, brought to an end in the revised close to the novel by hinting that Pip would eventually marry Estella. many readers however may prefer his first thoughts and the original anticlimax of Pip's last meeting with the chasteneed woman who has wrecked his emotional life and who, in truth, he can never marry.

Dicken's concern with the moral damage inflicted by the obsessive pursuit of wealth and social position is again central to his last completed novel. In Our Mutual Friend (1865), the blighting effect of money on individuals and their society and environment is luridly symbolized by the mounds of 'dust'—the accumulated piles of human waste—that are at once the sources of wealth and of corruption in the work. At the centre of the immensely intricate plot, and suggesting the forces of death and power Dickens associated with money, are the will of old Harmon and the wealth he has built up from 'coal-dust, vegetable-dust, bone-dust, crockery-dust, rough dust and sifted dust—all manner of Dust'. In life a mise gaoling the spirits of those around him, in death Harmon still asserts his power. His servants the Boffins inherit his wealth, while his son, required by the terms of his father's will to marry Bella Wilfer, is obliged to watch the seeming corruption of both the Boffins and his future bride as they appear to sink into the depths of mercenary corruption.

Around the Boffins gather the forces of society in a world where money is all and the vulgarity of the nouveaux riches is triumphant. 'Have no antecedents, no established character, no cultivation, no ideas, no manner; have shares.' Such a society becomes a chorus of bigotry and banality. We are shown the Veneerings whose name aptly suggests the brittle and gaudy surface glued over the rotten wood beneath, and Podsnap that incarnation of the worst excesses of Victorian jingoism and prudery who waves aside any topic whose impropriety misght raise a blush on his repellent daugher's cheek. A bored, languid and trivial aristocracy swells these ranks. As Boffin's money buys him position, so we see 'all manner of crawling, creeping, fluttering and buzzing creatures, attracted by the gold dust of the Golden Dustman'. Dickens offers a compelling picture of the gaudy and complacent society of the new rich in alliance with an emasculated nobility. These voices are his most powerful satire of a money-obsessed world and of a Victorian England whose leaders are portrayed as gilded scavengers on a waste tip.

Around and beneath these stifling figures, choking in the shadows of the dust mounds or drawn to the polluted waters of the Thames, move other figures variously caught in speculation and fraud. The Lammels, victims of the mutual deceit by which each wrongly believed the other to be rich, batten on society to exploit it. Dickens's presentation of this couple, his mixing of narrative with symbol, reveals depths of psychological and technical resource which are again reflected in his presentation of extreme resource which are again reflected in his presentation of extreme states of violent and barely repressed emotion. Indeed, the most successul parts of the novel are much concerned with sterile lives and dark forces. The grotesquely gilded London of high society, of lowering dust heaps and emotional death, is also the London of the night river, murder and attempted murder.

Of the two rivals for Lizzie Hexam the boatman's child, Bradley Headstone is Dickens's portrait of emotional and social dislocation and of suppressed passion. Eugene Wrayburn, his victim, is initially presented as his perfect complement: blasé, privileged and spiteful. His love for a girl wholly outside his class and his symbolic rebirth after Headstone has nearly drowned him in the Thames suggest Dickens's concern with the regeneration of society through the education of the heart. Nonetheless, it is Headstone himself we most vividly recall as, in defeat, he sinks to the floor 'and grovelled there, with the palms of his hands tight-clasping his hot temples, in unutterable misery, and unrelieved by a single tear'. Such melodrama points forward to Dickens's last and uncompleted novel, Edwin Drood (1870) with its atmosphere of murder, drug addiction and confused identity.



Charles Dickens (Oxford Companion to English Literature)

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Miércoles, 14 de Diciembre de 2016 07:51. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


William Congreve, THE WAY OF THE WORLD

William Congreve, THE WAY OF THE WORLD


The Way of the World  (1700) a comedy by the Restoration dramatist William Congreve.

Complete text of THE WAY OF THE WORLD at the Internet Archive.

 

An introduction, from The Norton Anthology of English Literature:


WILLIAM CONGREVE  
(1670-1729)



On both sides of his family William Congreve was descended from well-to-do and prominent county families. His father, a younger son, obtained a commission as lieutenant in the army and moved to Ireland in 1674. There the future playwright was educated at Kilkenny School and Trinity College, Dublin; at both places he was a younger contemporary of Swift. In 1691 he took rooms in the Middle Temple and began to study law, but soon found he preferred the wit of the coffeehouses and the theater. Within a year he had so distinguished himself at Will's Coffeehouse that he had become intimate with the great Dryden himself, and his brief career as a dramatist began shortly thereafter.

The success of The Old Bachelor (produced in 1693) immediately established him as the most promising young dramatist in London. It had the then phenomenally long run of fourteen days, and Dryden declared it the best first play he had ever read. The Double Dealer (produced in 1693) was a near failure, though it evoked one of Dryden's most graceful and gracious poems, in which he praised Congreve as the superior of Jonson and Fletcher and the equal of Shakespeare. Love for Love (produced in 1695) was an unqualified success and remains Congreve's most frequently revived play. In 1697 he brought out a tragedy, The Mourning Bride, which enjoyed great popular esteem. Congreve's most elegant comedy of manners, The Way of the World, received a brilliant production in 1700. But it did not succeed with audiences, and subsequently he gave up the stage. He held a minor government post, which, although a Whig, he was allowed to keep during the Tory ministry of Oxford and Bolingbroke; after the accession of George I  he was given a more lucrative government sinecure. Despite the political animosities of the first two decades of the century, he managed to remain on friendly terms with Swift and Pope, and Pope dedicated to him his translation of the Iliad. His final years were perplexed by poor health, but were made bearable by the love of Henrietta, duchess of Marlborough, whose last child, a daughter, was in all probability the playwright's.

The Way of the World is one of the wittiest plays ever written, a play to read slowly and savor. Like an expert jeweler, Congreve polished the Restoration comedy of manners to its ultimate sparkle and gloss. The dialogue is epigrammatic and brilliant, the plot is an intricate puzzle, and the characters shine with surprisingly complex facets. Yet the play is not all dazzling surface; it also has depths. Most Restoration comedies begin with the struggle for power, sex, and money and end with a marraiage. In an age that viewed property, not romance, as the basis of marriage, the hero shows his prowess by catching an heiress. The Way of the World reflects that standard plot; it is a battle more over a legacy than over a woman, a battle in which sexual attraction is used as a weapon. Yet Congreve, writing late in the period, reveals the weakness of those who treat love as a war or a game: "each deceiver to his cost may find / That marriage frauds too oft are paid in kind." If "the way of the world" is cynical self-interest, it is also the worldly prudence that sees through the ruses of power and turns them to better ends. In this world generosity and affection win the day and true love conquers—with the help of some clever plotting.

At the center of the action are four fully realized characters—Mirabell and Millamant, the hero and heroine, and Fainall and Mrs Marwood, the two villains—whose stratagems and relations move the play. Around them are characters who serve in one way or another as foils. Witwoud, the would-be wit, with whom we contrast the true wit of Mirabell and Millamant. Petulant, a "humor" character, who affects bluff candor and cynical realism, but succeeds only in being offensive, and Sir Wilfull Witwoud, the booby squire from the country, who serves with Petulant to throw into relief the high good breeding and fineness of nature of the hero and heroine Finally there is one of Congreve's finest creations, Lady Wishfort ('wish for it'), who though aging and ugly still longs for love, gallantry, and courtship and who is led by her appetites into the trap that Mirabell lays for her.

Because of the complexity of the plot, a summary of the situation at the rise of the curtain may prove helpful. Mirabell (a reformed rake) is sincerely in love with and wishes to marry Millamant, who, though a coquette and a highly sophisticated wit, is a virtuous woman. Mirabell some time before has married off his former mistress, the daughter of Lady Wishfort, to his friend Fainall. Fainall has grown tired of his wife and has been squandering her money on his mistress, Mrs. Marwood. In order to gain access to Millamant, Mirabell has pretended to pary court to the elderly and amorous Lady Wishfort, who is the guardian of Millamant and as such controls half her fortune. But his game has been spoiled by Mrs. Marwood, who nourishes a secret love for Mirabell and, to separate him from Millamant, has made Lady Wishfort aware of Mirabell's duplicity. Lady Wishfort now loathes Mirabell for making a fool of her—an awkward situation, because if Millamant should marry without her guardian's consent she would lose half her fortune, and Mirabell cannot afford to marry any but a rich wife. It is at this point that the action begins. Mirabell perfects a plot to get such power over Lady Wishfort as to force her to agree to the marriage, while Millamant continues to doubt whether she wishes to marry at all.



 

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Domingo, 11 de Diciembre de 2016 08:38. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica




Interpretation: Related works

Interpretation: Related works

Una de las bibliografías de hermenéutica incluidas en mi Bibliografía de Teoría Literaria, Crítica y Filology, http://bit.ly/abiblio:

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Martes, 06 de Diciembre de 2016 08:24. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


NUBES

NUBES



No habrá una sola cosa que no sea
una nube. Lo son las catedrales
de vasta piedra y bíblicos cristales
que el tiempo allanará. Lo es la Odisea,
que cambia como el mar. Algo hay distinto
cada vez que la abrimos. El reflejo
de tu cara ya es otro en el espejo
y en el día es un dudoso laberinto.
Somos los que se van. La numerosa
nube que se deshace en el poniente
es nuestra imagen. Incesantemente
la rosa se convierte en otra rosa.
Eres nube, eres mar, eres olvido.
Eres también aquellos que has perdido.
   
olga nube



(Jorge Luis Borges, "Nubes (I)")


The photographer: Olga Nicholls Santacoloma
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Martes, 06 de Diciembre de 2016 08:05. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


OpeNarratology —en Rusia

OpeNarratology —en Rusia


Me citan en una entrevista a Larissa Muravieva, sobre el proyecto Open Narratology que está llevando adelante en Rusia con un grupo interdisciplinar:
«Otkrytaya narratologiya»: kak i zachem izuchat' istorii, kotorymi my zhivem. (Narratología abierta: cómo y por qué estudiar las historias con las que vivimos). Aquí está la entrevista, en la web Culture in the City de Nizhny-Novgorod:

http://cultureinthecity.ru/statji/otkrytaya-narratologiya-kak-i-zachem-izuchat-istorii-kotorymi-my-zhivem.html

Y esta es la web de OpeNarratology: http://www.opennar.com/


OPEN narratology: La narratología es la ciencia de las historias con las que vivimos. "Open Narratology" es un nuevo formato para la comunicación científica. Se trata de un proyecto interdisciplinar, en el que los especialistas en teoría narrativa pueden publicar sus ideas, proyectos y estudios.

El trabajo al que alude la entrevista, sobre los fotoblogs, apareció en el libro Semiosphere of Narratology, coeditado con Ludmila Tataru, también miembro destacado de este proyecto sobre "narratología abierta".  





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Domingo, 04 de Diciembre de 2016 10:00. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


MACBETH

MACBETH

From The Penguin Shakespeare Dictionary, ed. Sandra Clark.
Macbeth [Full title, The Tragedy of Macbeth]  A tragedy by Shakespeare, probably written in 1605 or 1606. It was seen by Simon *Forman at the *Globe theatre on 20 April 1611, but is almost certain to have been first produced several years earlier. It was printed in the 1623 first folio, but there is some probability that cuts were made from the stage manuscript. The Hecate scenes, including the Witches' songs, are probably *Middleton's. In the Restoration period *Davenant made it into an opera. The play followed in the wake of the Gunpowder Plot, and there are various topical references especially in the Porter scene (II.iii). Shakespeare's main source was Holinshed's Chronicles, probably in the 1587 edition that he used elsewhere, although he may also have seen illustrations from the 1577 edition. He used Holinshed not only for the account of Macbeth's life but also for the story of the murder of King Duff by Donwald, and for the description of ancient Scottish life and customs. Shakespeare altered Holinshed's account of Macbeth's life in a number of ways; the involvement of Banquo, supposedly King James's ancestor, was omitted and Banquo's character generally whitewashed, while Macbeth was made more villainous. Holinshed's Duncan was a weak and unsatisfactory monarch whom Macbeth assassinated with the help of friends, and after the murder Macbeth ruled in a just and beneficient way for ten years before he was overcome by guilt and proceeded to further crimes. Holinshed's account of the murder of King Duff in fact bears more resemblance to the murder of Duncan in Shakespeare's play, although the subsequent career of Duff's murderer, Donwald, does not parallel Macbeth's. Holinshed describes Duff as a good king and Donwald as a kinsman whom he especially trusted; Donwald, urged on by his wife, secretly murdered Duff by cutting his throat while Duff was a guest in his home. After Duff's murder monstrous events took place in the kingdom. There were a number of other chronicles of Scottish history available to Shakespeare. He probably did not use William Stewart's The Buik of the Chronicles of Scotland  which was available in manuscript in King James's private library, although this has been disputed, but he may well have seen the Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1582) by George Buchanan, which contains a Macbeth very similar in character to Shakespeare's and also describes the remorse felt by a royal murderer, King Kenneth, in much fuller terms than Holinshed. John Leslie's De Origine Scotorum (1578) supplied a Macbeth who killed Duncan without any assistance from Banquo, and Shakespeare may have seen this, although this, like Buchanan's work, was only available in Latin. James's interests were a significant consideration in the composition of Macbeth, and Shakespeare's may well have read some of James's own work for it, especially the Daemonologie (1597), which could have provided him for the treatment of the Witches. The chronicle sources for Macbeth provided Shakespeare with very little dialogue and few detailed encounters; htese he may have derived from some of *Seneca's tragedies. Medea or Agamemnon may have suggested ideas for the characterization of Lady Macbeth, and both of these had been traslated by John Studley. The atmosphere of concentrated evil is particularly Senecan and recalls Shakespeare's own earlier works, the poem The Rape of Lucrece, and Richard III. Finally, as might seem appropriate in a tragedy of damnation, Shakespeare draws heavily on the Bible.
Dramatis Personae
Duncan, King of Scotland
Malcolm, son of Duncan
Donaldbain, son of Duncan
Macbeth, general of the army
Banquo, general of the army
Macduff, Scottish nobleman
Lennox, Scottish nobleman
Ross, Scottish nobleman
Menteith, Scottish nobleman
Angus, Scottish nobleman
Caithness, Scottish nobleman
Fleance, son of Banquo
Siward, Earl of Northumberland, general of the English forces
Young Siward, his son
Seyton, officer to Macbeth
Boy, son to Macduff
An English Doctor
A Scottish Doctor
A Sergeant
A Porter
An Old Man
Lady Macbeth
Lady Macduff
Gentlewoman to Lady Macbeth
Hecate, and Three Witches
Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendantes, and Messengers
The Ghost of Banquo, and other Apparitions

The Story. Macbeth and Banquo, Scottish generals, are returning from a victorious campaign when they meet upon the heath three Witches who hail them, prophesying that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and King hereafter, and that Banquo will beget kings. Part of the prophecy is immediately fufilled when a messenger announces that Duncan, King of Scotland, has promoted Macbeth to Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth, having learned of the Witches, plays upon her husband, already tempted by dreams of royal power, to kill the King, who falls into their hands when he arrives for a visit at the castle of Macbeth. But when the murder is done, Macbeth is completely unnerved. Lady Macbeth returns to Duncan's room with the daggers that Macbeth has neglected to leave behind. Into the scene of horror comes the sound of knocking at the gate. The murder is discovered, and Macbeth puts the grooms to death to conceal his action. Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donaldbain, flee from Scotland, and Macbeth is crowned. He then hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, but the latter escapes. At a banquet given by Macbeth, the ghost of Banquo appears to him. Macbeth returns to consult with the Witches, who show him apparitions that tell him to beware Macduff, that "none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth," and that he shall be safe until "Birnam Wood to hight Dunsinane Hill / Shall come" (IVi). However, he is then also shown a procession of future kings, all descendants of Banquo. Macduff, meanwhile, has goen to England to raise an army with Malcolm to defeat Macbeth and there learns that his wife and children have been killed at the order of Macbeth. Macbeth, preparing to meet the invading army, learns of lady Macbeth's death. His response is that "She should have died hereafter" (V.v). The army advances, bearing branches cut from Birnam Wood for concealment, and Macduff who was "from his mother's womb / Untimely ripped (V.vii) kills Macbeth. malcolm is crowned King of Scotland.

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Viernes, 02 de Diciembre de 2016 06:19. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


'Like a Comet I Was Wonder'd at': Shakespeare y las supernovas

'Like a Comet I Was Wonder'd at': Shakespeare y las supernovas

Una búsqueda en concordancias de las obras de Shakespeare referida a terminología sobre fenómenos astronómicos excepcionales no proporciona pruebas concluyentes de que reaccionase de manera específica a las dos supernovas visibles durante su vida, aunque sí hay diversas alusiones a cometas y meteoritos, normalmente tomados como símbolos de la excepcionalidad en asuntos humanos. Al menos una de estas referencias puede tener un sentido autobiográfico, con Shakespeare presentándose como la 'estrella de los poetas' a la que aludiría Ben Jonson.

 

 'Like a Comet I Was Wonder'd at': Shakespeare y las supernovas


 

'Like a Comet I Was Wonder'd at': Shakespeare and Supernovas

A concordance search of Shakespeare's works for exceptional astronomical phenomena does not yield any evidence of his reacting specifically to the two supernovas visible during his lifetime, although there are a number of allusions to comets and meteors, usually taken as symbols of the exceptional in human affairs. At least one of these references may have an autobiographical import, with Shakespeare reflecting on himself as the 'star of poets' Ben Jonson would allude to.



Number of Pages in PDF File: 6

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Viernes, 02 de Diciembre de 2016 06:07. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


La lógica de la narratividad según Polibio

La lógica de la narratividad según Polibio


Comentamos un pasaje de las Historias de Polibio (Libro V, 30.8-333) en el que se echa de ver la consciencia que este historiador griego tiene de la lógica de la narratividad, y de las implicaciones teóricas que tiene la dinámica de la retrospección para un proyecto como el suyo, la composición de una historia universal.
 

La lógica de la narratividad según Polibio



 

The Logic of Narrativity According to Polybius

 A commentary of a passage of Polybius' Histories (Book V, 30.8-33) which evinces this Greek historian's consciousness of the logic of narrativity, and of the theoretical implications of the dynamics of retrospection for his project of a universal history.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
 
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3
Keywords: History, Historiography, Historians, Polybius, Greek literature, Greek historians, Retrospection, Narrativity, Narrative, Hindsight









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Jueves, 01 de Diciembre de 2016 08:55. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


WORDSWORTH, William

lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2015

 

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:



WORDSWORTH, William (1770-1850), born at Cockermouth, Cumbria, the son of an attorney; he attended (with Mary Hutchinson, his future wife) the infants' school in Penrith and, from 1779 to 1787, Hawkshead Grammar School. His mother died in 1778, his father in 1783, losses recorded in *The Prelude, which describes the mixed joys and terrors of his country boyhood with a peculiar intensity. He attended St John's College, Cambridge, but disliked the academic course. In 1790 he went on a walking tour of France, the Alps, and Italy, and returned to France late in 1791, to spend a year there; during this period he was fired by a passionate belief in the French Revolution and republican ideals, and also fell in love with the daughter of a surgeon at Blois, Annette Vallon, who bore him a daughter (See E. Legouis, William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, 1922). (This love affair is reflected in 'Vaudracour and Julia', composed ?1804, published 1820, and incorporated somewhat anomalously in Book IX of The Prelude.) After his return to England he published in 1793 two poems in heroic couplets, An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches, both conventional attempts at the *picturesque and the *sublime, the latter describing the Alps. In this year he also wrote (but did not publish) a Letter to the Bishop of Llandaff (see WATSON, R.) in support of the French Republic. England's declaration of war against France shocked him deeply, but the institution of the Terror marked the beginning of his disillusion with the French Revolution, a period of depression reflected in his verse drama *The Borderers (composed 1796-7, pub. 1842) and in 'Guilt and Sorrow' (composed 1791-4, pub in part in 1798 as 'The Female Vagrant'). In 1795 he received a legacy of £900 from his friend Raisley Calvert, intended to enable him to pursue his vocation as a poet, which also allowed him to be reunited with his sisster Dorothy (above); they settled first at Racedown in Dorset, then at Alfoxden in Somerset, where they had charge of the son of their friend Basil *Montagu. The latter move (aided by T. *Poole) was influenced by a desire to be near *Coleridge, then living at Nether Stowey, whom Wordsworth had met in 1795. This was a period of intense creativity for both poets, which produced the *Lyrical Ballads (1798), a landmark in the history of English *Romanticism (See ANCIENT MARINER; IDIOT BOY, THE; TINTERN ABBEY.) The winter of 1798-9 was spent in Goslar in Germany, where Wordsworth wrote sections of what was to be The Prelude and the enigmatic *'Lucy' poems. In 1799 he and Dorothy settled in Dove Cottage, Grasmere; to the next year belong 'The Recluse', Book I (later *The Excursion), 'The Brothers', *'Michael', and many of the poems included in the 1800 edition of the Lyrical Ballads (which, with its provocative preface on *poetic diction, aroused much criticism). In 1802 Wordsworth and Dorothy visited Annette Vallon in France, and later that year William married Mary Hutchison, his financial position having been improved by the repayment of a debt on the death of Lord Lonsdale. In the same year he composed *'Resolution and Independence', and began his ode on *'Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood', both of which appeared in Poems in Two Volumes (1807), along with many of his most celebrated lyrics. To the same period belong the birth of five children (of whom the eldest, John, was born in 1803), travels with Dorothy and Coleridge, and new friendships, notably with Sir W. *Scott, Sir G. *Beaumont, and *De Quincey. Wordsworth's domestic happiness was overcast by the death of his sailor brother John in 1805 (which inspired several poems, including 'Elegiac Stanzas Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle', 1807), the early deaths of two of his children (one of which inspired his sonnet 'Surprised by joy', 1815), and the physical deterioration of Coleridge, from whom he was for some time estranged, and with whom he was never entirely reconciled. But his productivity continued, and his popularity gradually increased. The Excursion was published in 1814, The White Doe of Rylstone and two volumes of Miscellaneous Poems in 1815, and *Peter Bell and *The Waggoner in 1819. In 1813 he had been appointed stamp distributor for Westmorland, a post which brought him some £400 a year, and in the same year moved from Allan Bank (where he had lived from 1808) to Rydal Mount, Ambleside, where he lived the rest of his life. The great work of his early and middle years was now over, and Wordsworth slowly settled into the role of patriotic, conservative public man, abandoning the radical politics and idealism of his youth. Much of the best of his later work was mildly topographical, inspired by his love of travel; it records journeys to Scotland, along the river Duddon, to the Continent, etc. He was left a legacy by Sir George Beaumont in 1827, and in 1842 received a Civil List pension of £300 a year; in 1843 he succeeded *Southey as *poet Laureate. He died at Rydal Mount, after the publication of a finally revised text of his works (6 vols, 1849-50), and The Prelude was published posthumously in 1850. His prose works include an essay, Concerning the Relations of Great Britain, Spain and Portugal . . . as Affected by the Convention of Cintra (1809), castigating the supine English policy, and A Description of the Scenery of the Lakes in the North of England, written in 1810 as an introduction to Wilkinson's Select Views of Cumberland.

De Quincey wrote of Wordsworth in 1835, 'Up to 1820 the name of Wordsworth was trampled underfoot; from 1820 to 1830 it was militant; from 1830 to 1835 it has been triumphant.' Early attacks in the *Edinburgh Review and by the anonymous author of a parody, The Simpliciad (1808), were followed by criticism and satire by the second generation of Romantics; *Byron and *Shelley mocked him as 'simple' and 'dull', *Keats distrusted what he called the *'egotistical sublime', and *Hazlitt, and later *Browning, deplored him as *'The Lost Leader', who had abandoned his early radical faith. But these doubts were counterbalanced by the enormous and lasting popularity of much of his work, which was regarded by writers such as M. *Arnold and J. S. *Mill with almost religious veneration, as an expression in an age of doubt of the transcendent in nature and the good in man. A great innovator, he permanently enlarged the range of English poetry, both in subject matter and in treatment (a distinction he would not himself have accepted).

Wordsworth's Poetical and Prose Works, together with Dorothy Wordsworth's Journals, ed. W. Knight, appeared in 1896, and his Poetical Works (ed. E. de Selincourt and H. Darbishire, 5 vols.) in 1930-9 and 1952-4. Letters of the Wordsworth Family 1787-1855 were edited by W. Knight in 1907, and Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth (ed. de Selincourt) appeared in 1935-9. His biography by M. Moorman was published in 1968 (2 vols), and a long-lost collection of letters between Mary and William appeared as The Love Letters of William and Mary Wordsworth, ed. B. Darlington (1982). See also Stephen Gill, William Wordsworth (1989).







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Miércoles, 30 de Noviembre de 2016 08:14. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


ESTUDIO 1 TVE-Las brujas de Salem-Arthur Miller

sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2015

Que es como llamaban aquí a The Crucible, de Arthur Miller. Esta versión de Estudio Uno quizá la vi en los años sesenta, y ahora reaparece por YouTube, y por mi blog de teatro.







 


 

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ESTUDIO 1-La tragedia de Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2015

ESTUDIO 1-La tragedia de Macbeth (William Shakespeare








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Domingo, 27 de Noviembre de 2016 09:20. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


JOHN LOCKE

miércoles, 25 de noviembre de 2015

JOHN LOCKE

 

From the History Today Companion to British History:


 LOCKE, JOHN (1632-1704), philosopher. Son of an ATTORNEY who had fought on the PARLIAMENTARIAN SIDE in the CIVIL WARS, Locke both studied and taught at OXFORD UNIVERSITY. IN 1667, he became attached to the household of Anthony Ashley COOPER, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, henceforth his political patron. Holding minor office when Shaftesbury was in power, Locke went to France when the Earl was out of favour (1676-9), and to Holland when the exposure of the RYE HOUSE PLOT shattered his circle. The GLORIOUS REVOLUTION allowed him to come back to England in 1689, and from 1696 he once more played a part in public life, serving as one of the most active members of the newly founded BOARD OF TRADE.

His writings, published only after 1689 although much was written earlier, include three Letters advocating religious toleration (1689, 1690, 1692); Two Treatises of Government &1680), a classic exposition both of the right to resist misgovernment and limit its activities, and of the right to hold private property; and An Essay on Human Understanding (1690), a book which was to be hailed as seminal by thinkers of the ENLIGHTENMENT for its advocacy of the primacy of human experience in the perception of truth. Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) and The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695) followed; the latter became a key text for LATITUDINARIANS and DEISTS (although Locke himself disapproved of the description 'Deist'). Like HOBBES, Locke began his analyisis with man in a state of nature; otherwise there is little resemblance in their political theory. For Hobbes, the state of nature is so terrifying that men willingly accept the arbitrary rule of an all-powerful sovereign; for Locke, the state of nature has sufficient inconveniences to persuade men to join together and to entrust limited powers (defined in terms of executive, federative, and legislative functions) to a government to act for the common good. What make Locke's Two Treatises appear subersive to his more conservative readers, then and later, was his justification of the subject's right to resisteance should the ruler (or governing authority) violate the trust invested in him. And Locke seems to have been well aware of the work's radical thrust; not only did he publish it anonymously, but he also consistently denied authorship, though frequently taxed with it, until his death. His political ideas were to have a considerable influence on the American colonists in their breach with Britain (see SIDNEY, ALGERNON).







From The Oxford Companion to English Literature,  ed. Margaret Drabble:


LOCKE, John (1632-1704), born at Wrington, Somerset, educated at Westminster and Christ Church. He held various academic posts at that university, and became physician to the household of the first earl of *Shaftesbury in 1667. He held official positions and subsequently lived at Oxford, then fled to Holland in 1683 as a consequence of Shaftesbury's plotting for Monmouth; how far he was himself involved is not certain. In 1687 he joined William of Orange at Rotterdam; on his return to England he became commissioner of appeals and member of the council of trade. His last years were spent in Essex in the home of Sir Francis and Lady Mashm, the latter being the daughter of Ralph Cudworth, one of the *Cambridge Platonists.

Locke's principal philosophical work is the *Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), a work which led J. S. *Mill to call him the 'unquestioned founder of the analytic philosophy of mind'. always critical of 'enthusiasm', he was originally opposed to freedom of religion, and never supported Catholic emancipation; but in his maturity he defended the rights of the Dissenters on both moral and economic grounds. He published three Letters on Toleration between 1689 and 1692; a fourth was left unfinished at his death. His defence of simple biblical religion in The Reasonableness of Christianity, without resort to creed or tradition, led to a charge of *Socinianism, which Locke replied to in two Vindications (1695, 1697). He was also involved in an extensive pamphlet war with Edward Stillingfleet (1696-8) over the alleged compatibility of his Essay with Socinianism and *Deism.

Locke published in 1690 two Treatises of Government designed to combat the theory of the divine right of kings. He finds the origin of the civil state in a contract. The 'legislative', or government, 'being only a fiduciary power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the people the supreme power to remove or alter the legislative when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them'. Throughout, Locke in his theory of the 'Original Contract' opposes absolutism; the first Treatise is specifically an attack on Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha. Although Locke in his early manuscripts was closer to *Hobbes's authoritarianism and continues to share with Hobbes the view that civil obligations are founded in contract, he strongly rejected Hobbes's view that the sovereign is above the law and no party to the contract. He published a volume on education in 1693, and on the rate of interest and the value of money in 1692 and 1695. The first edition of his collected works appeared in 1714. A full critical edition of his works, including eight volumes of correspondence, was launched in 1975.

Locke's writings had an immense influence on the literature of succeeding generations, and he was very widely read; his Thoughts Concerning Education, which are concerned with practical advice on the upbringing of 'sons of gentlemen', were given to *Richardson's Pamela by Mr. B—, and to his son by *Chesterfield, and their influence is seen in *Rousseau's *Émile; his view of the child's mind as a tabula rasa, and his distinctions between wit and judgement, were the subject of much discussion during the *Augustan age. The anit-philosophy jokes of the *Scriblerus Club demonstrate the currency of his ideas; *Addison was his champion in many essays. But perhaps his greatest impact was on *Sterne, who quotes him frequently in *Tristram Shandy, and who was deeply interested in his theories of the random association of ideas, of the measuring of time, of the nature of sensation, etc. On this subject, see Kenneth MacLean, John Locke and English Literature of the Eighteenth Century (1936).

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1975), ed. Peter H. Nidditch; A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St Paul, ed. Arthur W. Wainwright (2 vols, 1987); The Correspondence of John Locke, ed. E. S. de Beer (8 vols, 1976-89). (See also RESTORATION).







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Viernes, 25 de Noviembre de 2016 06:55. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Borges, Cosmogonía

martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

COSMOGONÍA




      Cosmogonía

Ni tiniebla ni caos. La tiniebla
Requiere ojos que ven, como el sonido
Y el silencio requieren el oído,
Y el espejo, la forma que lo puebla.
Ni el espacio ni el tiempo. Ni siquiera
Una divinidad que premedita
El silencio anterior a la primera
Noche del tiempo, que será infinita.
El gran río de Heráclito el Oscuro
Su curso misterioso no ha emprendido,
Que del pasado fluye hacia el futuro,
Que del olvido fluye hacia el olvido.
Algo que ya padece. Algo que implora.
Después la historia universal. Ahora.



Jorge Luis Borges, La rosa profunda.

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Jueves, 24 de Noviembre de 2016 06:21. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


BLAKE, William

martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

BLAKE, William

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:



BLAKE, William (1757-1827), the third son of a London hosier. He did not go to school but was apprenticed to James Basire, engraver to the Society of *Antiquaries, and then became a student at the *Royal Academy. From 1779 he was employed as an engraver by the bookseller J. *Johnson, and in 1780 met *Fuseli and *Flaxman, the latter a follower of *Swedenborg, whose mysticism deeply influenced Blake. In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher, the daughter of a market-gardener; their childless marriage was a lasting communion. Flaxman at this period introduced him to the progressive intellectual circle of the Revd A. S. Mathew and his wife (which included Mrs *Barbauld, H. *More, and Mrs. E. *Montagu), and Mathew and Flaxman financed the publication of Blake's first volume, Poetical Sketches (1783). In 1784, with help from Mrs Mathew, he set up a print shop at 27 Broad Street, and about the same period (although not for publication) wrote the satirical *An Island in the Moon. He engraved and published his *Songs of Innoncence in 1789, and also The Book of Thel, both works which manifest the early phases of his highly distinctive mystic vision, and in which he embarks on the evolution of his personal mythology; years later (in *Jerusalem) he was to state, through the character Los, 'I must create a System, or be enslaved by another Man's', words which have been taken by some to apply to his own need to escape from the feeters of 18th-cent. versification, as well as from the materialist philosophy (as he conceived it) of the *Enlightenment, and a Puritanical or repressive interpretation of Christianity. The Book of Thel presents the maiden Thel lamenting transience and mutability by the banks of the river of Adona; she is answered by the lily, the cloud, the worm, and the clod who assure her that 'He, who loves the lowly' cherishes even the meanest; but this relatively conventional wisdom is challenged by a final vision in which Thel visits the house of Clay, sees the couches of the dead, and hears 'a voice of sorrow' breathe a characteristically Blakean protest against hypocrisy and restraint—'Why a tender curb upon the youthful, burning boy? Why a tender little curtain of flesh upon the bed of our desire?'—a message which sends Thel back 'with a shriek' to the vales of Har. The ambiguity of this much-interpreted poem heralds the increasing complexity of his other works which include Tiriel (written 1789, pub. 1874), introducing the theme of the blind tyrannic father, 'the king of rotten wood, and of the bones of death', which reappears in different forms in many poems; *The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (engraved c. 1790-3), his principal prose work, a book of paradoxical aphorisms; and the revolutionary works The French Revolution (1791); America: A Prophecy (1793); and isions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), in which he develops his attitude of revolt against authority, combining political fervour (he had met *Paine at Johnson's) and visionary ecstasy; Urizen, the deviser of moral codes (described as 'the stony law' of the Decalogue) and *Orc, the Promethean arch-rebel, emerge as principal characters in a cosmology that some scholars have related to that of *Gnosticism. By this time Blake had already established his poetic range; the long, flowing lines and violent energy of the verse combine with phrases of terse and aphoristic clarity and moments of great lyric tenderness, and he was once more to demonstrate his command of the lyric in Songs of Experience (1794) which includes 'Tyger! Tyger! burning bright', 'O Rose thou art sick', and other of his more accessible pieces.

Meanwhile the Blakes had moved to Lambeth in 1790; there he continued to engrave his own works and to write, evolving his mythology further in The Book of *Urizen (1794); *Europe: A Prophecy (1794); The Song of *Los (1795); The Book of Ahania (1795); The Book of Los (1795); and The Four Zoas (originally entitled Vala, written and revised 1797-1804), and also working for the booksellers. In 1800 he moved to Felpham, Sussex, where he lived for three years, working for his friend and patron *Hayley, , and working on *Milton (1804-8); in 1803 he was charged at Chichester with high treason for having 'uttered seditious and treasonable expressions, such as "D—n the King, d—n all his subjects . . . "', but was acquitted. In the same year he returned to London, to work on Milton and Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (written and etched, 1804-20). In 1805 he was commissioned by Cromek to produce a set of drawings for R. *Blair's poem The Grave, but Cromek defaulted on the contract, and Blake earned neither the money nor the public esteem he had hoped for, and found his designs engraved and weakened by another hand. This was symptomatic of the disappointment of his later years, when he appears to have relinquished expectations of being widely understood, and quarreled even with some of the circle of friends who supported him. Both his poetry and his art had failed to find a sympathetic audience, and a lifetime of hard work had not brought him riches or even much comfort. His last years were passed in obscurity, although he continued to attract the interest and admiration of younger artists, and a commission in 1821 from the painter John Linnell produced his well-known illustrations for the Book of Job, published in 1826. (It was Linnell who introduced Blake to Samuel *Palmer in 1824.) A later poem, 'The Everlasting Gospel', written about 1818, shows undiminished power and attack; it presents Blake's own version of Jesus, in a manner that recalls the paradoxes of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, attacking the conventional 'Creeping Jesus', gentle, humble, and chaste, and stressing his rebellious nature, his forgiveness of the woman taken in adultery, his reversing of the stony law of Moses, praising 'the Naked Human Form divine', and sexuality as the measn whereby 'the Soul Expands its wing', and elevating forgiveness above the 'Moral Virtues'.

At Blake's death, general opinion held that he had been, if gifted, insane. *Wordsworth's verdict, according to C. *Robinson, was that 'The was no doubt that this poor man was mad, but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott', a view in some measure echoed by *Ruskin, who found his manner 'diseased and wild' but his mind 'great and wise'. It was not until A. *Gilchrist's biography of 1863 (significantly describing Blake as 'Pictor Ignotus') that interest began to grow. This was followed by an appreciation by *Swinburne (1868) and by W. M. *Rossetti's edition of 1874, which added new poems to the canon and established his reputation, at least as a lyric poet; his rediscovered engravings considerably influenced the development of *art nouveau. In 1893 *Yeats, a devoted admirer, produced with E. J. Ellis a three-volume edition, with a memoir and an interpretation of the mythology, and the 20th cent. saw an enormous increase in interest. The bibliographical studies and editions of G. *Keynes, culminating in The Complete Writings of William Blake (1966, 2nd edn), have added gratly to knowledge both of the man and his works, revealing him not only as an apocalyptic visionary but also as a writer of ribald and witty epigrams, a critic of spirit and originality, and an independent thinker who found his own way of resisting the orthodoxies of his age, and whose hostile response to the narrow vision and the materialism (as he conceived it) of his bêtes noires Joshua *Reynolds, *Locke, and I. *Newton was far from demented, but in part a prophetic warning of the dangers of as world perceived as mechanism, with man as a  mere cog in an industrial revolution. There have been many interpretative studies, relating his work to traditional Christianity, to the *Neoplatonic and Swedenborgian traditions, to Jungian *archetypes and to *Freudian and *Marxist theory; the Prophetic Books, once dismissed as incoherent, are now claimed by many as works of integrity as well as profundity. Recently, Blake has had a particularly marked influence on the *Beat Generation and the English poets of the *underground movement, hailed by both as a liberator; *Auden earlier acclaimed him ('New Year Letter', 1941) as 'Self-educated Blake . . .' who 'Spoke to Isaiah in the Strand / And heard inside each mortal thing / Its holy emanation sing'.

See also the Blake Books (19777) by G. E. Bentley Jnr, including annotated catalogues of his writings and scholarly books about him; The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. D. V. Erdman (1965, 1988); Blake's Illuminated Books, 6 vols. (1991-5), gen. ed. D. Bindman; and J. Viscomi, Blake and the Idea of the Book (1993), an authoritative account of Blake's graphic process; The William Blake ARchive: http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/blake (ed.M. Eaves, R. Essick, J. Viscomi). There is a life by P. *Ackroyd, (1995).

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Jueves, 24 de Noviembre de 2016 06:19. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Un MacGuffin a escala inmensa

lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2015

Un MacGuffin a escala inmensa

Analizamos la novela de William Gibson Zero History (2010) en relación a los conceptos de control de la información y de 'topsight' o perspectiva dominante en la era de Internet. Prestamos especial atención a la función reflexiva metafictional de la perspectiva dominante, y a su papel en la construcción estética de la novela en tanto que artefacto perspectivístico.

Un MacGuffin a escala inmensa: Zero History, de William Gibson

 

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2693656


English Abstract:


A MacGuffin of Ultimate Scale: William Gibson's Zero History


An analysis of William Gibson's novel 'Zero History' (2010) with reference to the concepts of informational control and topsight in the age of the Internet. Special attention is paid to the metafictional reflexive function of topsight, and to its role in the aesthetic construction of the novel as a perspectival artifact. Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish. 



Number of Pages in PDF File: 4 

Keywords: Information, Internet, William Gibson, Literature, Novel, Data mining, Topsight, Metafiction, Aesthetic construction, Narratology

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Miércoles, 23 de Noviembre de 2016 06:45. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Drama, Dramatic

domingo, 22 de noviembre de 2015

Drama, Dramatic


Drama, Dramatic

From the Oxford English Dictionary: 
 


   Drama
(drā·ma). Also 6 drame, 7 dramma. [a. late L. drāma drama, play (Ausonius), a. Gr. drama deed, action, play, esp. tragedy, n. of action from dran to do, act, perform. In earliest use in form drame as in Fr. (1707 in Hatz-Darm.).]
   1. A composition in prose or verse, adapted to be acted upon a stage, in which a story is related by means of dialogue and action, and is represented with accompanying gesture, costume, and scenery, as in real life; a play.

   1515 BARCLAY Eglogues iv. (1570) Cvj/I  Such rascolde drames promoted by Thais, Bacchus, Licoris, or yet by Thestalis. 1616 B. JONSON Epigr. cxii , I cannot for the stage a drama lay, Tragic or comic. 1636 HEYWOOD Loves Mistresse Ded., Neither are Dramma's of this nature so despicable. 1641 MILTON Ch. Govt. II. introd. The Scripture also affords us a divine pastoral drama in the song of Solomon. 1670 LASSELS Voy. Italy I (1698) 140 (Stanf.) The several Opera's or Musical Dramata are acted and sung. 1795 MASSON Ch. Mus. I. 24 Their Tragic Dramas . . . being usually accompanied by Instruments. 1852 HALLAM Lit. Ess. E. European Mus., i, 24 The Orfeo of Politian . . . the earliest represented drama, not of a religious nature, in a modern language.
   2. With the: The dramatic branch of literature; the dramatic art.
   1661 Middleton's Mayor of Queenborough  Pref. Wks. (Bullen) II. 3 His drollery yields to none the English drama did ever produce. 1711 ADDISON  Spect.  No. 13 ¶ 5 The received rules of the Drama. 1727  POPE, etc. Art of Sinking xvi. Wks. 1757 Vi. 219 (Stanf.) The Drama, which makes so great and so lucrative a part of Poetry. 1857 H. REED, Lect. Brit. Poets viii. 284  The true philosophy of the drama as an imaginative imitation of life. 1861 M. PATTISON Ess. I. 46 The lover of the Elizabethan drama.
   3. A series of actions or course of events having a unity like that of a drama, and leading to a final catastrophe or consummation.
   a 1714 J. SHARP  Serm. I. xiii. (R.), It helps to adorn the great drama and contrivances of God's providence. 1775 MASON Gray Gray's poems 2 That peculiar part which he acted in the varied Drama of Society. 1796 BURKE Regic. Peace i. Wks. VIII. 78 The awful drama of Providence now acting on the moral theatre of the world. 1876 E. MELLOR Priesth. ii, 58 That great drama which was to culminate in the death of Christ.

   Dramatic (drămæ·tik), a. (sb.) [ad. late L. drāmatic-us, a. Gr. dramatikós pertaining to drama, f. drama, drámat- DRAMA: (cf. F. dramatique).]
   1.  Of, pertaining to, or connected with the, or a, drama.; dealing with or employing the forms of the drama
.
   1589 PUTTENHAM, Eng. Poesie I. xv. (Arb) 49 Foure sundry fromes of Poesie Drammatick.. to wit, the Satyre, olde Comedie, new Comedie, and Tragedie.  c 1680 J. AUBREY in Shaks. C. Praise 383 He began early to make essayes at Dramatique Poetry. 1791 BURKE Corr. (1844) III. 196, I have never written any dramatic piece whatsoever. 1824 W. IRVING T. Trav. I. 280 The dramatic corps, 1885 MABEL COLLINS Prettiest Woman vviii, She played the part of the dramatic critic.
    2. Characteristic of, or appropriate to, the drama; often connoting animated action or striking presentation, as in a play; theatrical.
    1725  POPE Odyss. Postscr. The whole structure of that work (Iliad) is dramatick and full of action. 1778 FOOTE Trip Calais Wks. III 1799 II.378 There seems to be a kind of dramatic justice in the change of your two situations. 1855 BRIMLEY, Ess., Tennyson, 9 That dramatic unity demanded in works of art. 1878 LECKY, Eng. in 18th Cent. (1883) I. 176  The destruction of a great and ancient institution is an eminently dramatic thing.
      B. sb. 1. A dramatic poet; a dramatist. Obs.
   1646  G. DANIEL, Poems, Wks. 1878  I. 30 Hee was, of English Drammatickes, the Prince. a1680 BUTLER Rem. (1759) I. 164 No longer shall Dramatics be confin'd To draw true Images of all Mankind. a1741 GRAY Lett. Wks. 1884 II. 209 Put me the following lines into the tongue of our modern dramatics.
    2. pl. Dramatic compositions or representations; the drama.
    1684 W. WINSTANLEY Engl. Worthies. Shaks 345-7 In all his writings hath an unvulgar Style, as well in his... Poems, as in his Drammaaticks. 1711 SHAFETSB.   Charac. (1737) I. 265 We read epicks and dramaticks, as we do satirs and lampoons. 1880 C. KEENE Let. in G. S. Layard Life X. (1892) 308 The prevaliling mania for dramatics.

    Drama·tical, a (sb). [f. as prec. + -AL.] — DRAMATIC  a.  I. (Now rare.)
    1640  G. WATTS tr. Bacon's Adv. Learn. ii. (R). Dramaticall, or representative [poesy] is as it were, a visible history. a 1652 J SMITH Sel. Disc. , VI, iv (1821) 221 The whole dramatical series of things.  1711  ADDISON Spect. No. 101 §7 A Dramatical performance written in a language which they did not understand. 1854 Fraser's Mag. I 591 Fletcher was the dramatical parent of Congreve. 
     
B sb. pl. = DRAMATICS sb. Obs. rare
    c.
1826 MOIR in Wilson's Wks. (1855) I. 198 Then bid Bryan Procter beat To dramaticals retreat.

    Drama
·tically, adv. [f. prec. + LY2.]
     a. In a dramatic manner; from a dramatic point of view.   b. With dramatic or theatrical effect.
     a. 1652 J. SMITH Sel. Disc. vi 192   The outward frame of things dramatically set forth. 1759 STERNE Tr. Shandy II. viii. 57 This plea, tho' it might save me dramatically, will damn me biographically. 1836 9 DICKENS Sk. Boz (C. D. ed) 200 He stalked dramatically to bed.

    Dramaticism (drămæ
·tisiz'm). [f. DRAMATIC a.  + -ISM] Dramatic character or quality.
      1878 T. SINCLAIR Mount 80 More than its dramaticism and epicism. 1890 Athenaeum 6 Dec. 775/2 The dramaticism frequet among Nineteenth-Century writers of blank verse.

     Dramaticle, -icule. Also erron. -ucle. [f. L. drāma,
drāmat- with dim. suffix.] A miniature or insignificant drama.
     [1792 T. TWINING Recreat. & Stud. (1882) 168 His two printed dialogues, or dramacles]  1813 Examiner 15 Mar. 171/1  This admired dramatucle (if we may be allowed such a diminutive). 1851 Beddoe's Poems Mem. 15 'Olympian Revels', and other dramaticles published published in the 'London Magazine' of 1823. 1865  CARLYLE Fredk. Gt. IV. 252 Court-shows, dramaticules, transparencies.

     Dra
·matism.  [f. as DRAMATIST + -ISM] Dramatization, dramatized form.
     1884 Autobiog. Dissenting 122  could no longer amuse his flock with the dramatism of devotion.

    
|| Dramatis personae (dræmă
·tis prsōn·ni) Abbreviated dram. pers. [L.; —persons of a drama.] The characters of a drama or play; the actors in a drama. lit. or fig.
     1730 FIELDING Temple Beaut. I. vi. Wks. 1882 VIII. 177 There is (to give you a short Dramatis Personae) my worthy uncle [etc.]   1806 J. JAY Corr. & Pub. Papers (1893) IV. 308 Whether this distant nation is to appear among the dramatis personae cannot now be known. 1821 BYRON Diary 13 Jan., Sketched the outline and Dram. Pers. of a . . tragedy.  1895 Law Times XCIX. 547/I His dramatis personæ included a low attorney.

    Dramatist (dræ
·mătist). [f. Gr. drama, dramat-  DRAMA + -IST: cf. F. dramatiste (1787 in Hatz-.Darm.).] A writer or composer of dramas or dramatic poetry; a play-wright. (Also fig.)
    1678 CUDWORTH Intell. Syst. 879 They . . . impatiently cry out against the Dramatist, and presently condemn the Plot. 1748 YOUNG Nt. Th. IX. 348 To see the mighty Dramatist's last Act . .  in glory rising o'er the rest. a1862  BUCKLE Misc. Wks. (1872) I. 483 In every country the dramatists have preceded the metaphysicians.

   
Dramatization (dræ·mătizēi§n). [f. next + ATION.] The action of dramatizing; conversion into drama; a dramatized version.
   1796 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Rev. XIX. 482. The variegated list of his dramatizations. 1846 DICKENS Lett. (1880) I. 165. I really am bothered . . by this confounded dramatization of the Christmas book. 1875 MAINE Hist. Inst. ix. 253 A dramatisation of the origin of Justice.

    
Dramatize (dræ·mătiz), v. [f. as DRAMATIST + IZE]
    1. trans. To convert into a drama; to put into dramatic form, adapt for representation on the stage.
    1780-83 [See DRAMATIZED]. 1810 SCOTT Fam. Lett. 22 Dec., They are busy dramatizing The Lady of the Lake here and in Dublin. 1884  Law Times 27 Sept. 358/2 The play 'Called Back,' dramatized from the novel of that name.
    b. obsol. To write dramas.
    1814 Sortes Horatianae 125 Scrawl, dramatize . . do what ye will.
    2. To describe or represent dramatically.
    1823 ADOLPHUS
in Lockhart Scott Aug., To exert the talent of dramatizing and . .  representing in his own person the incidents he told of.  1894  HOWELLS in Harper's Mag. Feb. 383 The men continue to dramatize a struggle on the floor below.
    
3. intr. (for pass). To admit of dramatization.
   
1819 SCOTT Fam. Let. 15 June. The present set . . will not dramatize. 1836 New Monthly Mag. XLVII 235 The story would dramatize admirably.
    
4. trans. To influence by the drama, nonce-use.
   
1799 Morn. Chron. in Spirit Pub. Jrnls. (1800) III. 154 Some might take their station in the theatre, and dramatize the audience into loyalty.
     
Hence
Dra·matized ppl. a. Dra·matizing vbl. sb. and ppl. a.; also Dra·matizable a. (Webster, 1864); Dra·matizer, one who dramatizes.
      1780-83 W. TOOKE Russia (Webster 1828)  A dramatized extract from the history of the Old and New Testaments. 1833 Westm. Rev. XVIII, 226 The dramatist of Cooper's 'Pilot'. a1834 LAMB Char. Dram. Writers. Rowley Wks. 530 Our delicacy . . forbids the dramatizing of distress. 1862 MERIVALE Rom. Emp. (1865, V. xii. 99 The dramatized histories of the English bard. 1875 EMERSON Lett. & Soc. Aims  Wks. (Bohn) III. 221 A sort of dramatizing talent.

Dramaturge (dræ·măt:rdy) [a F. dramaturge (1787), ad Gr. dramatourgos composer of drama, f. drama, dramato- DRAMA + -ergein to work, -ergos working, worker]. —DRAMATURGIST
         [1859 Times 17 Nov. 8/2 Schiller was starving on a salary of 200 dollars per annum, which he received for his services as 'dramaturg' or literary manager.] 1870 Athenaeum 12 Mar. 366 M. Sardou . . that indefatigable dramaturge. 1882 SYMONDS Animi Figura 118 Fate is the dramaturge, necessity Allots the parts.

Dramatu·
rgic, a. [f. Gr. dramatourg-os (see prec.) + -IC] Pertaining to dramaturgy; dramatic, histrionic, theatrical.
    [1831   BEDDOES Let. Jan. in Poems p. xcvi So much for my dramaturgic ideas on playbills.   1845 CARLYLE Cromwell 1871] I. 158 Some form [of worship] not grown dramaturgic to us, but still awfully symbolical for us. 1883 Mag. of Art June 315/1 That lack of dramaturgic science.
     SO
Dramatu·rgical a.

Dra·maturgist [f. as prec. + -IST] A composer of a drama; a play-wright.
     1825
CARLYLE Schiller II (1845) 63 Notwithstanding . . all the vaunting of dramaturgists. 1843 — Past & Pr. II, ii The World Dramaturgist has written, Exeunt.

Dra·maturgy [mod. ad Gr. dramatourgía composition of dramas : cf. F. dramaturgie (17th c.), Ger. dramaturgie.]
     1. Dramatic composition; the dramatic art.
      1801 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Mag. XII 224. Lessing's Dramaturgy. 1805 Ibid. XX. 41 Lessing .. published a weekly paper, entitled the Hamburg Dramaturgy. 1885  Sat. Rev. 28 Mar. 419/2 The immortal Mac-Flecknoe, in which the 'Nursery' and its dramaturgy are annotated.
      
2. Dramatic or theatrical acting.
      1837 CARLYLE Diam Neckl. Misc. Ess. 1888 V, 184 Let her .. give her past Dramaturgy the fit aspect to Monseigneur and others. 1858 Fredk. Gr. (1865) I. I. iii. 22 Sublime dramaturgy, which we call his Majesty's Government, costs so much.






—oOo—


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Miércoles, 23 de Noviembre de 2016 06:39. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


THE MIKADO

domingo, 22 de noviembre de 2015

THE MIKADO

A comic opera by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.  First produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, 1885. (Libretto at Project Gutenberg).

BBC production (1973):

Act I:







Act II:









Other productions online:


Stratford Festival of Canada production

East Lyme Arts Council prod. (1991)

D'Oyly Carte production (Buxton Opera House, 1992)





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Miércoles, 23 de Noviembre de 2016 06:28. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica




Dos en el Top Ten de Literatura

viernes, 20 de noviembre de 2015

Dos en el Top Ten de Literatura


Me escribe esta carta el robot de la SSRN diciéndome que este servidor tiene un artículo en el Top Ten de literatura de este servidor.



Dear Jose Angel Garcia Landa:
Your paper, "SCIENCE AND LITERATURE: SOME CRITICAL PARAMETERS", was recently listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for: CSN: Literature (Sub-Topic).
As of 20 November 2015, your paper has been downloaded 164 times. You may view the abstract and download statistics at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1591114.
Top Ten Lists are updated on a daily basis. Click the following link(s) to view the Top Ten list for:
CSN: Literature (Sub-Topic) Top Ten.
Click the following link(s) to view all the papers in:
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Literature Top Ten

Como se aprecia por el pantallazo, de hecho tengo en ese Top Ten no un artículo, sino dos. Cierto es que también tiene dos Mark Turner, modelo a seguir, y cierto también que los tiene mejor ubicados que yo. Pero hey, de mi país o de mi continente, ahí estoy yo.

Y también es de celebrar que tengo otro pequeño Top Ten aquí, en "más de lo mío": en el servidor de Historia Literaria y Teoría Literaria de la SSRN:

 

Literary History & Literary Theory

 

Son esos pequeños logros que según algunos son la sal misma de la vida y mantienen la dopamina excitada. Para grandes logros, pregúntenle a Pablo Iglesias, the overreacher.





—oOo—

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Domingo, 20 de Noviembre de 2016 10:19. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Richard Brinsley Sheridan

jueves, 19 de noviembre de 2015

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:


SHERIDAN, Richard Brinsley (1751-1816), the son of Thomas Sheridan, an Irish actor-manager, and Mrs Frances *Sheridan. Richard learned early that as a livelihood the theatre was both precarious and ungentlemanly. He was sent to Harrow School, where he was unhappy and regarded as a dunce. in Bath, however, where he joined his family in 1770, he was at once at home. His skit, written for the local paper, on the opening of the New Assembly Rooms was considered good enough to be published as a separate pamphlet. He fell in love with Eliza Linley, a beautiful and accomplished young singer, with whom he eloped to France and entered into an invalid form of marriage contract, and on whose behalf he fought two farcical duels with her overbearing admirer Captain Matthews. Sheridan's angry father sent him to London to study law, but eventually the fathers withdrew their opposition and in 1773 he was lawfully married to Eliza. Very short of money, he decided to try his hand at a plyay, and in a very few weeks wrote *The Rivals, which was produced at Covent Garden in 1775. It was highly successful and established Sheridan in the fashionable society he sought. The Rivals was followed in a few months by the farce *St Patrick's Day, again a success; and in theautumn by *The Duenna, an operatic play which delighted its audiences. In 1776 Sheridan, with partners, bought *Garrick's half-share in the *Drury Lane Theatre and became its manager. Early in 1777 appeared *A Trip to Scarborough, loosely based on Vanbrugh's *The Relapse, and this again was a success. In March of that year Sheridan was elected a memeber of the *Club, on the proposal of Dr. *Johnson. Meanwhile he was working hard and long on *The School for Scandal, which was produced, with Garrick's help and with a brilliant cast, in May. The play was universally acclaimed, and all doors, from those of the duchess of Devonshire and lady Melbourne downwards, were open to the dramatist—whose personal expenses rose accordingly. Although The School for Scandal had 73 performances between 1777 and 1789 and made a profit of £15,000, Sheridan's financial anxieties, which were to dog him to the end of his life, became even more acute. In 1779 he became the sole proprietor of Drury Lane, and began to live far beyond his means. Although he seems to have been a sympathetic and creative producer, he found the business side of management increasingly irksome. In 1779 he produced his new play *The Critic, based on *The Rehearsal by Buckingham; once again he enjoyed a huge success, and the world regarded him as the true heir of Garrick. But it was not what he wanted. He had grown up with a positive dislike of the theatre, and he declared he never saw a play if he could help it. He wished to shine only in politics, but he had neither the correct family connections nor the financial stability. He became the friend and ally of *Fox and in 1780 won the seat at Stafford. After only two years as an MP he became the under-secretary for foreign affairs, but he neglected his office work, both as a politician and as the manager of Drury Lane. Fortunately his father had secured both Mrs *Siddons and J. P. *Kemble, who brought the required audiences to the theatre. In 1783 he became secretary to the treasury and established his reputation as a brilliant orator in the House of Comons. In 1787 *Burke persuaded him into supporting the impeachment of *Hastings, and his eloquent speeech of over five hours on the Begums of Oude ensured that he was made manager of the trial. He was by now confirmed an intimate friend of the prince regent and other royal figures. Eliza died in 1792, and in the same year the Drury Lane Theatre was declared unsafe and had to be demolished. Sheridan raised £150,000 for a new theatre with apparent ease, but he was plunging himself yet deepr into debt, and payments to his actors became more uncertain than ever. In 1795 he married Esther Ogle. All though these years he was speaking eloquently in the House and hoping for eventual political advancement. *Pizarro, adapted by Sheridan from *Kotzebue, was performed in 1799 and was sucessful enough to bring a brief reprieve, but in 1802 the theatre funds were impounded and the bankers put in charge. Enormous sums were owing to the landlord, the architect, the actors, and stage staff. Although he was still speaking daily at the Commons, Sheridan's friendship with Fox was fading, and when Grenville formed the 'ministry of all the talents' in 1806 Sheridan was offered only the treasureship to the navy, without cabinet rank. The money which came with his appointment to a post with the duchy of Cornwall was soon spent. In 1809 the new Drury Lane was destroyed by fire, the debts became crushing, and Sheridan was excluded from all aspects of management. In 1811 he lost his seat at Stafford, and in 1813 he was arrested for debt. Friends rallied, but he and his wife became ill. His house was discovered to be filthy and denuded of almost all furnishings. He died in July 1816 and was given a fine funeral, with four lords as pall-bearers. He wished to be remembered as a man of politics and to be buried net to Fox, but he was laid near Garrick instead. He is remembered chiefly as the author of two superb comedies, but his speeches and letters have also been published. The standard edition of the plays is The Plays and Poems of Sheridan, ed. R. C. Rhodes (3 vols., 1928): see also Harlequin Sheridan (1933), a life by R. C. Rhodes. The Letters were edited by C. Price (3 vols., 1966).



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Sábado, 19 de Noviembre de 2016 08:31. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Modern Genre Theory

martes, 17 de noviembre de 2015


Un libro donde se me cita: 

Modern Genre Theory

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Viernes, 18 de Noviembre de 2016 04:45. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Queen Anne Prose

lunes, 16 de noviembre de 2015

Queen Anne Prose


From George Saintsbury’s Short History of English Literature (1907):



(From BOOK VIII - THE AUGUSTAN AGES )

CHAPTER IV: QUEEN ANNE PROSE


Swift—His life—His verse—His prose—His quality and achievement—The Essayists—Steele—His plays—Addison’s life—His miscellaneous work—His and Steele’s Essays—Bentley—Middleton—Arbuthnot—Atterbury—Bolingbroke—Butler and other divines—Shaftesbury—Mandeville—Berkeley—Excellence of his style—Defoe.

Swift.

 JOHN DUNTON, the eccentric bookseller mentioned at the close of the last chapter, refers to a certain "scoffing Tubman," with whose identity neither he, extensive and peculiar as was his knowledge of literary London, nor almost any one else, was then acquainted. The reference is, of course, to the Tale of a Tub, published anonymously in 1704—the first great book, either in prose or verse, of the eighteenth century, and in more ways than one the herald and champion of its special achievements in literature. Jonathan Swift,1 its author, one of the very greatest names in English literature, was, like his connections Dryden and Herrick, a plant of no very early development. He had been born as far back as 1667, and his earlier literary productions had been confined to wretched Pindaric odes, some of them contributed to Dunton’s own papers, and drawing down upon him that traditional and variously quoted sentence of his great relative, "Cousin Swift, you will never be a [Pindaric] poet," which is said to have occasioned certain ill-natured retorts on Dryden later. Swift’s origin, like his character and genius, was purely English, but an accident caused him to be born in Dublin, and other accidents brought about his education in Ireland. His father died before his birth, and his mother was very poor: but his paternal uncle paid for his education at Kilkenny Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin. He entered Trinity very early, in 1682, and seems to have been neither happy nor successful there, though there may have been less disgrace than has sometimes been thought in his graduation speciali gratia, and not by the ordinary way of right, in 1686.

His life.

He was still under twenty, and for some years found no better connection than a secretaryship in the house of his distant connection, Sir William Temple. In 1694 he went to Ireland, was ordained, and received a small living, but in two years returned to Temple, in whose house he met "Stella," Esther Johnson, his lifelong friend and, as seems most probable, latterly his wife. Temple died in 1699, leaving Swift a small legacy and his literary executorship. He once more returned to Ireland, acted as secretary to Lord-Deputy Berkeley, received some more small preferments, though not such as he wanted, and spent the first decade of the century at Laracor, his chief benefice, and London, where he was a sort of agent for the Archbishop of Dublin. He had all this time been a kind of Whig in politics, but with a strong dislike to Whig anti-clericalism and some other differences; and about 1710 he joined the new Tory party under Harley and St. John, and carried on vigorous war against the Whigs in The Examiner, though he did not break personal friendship with Addison and others. His inestimable services during the four last years of Queen Anne were rewarded only with the Deanery of Dublin—it is said owing to the Queen’s pious horror of the Tale of a Tub. Swift lived chiefly in Dublin, but with occasional visits to his friends in England, for more than thirty years longer, and the events of his life, the contests of "Vanessa" and "Stella" for his hand, or at least his heart, his interference with Irish politics, his bodily sufferings, and the end which, after five terrible years of madness, painful or lethargic, came in October 1745, are always interesting and sometimes mysterious. But we cannot dwell on them here, though they have more to do with his actual literary characteristics than is often the case. His dependency in youth, his long sojourn in lettered leisure, though in bitterness of spirit, with a household the master of which was a dilettante but a distinctly remarkable man of letters, his suppressed but evidently ardent affections, his disappointment when at last he reached fame and the chance of power, and his long residence, with failing health, in a country which he hated—all these things must be taken into account, though cautiously, in considering his work.

 
Swift bustHis verse 

This [His work] is of very great bulk, and in parts of rather uncertain genuineness, for Swift was strangely carele
ss of literary reputation, published for the most part anonymously, and, intense as is his idiosyncrasy, contrived to impress it on one or two of his intimate friends, notably on Arbuthnot. It consists of both verse and prose, but the former is rarely poetry and is at its best in easy vers de société, such as Cadenus and Vanessa (the record of his passion or fancy for Esther Vanhomrigh), "Vanbrugh’s House," the pieces to Harley and others, and above all, the lines on his own death; or else in sheer burlesque or grotesque, where he has seldom been equalled, as in the famous "Mrs. Harris’s Petition," and a hundred trifles, long and short, of the same general kind. Poetry, in the strict and rare sense, Swift seldom or never touches; his chief example of it—an example not absolutely authenticated, seeing that we only possess it as quoted by Lord Chesterfield—is a magnificent fragment about the Last Judgment. Here, and perhaps only here in verse, his characteristic indignation rises to poetic heat. Elsewhere he is infinitely ingenious and humorous in fanciful whim, and, sometimes at least, infinitely happy in expression of it, the pains which, do doubt partly owing to Temple’s influence and example, he spent upon correct prose-writing being here extended and reflected in verse. For Swift, although not pedantically, or in the sense of manuals of composition, a correct writer, is so in the higher and better sense to a very unusual degree; and we know that he was better sense to a very unusual degree; and we know that he was so deliberately. Several passages, especially one in the Tatler,2 express his views on the point, and his dislike at once of the other luxuriance which it was impossible for a man of his time to relish, and of the inroad of slovenly colloquialism which we have noticed in the last chapter.


His prose

Yet if Swift had been, like his patron, and perhaps in some sort exemplar, Temple, nothing more, or little more, than a master of form in prose, his prosition in literature would be very different from that which he actually holds. His first published prose piece, the Dissenssions of Athens and Rome (an application, according to the way of the times, to contempoarary politics), contains, except in point of style, nothing very noticeable. But the anonymous volume of 1704 is compact of very different stuff. The Battle of the Books, a contribution to the "Ancient and Modern" debate on Temple’s side and in Temple’s honour, is not supreme, though very clever, admirably written and arranged, and such as no Englishman recently living, save Butler and Dryden, could have written, while Butler would have done it with more clumsiness of form, and Dryden with less lightness of fancy. The Tale of a Tub has supremacy. It may be peremptorily asserted that irreligion is neither intended nor involved in it. For nearly two centuries the ferocious controversies, first between Rome and Protestantism, then between different bodies of Protestants, had entirely blinded men to the extreme danger that the rough handling which they bestowed upon their enemies would recoil on the religion which underlay those enemies’ beliefs as well as their own. Adn this, as well as the other danger of the excessive condemnation of "enthusiasm," was not seen till long after Swift’s death. But the satire on Peter (Rome), Jack (Calvinism, or rather the extremer Protestant sects generally), and Martin (Lutheranism and Anglicanism) displays an all-pervading irony of thought, and a felicity of expressing that irony, which had never been seen in English prose before. The irony, it must be added, goes, as far as things human are concerned, very deep and very wide, and its zigzag glances at politics, philosophy, manners, the hopes and desires and pursuits and pleasures and pains of man, leave very little unscathed. There is a famous and not necessarily false story that Swift, in his sad latter days, once exclaimed, in reference to the Tale, "What a genius I had when I wrote that book!" The exclamation, if made, was amply justified. The Tale of a Tub is one of the very greatest books of the world, one of those in which a great drift of universal thought receives consummate literary form.

The decade of his Whiggery (or, as it has been more accurately described, of his neutral state with Whig leanings) saw no great bulk of work, but some exquisite examples of this same irony in a lighter kind. This was the time of the charming Argument against Abolishing Christianity (1708) and of Swift’s contributions to the Tatler, which periodical indeed owed him a great deal more than the mere borrowing of the nom de guerre—Isaac Bickerstaffe—which he had used in a seris of ingenious persecutions of the almanack-maker, Partridge. The shorter period of Tory domination was very much more prolific in bulk of work, but except in the wonderful Journal to Stella (1710-13), which was never intended for any eye but hers (and the faithful "Dingley’s"), the literary interest is a littel inferior. The Examiners are of extraordinary force and vigour; the Remarks on the Barrier Treaty (1712), the Public Spirit of the Whigs (1714), and above all the Conduct of the Allies (1711), which Johnson so strangely decried, are masterly specimens of the political pamphlet. The largest work of this time, the History of the Four Last Years of Queen Anne, is sometimes regarded as doubtfully genuine, though there is no conclusive reason for ruling it out.

His very greatest prose work, however, dates from the last thirty years of his life, and especially from the third, fourth and firth lustres of this time, for the last was darkened by his final agony, and in the first decade he was too marked a man to venture on writing what might have brought upon him the exile of Atterbury or the prison of Harley and Prior. He began at once, however, a curious kind of Irish patriotism, which was in fact nothing but an English Fronde. In 1724 some jobbery about a new copper coinage in Ireland gave him a subject, and he availed himself of this in the Drapier’s Letters with almost miraculous skill; while two years later came the greatest of all his books, greater for method, range, and quiet mastery than even the Tale, that is to say Gulliver’s Travels. The short but consummate Modest Proposal for eating Irish children, the pair to the Argument against Abolishing Christianity, as a short example of the Swiftian irony, came in 1729; and the chief of his important works later were the delightful Polite Conversation (1738), probably written or at least begun much earlier, in which the ways and speeches of ordinary good society are reproduced with infinite humour and spirit, and the Directions to Servants, almost as witty, but more marked with Swift’s ugliest fault, a coarseness of idea and language, which seems rather the result of positive and individual disease than the survival of Restoration license.

His quality and achievement

There is no doubt that on the whole Swift’s peculiar powers, temper, and style are shown in his one generally known book as well as anywhere else. The absence of the fresher, more whimsical, and perhaps even deeper, irony and pessimism of the Tale of a Tub, and the loss of self-control indicated in the savage misanthropy of the Hoyhnhnms finale, are compensated by a more methodical and intelligible scheme, by the charm of narrative, by range and variety of subject, and by the abundance of little lively touches which that narrative suggests and facilitates. The mere question of the originality of the scheme is, as usual, one of the very slightest importance. Swift had predecessors, if he had not patterns, in Lucian and in scores of other writers down to and beyond Cyrano de Bergerac. The idea, indeed, of combining the interest and novelty of foreign travel with an obvious satire on "travellers’ tales," and a somewhat less obvious one on the follies, vices, and contrasted foibles of mankind, is not beyond tthe range of an extremely moderate intellect, and could never be regarded as the property or copyright even of the greatest. It is the astonishing vigour and variety of Swift’s dealing with this public stuff that craves notice: and twenty times the space here available would be too little to do justice to that. The versatility with which the picture—it can hardly even at its worst be called the caricature—of mankind is adjusted to the different meridians of the little people the giants, the pedants, the unhappy inmortals, and the horses—the dexterous relief of the satirists’ lash with the mere tickling of the humourist—the wonderful prodigality of power and the more wonderful economy of words and mere decorations—all these things deserve the most careful study, and the most careful study will not in the least intefere with, but will only enhance, the perpetual enjoyment of them.

It only remains to point out very briefly the suitableness of the style to the work. Swift’s style is extremely unadorned, though the unfailing spirit of irony prevents it from being, exept to the most poor and unhappy tastes, in the very least degree flat. Though not free from grammatical licenses, it is on the whole corret enough, and is perfectly straightforward and clear. There may be a very different meaning lurking by way of innuendo behind Swift’s literal and grammatical sense, but that sense itself can never be mistaken. Further, he has—unless he deliberately assumes them as the costumes of a part he is playing—absolutely no distinguishing tricks or manners, no catchwords, and in especial no unusual phrases or vocables either imitated or invented. In objecting to neologisms, as he did very strongly, he was perhaps critically in the wrong; for a language which ceases to grow dies. But, like some, though by no means all, similar objectors, he has justified his theory by his practice. In fact, if intellectual genius and literary art be taken together, no prose-writer, who is a prose-writer mainly, is Swift’s superior, and a man might be hard put to it to say who among such writers in the plainer English can be pronounced his equal.

The Essayists

It has been sid that it is hard to settle the credit of the invention of the Queen Anne Essay, in which the characteristic of the later Augustan period was chiefly shown. For years before it appeared, the essay-writers, from Bacon to Temple on the one hand, and the journalists, of whom the most remarkable were mentioned at the close of the last chapter, on the other, had been bearing down nearr and nearer to this particular point. The actual starting is usually assigned to the Review of a greater than any of these journalists, Daniel Defoe, who will, however, find a more suitable place later in this chapter. And it is noteworthy that Swift, whose fertility in ideas was no less remarkable than the nonchalance with which he abandoned them or sugggested them to his friends, was most intimate with Steele and Addison just at the time of the appearance of the Tatler, lent it a nom de guerre, wrote for it, and may in different metaphors be said to have given it inspiration, atmosphere, motive power, launch. But it was undoubtedly set agoing under the management of another person, Steele, and he need not be deprived of the honour.

Richard Steele was born in Dublin in March 1672, but he had little to do with Ireland afterwards. His school was the Charterhouse, and from it he went to Merton College at Oxford, where he was postmaster. But though he made some stay at the University he took no degree, and left it for the army, beginning as a cadet or gentlemen volunteer in the second Life Guards, whence he passed as an ensign to the Coldstreams and as a captain to Lucas’s foot. He became Gazetteer in 1707, and a little later engaged, with more zeal than discretion, in Whig politics, being expelled from the House of Commons in the turbulent last years of Anne. The success of the Hanoverians restored him to fortune, or the chance of it, and he was knighted and made patentee of Drury Lane. But he was always a spendthrift and a speculator, and in his later years he had to retire to an estate which his second wife (an heiress in Wales as the first had been in the West Indies) had brougth him near Caermarthen. He died there in 1729. His letters and even his regular works tell us a great deal about his personality, which, especially as contrasted with that of Addison, has occasioned much writing.

Steele’s desertion of the University for the army might not seem to argue a devotion to the Muses. But he began3 while still a soldier by a book of devotion, The Christian Hero (1701), and it was not in him, whatever it might have been in another, at all inconsistent to turn to play-writing, in which occupation he observed, though not excessively, the warnings of Jeremy Collier. The Tatler (1709) opened his true vein, and in it, in the Spectator, in the Guardian, in the Englishman, Lover, and other periodicals, he displayed a faculty for miscellany more engaging, though much less accomplished, than Addison’s own. In the political articles of this series, and still more in his political pamphlets, he is at his worst, for he had no argumentative faculty, and was utterly at the mercy of such an opponent as Swift. The Conscious Lovers, his most famous play, was late (1722) and is distinguished, amid the poor plays between Farquhar and Sheriden, for its mixture of briskness and amiability. There was a third ingredient, sentimentality, which is indeed sufficiently prominent in Steele’s earlier comedies, The Funeral (1701), The Lying Lover (1703), and The Tender Husband (1705), and by no means absent from his essays. But, with a little allowance, it adds to these latter a charm which, though it may be less perceptible to later generations than it was to those who had sickened at the ineffable brutality of the time immediately preceding, can still be felt.

His plays

Of the plays, though all endeavor to carry out Collier’s principles, The Conscious Lovers is the only one which deserves Fielding’s raillery, through Parson Adams, as to its being "as good as a sermon," which Hazlitt has rather unfairly extended to all. Even The Conscious Lovers contains, in the scenes between Tom and Phyllis, pictures of flirtation belowstaires shich, with all Steele’s tenderness and good feeling, have nearly as much vivacity as any between the most brazen varlets and baggages of the Restoration dramatists. The Lying Lover, an adaptation of Le Menteur, is of no great merit, perhaps because it also has a slight tendency to sermonising. But The Funeral, though very unnatural in plot and decidedly unequal in character, contains a famous passage of farcical comedy between an undertaker and his mates, and a good though rascally lawyer. The most uniformly amusing of the four is The Tender Husband, though the appropriateness of the title is open to question. The pair of innocents, the romantic heiress Biddy Tipkin and the clumsy heir Humphry Gubbin, are really diverting, and in the first case to no small extent original; while they have furnished hints to no less successors than Fielding, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Miss Austen. The lawyer and the gallant are also distinctly good, and the aunt has again furnished hints for Mrs. Malaprop, as Biddy has for Lydia. Steele, who always confessed, and probably as a rule exaggerated, his debts to Addison, acknowledges them here; and there is a certain Addisonian tone about some of the humours, though Steele was quite able to have supplied them. Fond as he was of the theatre, however, and familiar with it, he had little notion of constructing a play, and his morals constantly tripped up his art. The essay, not the drama, was his real field.

The almost inextricable entanglement of the work of Steele with Addison’s, and the close connection of the two in life, have always occasioned a set of comparison, not to the advantage of one, now to that of the other, in literary history; and there is probably more loss than gain in the endeavour to separate them sternly. We may therefore best give Addison’s life, and such short sketch of his books as is possible now, and then consider together the work, still in parts not very clearly attributable to one more than to the other, which gives them, and must always give them, an exalted place in English literature.

Addison’s life

Joseph Addison4 was born, like Steele, in 1672, but in May instead of March. His father, Lancelot Addison, was a divine of parts and position, who became Dean of Lichfield. His mother’s name was Jane Gulston. After experience of some country schools, at one of which he is said to have shared in a "barring-out," he, like Steele, went to the Charterhouse and then to Oxford, where he was first at Queen’s then at Magdalen, holding a demyship, taking his Master’s degree in 1693, and being elected to a Fellowship in 1697, at the latter college, where "Addison’s Walk" preserves his name. He made early acquaintance with Dryden, but adopted Whig politics; and, by the influence of Montague, obtained in 1699 a travelling pension of £300 a year. He discharged the obligation loyally, remaining four years abroad, visiting most parts of the Continent, and preparing, if not finishing, his only prose works of bulk, the Remarks on Italy (1704) and the Dialogues on Medals, not published till later. But when he came back in 1703, Halifax was out of favour, his pension was stopped, and, having broken off his University career by his failure to take orders, he was for some time in doubtful prospects. But his poem of The Campaign, in which he celebrated Blenheim (1704), with one fine passage and a good deal of platitude, gained high reputation in the dearth of poetical accomplishment, and the short summer of favour for men of letters, which followed Dryden’s death; and he was made a Commissioner of Excise.

This was the first of a long series of appointments, official and diplomatic, which was not, thanks to Swift, entirely interrupted even during the Tory triumph, and which enabled Addison, who had been in 1703 nearly penniless, to lay out, in 1711,
£10,000 on an estate in Warwickshire. It culminated in 1717, after the Hanoverian triumph, by his being appointed Secretary of State, which office he held but a short time, resigning it for a large pension. He had a year before married the Countess Dowager of Warwick, and he died of dropsy at Holland House in 1719, aged only forty-seven. His character has been discussed, not with acrimony, for no one can dislike Addison, but with some heat. He had none of the numerous foibles of which Steele was guilty, except a rather too great devotion to wine. But the famous and magnificent "Character of Atticus," by Pope, is generally supposed by all but partisans to be at best a poisoned dart, which hit true. His correct morality —the Bohemian philosopher Mandeville called him "a parson in a tie-wig"—has been set down to cold-bloodedness, and there has even been noticeable dissension about the relative amount of literary genius in him and in Steele.

His miscellaneous work

As noticed already, Addison’s literary work outside periodicals is by no means small. His early Latin poems are very clever, and very happy in their artificial way. Of his English verse nothing has survived, except his really beautiful hymns, where the combination of sincere religious feelings (of the sincerity of Addison’s religion there is absolutely no doubt, though it was of a kind now out of fashion) and of critical restraint produced things of real, though modest and quiet, excellence. "The Lord my pasture shall prepare," "The spacious firmament on high," and "How are thy servants blest! O Lord," may lack the mystical inspiration of the greatest hymns, but their cheerful piety, their graceful use of images, which, though common, are never mean, their finish and even, for the time, their fervour make them singularly pleasant. The man who wrote them may have had foibles and shortcomings, but he can have had no very grave faults, as the authors of more hysterical and glowing compositions easily might.

The two principal prose works are little read now, but they are worth reading. They show respectable learning (with limitations admitted by such a well-qualified and well-affected critic as Macaulay), they are excellent examples (though not so excellent as the Essays) of Addison’s justly famous prose, and they exhibit, in the opening of the Medals and in all the descriptive passages of the Italy, the curious insensibility of the time to natural beauty, or else its almost more curious inability to express what it felt, save in the merest generalities and commonplaces.

The three plays at least indicate Addison’s possession, though in a much less degree, of his master Dryden’s general faculty of literary craftsmanship. The opera of Rosamond is, indeed, clearly modelled on Dryden in its serious parts, but is no great success there. The lighter and more whimsical quality of Addison’s humour enabled him to do better in the farcical passages, which, especially in the speeches of Sir Trusty, sometimes have a singularly modern and almost Gilbertian quality to them. The comedy of The Drummer, where a Wiltshire tradition is used to make a play on a theme not entirely different from Steele’s Funeral (in each a husband is thought to be dead when he is not), contains, like Steele’s own pieces, some smart "words," but no very good dramatic situation or handling. It is, also like Steele’s, an attempt to write Restoration drama in the fear of Jeremy Collier. Cato, the most famous, is at this time of day by far the least interesting. Its universally known stock-pieces give almost all that it has of merit in versification and style; as a drama it has an uninteresting plot, wooden characters, and a great absence of life and idiosyncrasy.

His and Steele’s Essays

It is very different when we turn to the Essays. The so-called Essay which Steele launched in the Tatler, which was taken up and perfected in the Spectator, which had numerous immediate followers, and a succession of the greatest importance at intervals throughout the century, and which at once expressed and influenced the tone and thought of that century after a fashion rarely paralleled, was not originally started in quite the form which it soon assumed, and never, for the greater part of a hundred years, wholly lost. Naturally enough, Steele at first endeavoured to make it a newspaper, as well as a miscellany and review. But by degrees, and before very long, news was dropped, and comment, in the form of special essays, of "letters to the editor," sometimes real, oftener manufactured, of tales and articles of all the various kinds which have subsisted with no such great change till the present day, reigned alone. As Addison’s hand prevailed—though literature, religion, and even politics now and then, the theatre very often, and other things were not neglected—the main feature of the two papers, and especially of the Spectator, became a kind of light but distinctlyfirm censorship of manners, especially the part of them nearest to morals, and of morals, especially the part of them nearest to manners. Steele, always zealous and always generous, but a little wanting in criticism, not infrequently diverged into sentimentality. Addison’s
tendency, though he, too, was unflinchingly on virtue’s side, was rather towards a very mellow and not unindulgent but still quite distinctly cynical cynicism—a smile too demure ever to be a grin, but sometimes, except on religious subjects, faintly and distantly approaching a sneer. This appears even in the most elaborate and kindly of the imaginative creations of the double series, Sir Roger de Coverley, whom Steele indeed seems to have invented, but whom Addison adopted, perfected, and (some, perhaps without reason, say) even killed out of kindness, lest a less delicate touch should take the bloom out of him. This great creation, which comes nearer than anything out of prose fiction or drama to the masterpieces of the novelists and dramatists, is accompanied by others hardly less masterly; while Addison is constantly, and Steele not seldom, has sketches or touches as perfect in their way, though less elaborate. It is scarcely too much to say that these papers, and especially the Spectator, taught the eighteenth century ho it should, and especially how it should not, behave in public places, from churches to theatres; what books it should like, and how it should like them; how it should treat its lovers, mistresses, husbands, wives, parents, and friends; that it might politely sneer at operas, and must not take any art except literature too seriously; that a moderate and refined devotion to the Protestant religion and the Hanoverian succession was the duty, though not the whole duty, of a gentleman.It is still a little astonishing to find with what docility the century obeyed and learnt its lesson. Addison died a little before, Steele not much after, its first quarter closed; et in the lighter work of sixty or seventy years later we shall find, with the slightest differences of external fashion, the laws of the Spectator held still by "the town" with hardly a murmur, by the country without the slightest hesitation. In particular, those papers taught the century how to write; and the lesson was accepted on this point with almost more unhesitating obedience than on any other. The magnificent eulogy of Johnson, who had himself deviated not a little, though perhaps unconsciously, from Addisonian practice, would have been disputed by hardly any one who reached manhood in England between the Peace of Utrecht and the French Revolution; and, abating its exclusiveness a little, it remains true still.

Steele, though he has some rarer flights than his friend, is much less correct, and much less polished; while, though he had started with equal chances, his rambling life had stored him with far less learning than Addison possessed. The latter, while he never reached the massive strength and fiery force of Swift, did even more than Swift himself to lift English prose out of the rut, or rather quagmire, of colloquialism and slovenliness in which, as we have seen, it was sinking. He could even though he rarely did, rise to a certain solemnity—caught, it may be, from Temple, who must have had much influence on him. But, like Temple’s, though with a more modern, as well as a more varied and completely polished, touch, his style was chiefly devoted to the "middle" subjects and manners. He very rarely attempts sheer whimsical fooling. But he can treat all the subjects that come within the purview and interests of a well-bred man of this world, who by no means forgets the next, in a style quite inimitable in its golden mediocrity—well-informed, without being in the least pedantic; moral, without direct preaching (unless he gives forewarning); slightly superior, but with no provoking condescensioin in it; polite, without being frivolous or finicking; neat, but not overdressed; easy, but, as Johnson justly states, never familiar in any offensive degree. It is easier to feel enthusiasm about Steele, who had so much, than about Addison, who at any rate shows so little; and on the character, the genius, the originality, of the two there may always be room for dispute. But it seems incredible that any one should deny to Addison the credit of being by far the greater artist, and of having brought his own rather special, rather limited, but peculiar and admirable division of art to a perfection seldom elsewhere attained in letters. These three greatest writers were surrounded by others hardly less than great. Arbuthnot, Atterbury, Bentley, Bolingbroke, Mandeville, the younger Shaftesbury, Berkeley, Butler, Middleton, were all either actual contributors to the great periodical series, or intimately connected with those who wrote these, or (which is of equal importance to us) at any rate exponents of the extremely plain prose style, which required the exquisite concinnity of Addison, the volcanic and Titanic force and fire of Swift, or the more than Attic stateliness and grace of Berkeley, to sabe it from being too plain. The order in which they are to be mentioned is unimportant, and few can have more than very brief space, but none must pass unnoticed.

Bentley

Richard Bentley, a very great classical scholar, and no mean writer of English, was a Yorkshire man, born in 1662, and educated at Wakefield. He went early to St. John’s College, Cambridge, was taken as a private tutor into the household of Stillingfleet, took orders not very early, was made King’s Librarian in 1694, engaged, and was completely victorious, in the Ancient and Modern Controversy, especially in reference to the Epistles of Phalaris; was made Master of Trinity in 1699, and passed nearly the whole of his more than forty years of mastership, till his death in 1742, in a desperate struggle with his college, wherein, if his adversaries were unscrupulous, he was no less so, while the right was on the whole rather against him, though his bull-dog tenacity has won most commentators on the matter to his side. There is at any rate no doubt of his learning, his logical power, and his very real, though gruff and horseplayful, humour. To merely English literature he stands6 in two very different relations. His almost incredibly absurd emendations on Milton would, if the thing were not totally alien from the spirit of the man, seem like a designed parody on classical scholarship itself. But his writing, especially in the famous Phalaris dissertation, and in the remarks of the Deist Collins, is extraordinarily vigorous and vivid. His birth-date, probably even more than a design to avoid the reproach of pedantry, made him colloquial, homely, and familiar down to the very level from which Swift and Addison tried to lift, and to a great extent succeeded in lifting prose; but his native force and his wide learning save him, though sometimes with difficulty, from the merely vulgar.

Middleton

Conyers Middleton, Bentley’s most deadly enemy, was, like Bentley, a Yorkshireman, but was much younger, having been born at Richmond in 1683. He went to Trinity young, and was not only a Fellow thereof, but connected throughout his life with Cambridge, by his tenure of the offices of University Librarian from 1722 onwards, and Woodwardian Professor of Geology for a time. He was a man of property, was thrice married, and held several livings till his death in 1750, though his orthodoxy was, in his own times and afterwards, seriously impugned.

This does not concern us here, though it may be observed that Middleton may be cleared from anything but a rather advanced stage of the latitudinarianism and dislike of "enthusiasm" which was generally felt by the men of his time, and which invited—indeed necessitated—the Evangelical and Methodist revolt. So, too, we need not busy ourselves much with the question whether he directly plagiarised, or only rather breely borrowed from the Scotch Latinist, Bellenden, in his longest and most famous prose work, the Life of Cicero (1741). Besides this, he wrote two controversial works of length—ostensibly directed against Popery, certainly against extreme supernaturalism, and, as his enemies will have it, covertly against Christianity—entitled A Letter from Rome, showing an exact Conformity between Popery and Paganism (1729), and A Free Inquiry into the Miraculous Powers which are supposed to have existed in the Christian Church (1748); with a large number of small pamphlets on a variety of subjects, in treating which he showed wide culture and intelligence. His place here, however, is that of the most distinguished representative of the absolutely plain style—not colloquial and vernacular like Bentley’s, but on the other hand attempting none of the graces which Addison and Berkeley in their different ways achieved—a style more like the plainer Latin or French styles than like anything else in English.

Arbuthnot

John Arbuthnot,8 the "moon" of Swift, born 1667, came of the noble family of that name in Kincardineshire, but went to Oxford, and spent all the latter part of his life in London, where he was physician to Queen Anne, a strong Tory, and an intimate friend of Swift and Pope. He died in 1735, much respected and beloved. Arbuthnot’s literary fate, or rather the position which he deliberately chose, was peculiar. It is very difficult to identify much of his work, and what seems certainly his (especially the famous History of John Bull and The Memoirs of Scriblerus) is exceedingly like Swift, and was pretty certainly produced in concert with that strange genius, who, unlike some animals, never took colour from his surroundings, but always gave them his own. It is, however, high enough praise that Arbuthnot, at the best of his variable work, is not inferior to anything but the very best of Swift. There is the same fertility and the same unerringness of irony; and, if we can distinguish, it is only that a half or wholly good-natured amusement takes the place of Swift’s indignation.

Atterbury

Francis Atterbury,9 born in Buckinghamshire in 1672, a distinguished Christ Church man, who, after being head of his house, obtained the bishopric of Rochester and the Deanery of Westminster in succession to Sprat, was the divine and scholar of the extreme Tory party, as Arbuthnot was their man of science. He has been accused not merely of conspiring after the Hanoverian succession, but of denying it, and sailing too near perjury in this denial. Of this there is no sufficient proof, and we must remember that the political ethics of the age were extremely accomodating. He was at any rate attained, and banished (in 1723) to France, where he died nine years later. A brilliant and popular preacher, a pleasant letter-writer, a most dangerous controversialist and debater, and a good critic (though he made the usual mistakes of his age about poetry before Waller), Atterbury wrote in a style not very unlike Addison’s, though inferior to it.

Bolingbroke

The huge contemporary fame of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke,10 and its rapid and lasting decline after his death, are among the commonplaces of literary history. He was born in 1678, passed through Eton and Christ Church, entered Parliament very early, was Secretary for War at six-and-twenty, climbed with Harley to power, and contrived to edge his companion "out," but remained "in" himself only a few days, fled to the Continent, returned to England and recovered his estates, but not his seat in Parliament, in 1723, organised and carried out the English Fronde  against Walpole, and died in 1751. His career—for he was as famous for "wildness" as for success—was one of those which specially appeal to the vulgar, and are not uninteresting even to unvulgar tastes. He was beyond question one of the greatest orators of his day, and he was extravagantly praised by his friends, who happened to include the chief poet and the greatest prose writer of the time. Yet hardly any one who for generations has opened the not few volumes of his works has closed them without more or less than profound disappointment. Bolinbroke, more than any other English writer, is a rhetorician pure and simple; and it was his misfortune, first, that the subjects of his rhetoric were not the great and perennial subjects, but puny ephemeral forms of them—the partisan and personal politics of his day, the singularly shallow form of infidelity called Deism, and the like—and, secondly, that his time deprived him of many, if not most, of the rhetorician’s most telling weapons. The Letter to Windham (1716), a sort of apologia, and the Ideal of a Patriot King (1749) exhibit him at his best.

Butler and Other Divines

Benjamin Hoadly (1676-1761), a pluralist courtier, and more than doubtfully orthodox divine on the Whig side, held four sees in succession, in one at least of which he was the cause of much literature, or at least many books, by provoking the famous "Bangorian" controversy. He himself wroter clearly and well. Nor can the same praise be denied to Samuel Clarke (1675-1729) philosopher, physicist, and divine. There is more diversity of opinion about the purely literary merites, as distinguished from the unquestioned claims in religious philosophy, of Bishop Joseph Butler, who was born at Wantage in 1692, left Nonconformity for the Church, went to Oriel, became preacher at the Rolls Chapel, Rector of Stanhope, Bishop of Bristol, Dean of St. Paul’s, and, lastly, Bishop of Durham, owing these appointments to no cringing or intrigue, but to his own great learning, piety, wisdom, and churchmanship, fortunately backed by Queen Caroline’s fancy for philosophy. Butler’s Sermons, published in 1726, and his Analogy of Natural and Revealed Religion ten years later, occasionally contain aphorisms of beauty equal to their depth; but it is too much to claim "crispness and clearness" for his general style,11 which is, on the contrary, too often obscure and tough.

Shaftesbury

Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, the third of his names and title, the grandson of "Achitophel," and the son of the "shapeless lump" (a phrase for which he never forgave Dryden), was born in 1671. His mother was Lady Dorothy Manners. He was brought up partly by a learned lady, and partly by Locke. He was for three years at Winchester, went to no University , and travelled a good deal abroad. He sat for a short time in the House of Commons, but made no figure there or in the House of Lords, where, during nearly the whole time of his tenure of the earldom (1699-1713), politics, whether Whig or Tory, were of too rough a cast for his dilettantism. He died, after more foreign travel, in 1713. His writings, scattered and not extensive, had been collected two years before as Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times.12 Shaftesbury was an original and almost powerful thinker and writer, spoilt by an irregular education, a sort of morbid aversion from English thought generally, an early attack of Deism, and a strong touch of affectation. Much harm has been done to him by Lamb’s description of his style as "genteel," a word in Lamb’s time and later not connoting the snobbishness which has for half a century been associated with it. "Superfine," the usual epithet, is truer; though Dr. George Cambpell, an excellent critic, was somewhat too severe13 on Shaftesbury’s Gallicisms, and his imprudent and rather amateurish engagement in the Deist controversy of the time caused him to be broken a little too ruthlessly on the wheel, adamantine in polish as in strength, of Berkeley in Alciphron. His central doctrine, that ridicule is the test of truth, as well as his style, are in reality caricatures of Addison, though the dates preclude any notion of plagiarism. He is full of suggestion, and might have been a great thinker and writer.


Mandeville

Shaftesbury’s superfineness and his optimism seem to have had at least a considerable share in provoking the cynical pessimism of another remarkable thinker of this time, Bernard Mandeville, or de Mandeville,14 a Dutchman, born at Dordrecht about 1670, who came early to London, attained a singular mastery in English, practised physic, and died in 1733. There is some mystery, and probably some mystification, about the origin of The Grumbling Hive, better known by its later title of The Fable of the Bees. No edition earlier than 1705 is known, but Mandeville claimed a much earlier date for it. About nine years later a reprint, in 1714, drew attention, and after yet another nine years another was "presented" by the Grand Jury of Middlesex, and fiercely denounced by men of such importance as law and Berkeley. The book, which was constantly enlarged, is in its final form a cluster of prose tractates, with a verse nucleus (the original piece) showing how vice made some bees happy, and virtue made them miserable. A good deal of other work, some certainly and some probably spurious, is attributed to Mandeville, who is the Diogenes of English philosophy. An exceedingly charitable judgment may impute to deliberate paradox, and to irritation at Shaftesbury’s airy gentility, his doctrine that private vices are public benefits; but the gusto with which he caricatures and debases everything pure and noble and of good report is, unluckily, too genuine. He thought, however, with great force and acuteness, despite his moral twist; he had a strong, fertile, and whimsical humour; and his style, plebeian as it is, may challenge comparison with the most famous literary vernaculars in English for racy individuality.

Berkeley

If, however, Shaftesbury has rather too much of the peacock, and Mandeville a great deal too much of the polecat, about him, no depreciatory animal comparison need be sought or feared for George Berkeley, the best-praised man of his time, and among the most deserving of praise. He was born in 1685 near Kilkenny, and was educated first, like swift and Congreve earlier, at its famous grammar school, and then at Trinity College, Dublin, where he made a long residence, and wrote his chief purely philosophical works. In 1713 he went to London , and was introduced to the wits by Swift, after which he travelled on the Continent for several years. He was made Dean of Derry in 1724, went with missionary schemes, which were defeated, to North America, but returned, in 1731, and published the admirable dialogues of Alciphron. He was made Bishop of Cloyne in 1714, and for eighteen years resided in his diocese. A few months before his death, in 1753, he had gone, in bad health, to Oxford, and he died there.

Berkeley’s principal works,15 or groups of works, are first—The Theory of Vision (1709), The Principles of Human Knowledge (1710), and the Dialogues of Hylas [Materialist] and Philonous [partisan of mind], in which, continuing the Lockian process of argument against innate ideas, he practically re-established them by a further process of destruction, and brought down on himself a great deal of very ignorant attack or banter for his supposed denial of matter. The above-mentioned Alciphron; or, the Minute Philosopher, is a series of dialogues, in which the popular infidelity of the day, whether optimist like Shaftesbury’s, pessimistical like Mandeville’s, or one-sidedly critical like that of the Deists  proper, is attacked in a fashion which those who sympathise with the victims accuse of occasional unfairness, but which has extraordinay cogency as polemic, and extraordinary brilliance as literature. His last important work was Siris, and odd miscellany, advocating tar-water for the body, and administering much excellent mysticism to the soul; but he wrote some minor things, and a good many letters, diaries, etc., which were not fully published till the later years of the present century [19th].

Excellence of his style

Unusually good as a man, and unusually great as a philosopher, Berkeley would have stood in the first rank as a mere writer had his character been bad or unknown, and the matter of his writings unimportant. The charm of his style is at once so subtle and so pervading that it is extremely difficult to separate and define it. He has no mannerisms; although he is a most accomplished ironist, he does not depend upon irony for the seasoning of his style, as, in different ways, do Addison and Swift; he can give the plainest and most unadorned exposition of an abstruse, philosophical doctrine with perfect literary grace. And (as, for instance, in Lysicles’ version of Mandeville’s vices-and-benefits argument) he can saturate a long passage with satiric innuendo, never once breaking out into direct tirade or direct burlesque. He can illustrate admirably, but he is never the dupe of his illustrations. He is clearer even than Hobbes and infinitely more elegant, while his dialect and arrangement, though originally arrived at for argumentative purposes, or at least in argumentative works, are equally suited for narrative, for dialogue, for description, for almost every literary end. Were it not for the intangibleness, and therefore the inimitableness, of his style, he would be an even better general model than Addison; and, as it is, he is unquestionably the best model in English, if not in any language, for philsoophical,  and indeed for argumentative, writing generally.

Defoe

Daniel Defoe,16 the link between the great essayists of the earlier and the great novelists of the middle years of the eighteenth century—one of the most voluminous and problematical of English writers, as well as one of all but the greatest—a man, too, of very questionable life and character—could not be fully discussed in any compendious history of English literature. But luckily it is by no means necessary that he should be so discussed, the strictly literary lines of his work being broad and clear, and the problems both of it and of his life being such as may, without any loss, be left to the specialist. He was born, it would seem, in 1659 (not , as used to be though, 1661) in the heart of London, St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, where his father (whose name was certainly Foe) was a butcher. It is not known for what reason or cause Daniel, when more than fifty, assumed the "de," sometimes as separate particle, sometimes in composition. He was well educated, but instead of becoming a Nonconformist minister, took to trade, which at intervals and in various forms (stocking-selling, tile-making, etc.) he pursued with no great luck. He seems to have been a partaker in Monmouth’s rebellion, and was certainly a good deal abroad in the later years of the seventeenth century, but he early took to the vocation of pamphleteering, which, with journalism and novel-writing, gave his three great literary courses. The chief among the many results of this was the famous Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702), a statement of the views of the extreme "Highflying" or High Church party, in which some have seen irony, but which really is the exact analogue in argument of his future fictions, that is to say, an imitation of what he wanted to represent so close that it looks exactly like fact. He was prosecuted, fined, pilloried, and imprisoned, but in the growing Whig temper of the nation, the piece was undoubtedly very effective.

For the greater part of the reign of Queen Anne, and at first in prison, Defoe carried on, from 1704 to 1713, his famous Review, the prototype to some extent of the great later periodicals, but written entirely by himself. Before he had been long in prison he was liberated by Harley, of whose statesmanship, shifting in method, and strangely compounded of Toryism and Whiggery in principle, Defoe became a zealous secret agent. He had a great deal to do with negotiating the Union with Scotland. Nor did Harley’s fall put an end to his engagement in subterranean branches of the public service; for it has long been known that under the House of Hanover he discharged the delicate, or indelicate, part ofa Tory journalist, secretly paid by the Whig Government to tone down and take the sting out of Mist’s Journal and other opposition papers. He lived for a good many years longer, and did his best literary work in his latest period; but at the last he experienced some unexplained revolution of fortune, and died at Moorfields, in concealment and distress, in 1731.

Of Defoe’s, in the strictest sense, innumerable works the following catalogue of the most importan may serve:  —
Essay on Projects (1698), an instance of the restless tendency of the time towards commercial and social improvements, and of Defoe’s own fertility; The True-Born Englishman (1701), an argument in vigorous though most unpoetical verse to clear William from the disability of his foreign origin; the Hymn to the Pillory (1703), composed on the occasion of his exhibition in that implement, still more vigorous and a little less unpoetical; the curious political satire of the Consolidator (1705); the masterly Relation of Mrs. Veal, the first instance of his wonderful "lies like truth"; Jure Divino (1706), worse verse and also worse sense than The True-Born Englishman. But the best of these is poor compared with the great group of fiction of his later years — Robinson Crusoe (1719), Duncan Campbell, Memoirs of a Cavalier, and Captain Singleton (all produced in 1720), Moll Flanders, the History of the Plague, and Colonel Jack (all in 1722), Roxana (1724), and A New Voyage Round the World (1725). Besides these, he published in his later years, as he had in his earlier, a crowd of works, small and great, political, topographical, historical, moral, and miscellaneous.

It is not of much use to discuss Defoe’s moral character, and it is sincerely to be hoped that no more revelations concerning it will turn up, inasmuch as each is more damaging than the last, except to those, who have succeeded in taking his true measure once for all. It is that of a man who, with no high, fine, or poetical sentiment to save him, shared to the full the partisan enthusiasm of his time, and its belief that all was fair in politics. His literary idiosyncrasy is more comfortable to handle. He was a man of extraordinary industry and versatility, who took an interest, subject to the limitations of his temperament, in almost everything, whose brain was wonderfully fertile, and who had a style, if not of the finest or most exquisite, singularly well suited to the multifarious duties to which he put it. Also, he could give, as hardly even Bunyan had given before him, and as nobody has since, absolute verisimilitude to fictitious presentations. He seems to have done this mainly by a certain chameleon-like faculty of assuming the atmosphere and colour of his subject, and by a cunning profusion of exactly suited and selected detail. It is enough that in Robinson Crusoe he has produced, by help of this gift, a book which is, throughout its first two parts, one of the great books of the world in its particular kind; and that parts of Moll Flanders, Captain Singleton, and Colonel Jack, at least, are not inferior. Further, the "lift" which Defoe gave to the novel was enormous. He was still dependent on adventure; he did not advance mucho, if at all, beyond the more prosaic romantic scheme. But the extraordinary verisimilitude of his action could not but show the way to the last step that remained to be taken, the final projection of character.



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Miércoles, 16 de Noviembre de 2016 09:57. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Historicidad (Historicity)

Historicidad (Historicity)


La polémica e innovadora concepción de la historicidad presentada por Alain Touraine (en Un nuevo paradigma), así como las nociones de historicidad más tradicionales en tanto que comprensión de la situacionalidad histórica, analizadas por Ferrater Mora y otros autores, las comparamos y relacionamos con los conceptos de cartografía narrativa y de anclaje narrativo que hemos desarrollado en diversas publicaciones sobre narratología evolucionista. La definición de estos conceptos se refina mediante el examen de sus interfaces y delimitaciones, y más en concreto por referencia a la oposición entre modos de conocimiento nomotéticos e idiográficos, así como a la oposición entre clases de acontecimientos y acontecimientos individuales.

Historicidad 

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2687235

English Abstract:  

 Historicity

Alain Touraine's innovative and polemical concept of historicity (in A New Paradigm), as well as the more traditional notions of historicity as the understanding of historical situatedness analyzed by Ferrater Mora and other authors, are compared and related to the notions of narrative mapping and narrative anchoring I have developed in a number of papers in evolutionary narrative. The definition of these concepts is further refined as their interface and borders are examined, in particular with reference to the opposition between nomothetic and idiographic modes of knowledge, and to the opposition between classes of events and individual events.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 3
Keywords: Events, Eventfulness, Evolution, Narrative mapping, Narrative anchoring, Conceptual mapping, Historicity, Narrative theory



eJournal Classifications ( Date posted: November 08, 2015)
Cognitive Science Network Subject Matter eJournals
    
        
            
Philosophy Research Network Subject Matter eJournals
    
        
Philosphy Research Network Subject Matter eJournals
    
        













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Martes, 15 de Noviembre de 2016 06:37. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica




John Bunyan

John Bunyan


From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.

BUNYAN, John (1628-1688), born at Elstow, near Bedford, the son of a brazier. He learned to read and write at the village school and was early set to his father's trade. He was drafted into the parliamentary army and was stationed at Newport Pagnell, 1644-6, an experience perhaps reflected in The Holy War. In 1659 he married his first wife, who introduced him to two religious works, Dent's Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and Bayly's Practice of Piety; these, the Bible, the Prayer Book, and Foxe's *Actes and Monuments were his principal reading matter. In 1653 he joined a Non-conformist church in Bedford, preached there, and came into conflict with the Quakers (see under FRIENDS, SOCIETY OF), against whom he published his first writings, Some Gospel Truths Opened (1656) and A Vindication (1657). He married his second wife Elizabeth c. 1659, his first having died c. 1656 leaving four children. As an itinerant tinker who presented his Puritan mission as apostolic and placed the poor and simple above the mighty and learned, Bunyan was viewed by the Restoration authorities as a militant subversive. Arrested in Nov. 1660 for preaching without a licence, he was derided at his trial as 'a pestilent fellow', to which his wife riposted, 'Beacause he is a tinker, and a poor man, therefore he is despised and cannot have justice.' Bunyan spent most of the next 12 years in Bedford Jail. During the first half of this period he wrote nine books, including his spiritual autobiography, *Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). In 1665 appeared The Holy City, or The New Jerusalem, inspired by a passage in the Book of Revelation. In 1672 he published  A Confession of my Faith, and a Reason of My Practice. After his release in 1672 he was appointed pastor at the same church, but was imprisoned again for a short period in 1677 during which he probably finished the first part of *The Pilgrim's Progress, which had been written during the latter years of the first imprisonment. The first part was published in 1678, and the second, together with the whole work, in 1684. His other principal works are The Life and Death of Mr *Badman (1680) and The Holy War (1682). Bunyan preached in many parts, his down-to-earth, humorous, and impassioned style drawing crowds of hundreds, but was not further molested. Theree are recent editions of his more important works by R. Sharrock, who also wrote a biography. See also A Turbulent, Seditious and Factious People: John Bunyan and His Church by C. *Hill (1988).


Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, or The Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ to his Poor Servant John Bunyan (1666), a Puritan conversion narrative by *Bunyan, testifying to the focal events in his journey to assurance of salvation. Its pastoral purpose was to comfort his flock at Bedford during his imprisonment. The author bound himself to the Puritan 'plain style', for 'God did not play in convincing of me . . . I may not play in relating'. The document chronicles anguished oscillation between spiritual despair and contrite reassurance and bears witness to the inner struggle of moods ('up and down twenty times in an hour') which typified Puritan experience. External events (military service in the Civil War, marriage, etc.) are subordinate to inner and spiritual events, as Bunyan struggles against the lure of church bells, the doctrines of the *Ranters, Sabbath recreations, dancing, swearing and blaspheming—even against envy of toads and dogs as being exempt from God's wrath. It details his joining of the Bedford church, call to the ministry, and trials.


The Pilgrim's Progress, from This World to That Which Is to Come, a prose allegory by *Bunyan. Part I published 1678 (a second edition with additions appeared in the same year, and a third in 1679), Part II 1684.
    The allegory takes the form of a dream by the author. In this he sees *Christian, with a burden on his back and reading in a book, from which he learns that the city in which he and his family dwell will be burned with fire. On the advice of Evangelist, Christian flees from the *City of Destruction, having failed to persuade his wife and children to accompany him. Pt I describes his pilgrimage through the *Slough of Despond, the Interpreter's House, the House Beautiful, the *Valley of Humiliation, the *Valley of the Shadow of Death, *Vanity Fair, *Doubting Casxtle, the *Delectable Mountains, the Country of *Beulah, to the *Celestial City. On the way he encounters various allegorical personages, among them Mr *Worldly Wiseman, *Faithful (who accompanies Christian on his way but is put to death in Vanity Fair), Hopeful (who next joins Christian), Giant *Despair, the foul fiend *Apollyon, and many others.
    Pt II relates how Christian's wife Christiana, moved by a vision, sets out with her children on the same pilgrimage, accompanied by her neighbour Mercy, despite the objections of Mrs Timorous and others. They are escorted by *Great-heart, who overcomes Giant Despair and other monsters and brings them to their destination. The work is a development of the Puritan conversion narrative (see GRACE ABOUNDING), drawing on popular literature such as *emblem books and *chapbooks, as well as *Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Bible. It is remarkable for the beauty and simplicity of its language (Bunyan was permeated with the English of the Bible, though he was also a master of the colloquial English of his own time), the vividness and reality of the characterization, and the author's sense of humour and feeling for the world of nature. It circulated at first mainly in uneducated circles, and its wide appeal is shown by the fact that it has been translated into well over 100 languages. It became a children's classic, regarded by generations of parents as a manual of moral instruction and an aid to literacy, as well as a delightful tale. It was a seminal text in the development of the realistic novel, and Bunyan's humorously caustic development of the tradition of name symbolism influenced *Dickens, *Trollope, and *Thackeray.

The Life and Death of Mr Badman, an allegory by *Bunyan, published 1680.
    The allegory takes the form of a dialogue, in which Mr Wiseman relates the life of Mr Badman, recently deceased, and Mr. Attentive comments on it. The youthful Badman shows early signs of his vicious disposition. He beguiles a rich damsel into marriage and ruins her; sets up in trade and swindles his creditors by fraudulent bankruptcies and his customers by false weights; breaks his leg when coming home drunk; and displays a short-lived sickbed repentance. His wife dies of despair and Badman marries again, but his second wife is as wicked as he is and they part 'as poor as Howlets'. Finally Badman dies of a complication of diseases. The story is entertaining as well as edifying and has a place in the evolution of the English novel.





 

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Sábado, 12 de Noviembre de 2016 11:40. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Die Dreigroschenoper

martes, 10 de noviembre de 2015

Die Dreigroschenoper

Un musical de Bertolt Brecht y Kurt Weil, inspirado en The Beggar's Opera  de John Gay. Aquí con los arreglos de la producción de 2004 dirigida por Ulrich Waller:












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Sábado, 12 de Noviembre de 2016 11:09. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


The Rehearsal

THE REHEARSAL

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature,  ed. Margaret Drabble.

The Reharsal, a farcical comedy attributed to George Villiers, second duke of *Buckingham, but probably written by him in collaboration with others, among whom are mentioned Samuel *Butler and Martin Clifford, master of the Charterhouse; printed 1672.

The play satirizes the heroic tragedies of the day, and consists of a series of parodies of passages from these, strung together in an absurd heroic plot. The author of the mock play is evidently a laureate (hence his name 'Bayes'), and *D'Avenant was probably intended; but there are also hits at *Dryden (particularly his Conquest of Granada) and his brothers-in-law, Edward and Robert Howard. Bayes takes two friends, Smith and Johnson, to see the rehearsal of his play, and the absurdity of this work (which includes the two kings of Brentford, entering hand in hand), coupled with the comments of Bayes, his instructions to the actors, and the remarks of Smith and Johnson, remains highly entertaining. Prince Pretty-man, Prince Volscius, and *Drawcansir are among the characters. It was one of the earliest of English dramatic *burlesques, and was much performed during the 18th cent., during which period the genre developed to one of its highest points in Sheridan's *The Critic. The work helped to inspire *Marvell's The Rehearsal Transpros'd (1672; Pt II, 1673).


Drawcansir, a character in Buckingham's *The Rehearsal, parodying Almanzor in *Dryden's The Conquest of Granada; he appears briefly in the last act in a mock-heroic stage battle, and according to the stage directions, 'kills 'em all on both sides'. *Carlyle, in his history of *Frederick the Great, refers to the 'terrific Drawcansir figures' of the French revolution, 'of enormous whiskerage, unlimited command of gunpowder . . . and even a certain heroism, stage-heroism'.

burlesque, from the Italian burla, ridicule, mockery, a literary composition or dramatic representation which aims at exciting laughter by the comical treatment of a serious subject or the caricature of the spirit of a serious work. Notable examples of burlesque in English literature are Butler's *Hudibras and Buckingham's *The Rehearsal.




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Martes, 08 de Noviembre de 2016 14:54. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Henry Purcell (1659-1695) - King Arthur

Henry Purcell (1659-1695) - King Arthur









Henry Purcell, King Arthur or The British Worthy. (With Dryden's libretto).



KING ARTHUR or the British Worthy /
LE ROI ARTHUR or le valeureux Breton /
KING ARTHUR oder Britanniens Würde


"A dramatick opera"

Livret/ Libretto : John DRYDEN (1631-1700)


==============================

VENUS
Veronique GENS, soprano/Sopran

PHILIDEL, HONOUR
Claron McFADDEN, soprano/Sopran

SHE
Sandrine PIAU, soprano/Sopran

CUPID, NEREID
Susannah WATERS, soprano/Sopran
Mark PADMORE, ténor/Tenor
Iain PATON, ténor/Tenor

GRIMBALD, HE
Jonathan BEST, basse/bass/Baß

COLD GENIUS, AEOLUS, COMUS
Petteri SALOMAA, basse/bass/Baß

PAN
François BAZOLA, basse/bass/Baß


==============================

LES ARTS FLORISSANTS
Direction/Conductor/Dirigent : WILLIAM CHRISTIE


----------------------------------------

­---------------

CHŒUR/CHORUS/CHOR

Anha
Bölkow, Anne Cambier, Mhairi Lawson, Violaine Lucas, Anne Mopin,
Brigitte Pelote, Valérie Picard, Anne Pichard, Sylviane Pitour, Carys
Lloyd Roberts, Sheena Wolstencroft, sopranos/Sopran

Jean-Xavier Combarieu, Richard Duguay, Jean-Yves Ravoux, Didier Rebuffet, Bruno Renhold, ténors I/Tenor I

Bruno-Karl Boës, François Piolino, Jean-Marie Puissant, Deryck Huw Webb, ténors II/Tenor II

François Bazola, Laurent Collobert, Jean-François Gay, David Le Monnier, Jean-Marc Mory, Christophe Olive, basses/Baß


Spirits of Grimbald
Mhairi
Lawson, Sheena Wolstencroft, Didier Rebuffet, Bruno Renhold, François
Piolino, Deryck Huw Webb, Laurent Collobert, David Le Monnier

Spirits of Philidel
Violaine
Lucas, Carys Lloyd Roberts, Richard Duguay, Jean-Yves Ravoux,
Bruno-Karl Boës, Jean-Marie Puissant, François Bazzola, Jean-François
Gay

Assistant musical charge du choeur/
musical assistant and chorus master/
Musikalischer Assistant und Choreinstudierung
François Bazola


----------------------------------------­---------------

ORCHESTRE/ORCHESTRA/ORCHESTER

Hiro
Kurosaki, Roberto Crisafulli. Simon Heyerick, Michèle Sauvé, Isabelle
Serrano, Peter Van Boxelaere, violons/violins/Violine I

Catherine Girard, Sophie Gevers-Demoures, Guya Martinini, Martha Moore, Ruth Weber, George Willms, violons/violins/Violine II

Galina Zinchenko, Nadine Davin, Marcial Moreiras, Anne Weber, altos/Violas/Viole

Emmanuel Balssa, Elena Andreyev, Paul carlioz, Alix Verzier, violoncelles/Cello

Jonathan Cable, contrebasse/double basse/Kontrabass

Sébastien Marq, flûte à bec/recorder/Querflöte

Christian Moreaux, Geoffrey Burgess, hatbois/Oboe

Hugo Reyne, taille de hautbois et flûte à bec/recorder/Querflöte

Paolo Tognon, Simon Rickard, bassons/bassoons/Fagott

Per Olov Lindeke, Gilles Rapin, trompettes/trumpets/Trompete

Marie-Ange Petit, Françoise Rivalland, percussions/percussion/Schlagzeug


CONTINUO
Jonathan Rubin, Elisabeth Kenny, théorbe/Théorbo
David Simpson. violoncelle/Cello
Anne-Marie Lasla, viole de gambe/viola da Gamba
Laurence
Cummings, clavecin et assistant à la direction musicale/harpsichord and
assistant director/ Cembalo und Assistent der musikalischen Leitung
(Harpsichord Rückers, D. Jacques Way et Marc Ducornet, Paris)




JOHN DRYDEN: KING ARTHUR OR THE BRITISH WORTHY, "A Dramatick Opera"



KING ARTHUR or THE BRITISH WORTHY
Semi opera in five acts

Libretto
John Dryden

Premiere
May or June 1691, London (Dorset Garden Theatre)

Cast
PHILADEL (Soprano)
GRIMBALD (Bass / Baritone)
SHEPHERD (Tenor)
CUPID (Soprano)
COLD GENIUS (Bass)
AEOLUS (Bass / Baritone)
VENUS (Soprano)

CHORUS
sheperds and shepherdesses, soldiers, spirits, satyrs etc.

Place
Britanny

Time
Middle Ages


ACT ONE
FIRST SCENE
King Arthur has secured all of his kingdom except Kent in the course of
the battles with the Saxons; they are led by Oswald, who has set out to
win not only his throne but his love, the blind Emmeline, daughter of
Conon, Duke of Cornwall. Arthur takes leave of her for the final,
decisive battle against the heathen invader.


SECOND SCENE
A place of heathen worship; the three saxon gods, Woden, Thor and Freya
placed on pedestals; an altar. Oswald, his magician Osmond and the
earthly evil spirit Grimbald have brought victims for a sacrifice, to
ensure victory in battle, and are preparing for the rites.  Grimbald
goes to the door, and re-enters with six Saxons in white, with swords in
their hands. They range, themselves three and three in opposition to
each other. The rest of the stage is filled with priests and singers.

BASS
Woden, first to thee
A milk-white steed, in battle won,
We have sacrific'd.

CHORUS
We have sacrific'd.

TENOR II
Let our next oblation be
To Thor, thy thund'ring son,
Of such another.

CHORUS
We have sacrific'd.

BASS
A third (of Friesland breed was he)
To Woden's wife, and to Thor's mother;
And now we have aton'd all three.

CHORUS
We have sacrific'd.

TENOR I & II
The white horse neigh'd aloud.
To Woden thanks we render,
To Woden we have vow'd,
To Woden, our defender.

CHORUS
To Woden thanks we render,
To Woden we have vow'd,
To Woden, our defender.

SOPRANO
The lot is cast, and Tanfan pleas'd;
Of mortal cares you shall be eas'd.

CHORUS
Brave souls, to be renown'd in story.
Honour prizing,
Death despising,
Fame acquiring
By expiring,
Die and reap the fruit of glory.

TENOR I
I call you all
To Woden's Hall,
Your temples round
With ivy bound
In goblets crown'd,
And plenteous bowls of burnish'd gold,
Where ye shall laugh
And dance and quaff
The juice that makes the Britons bold.

CHORUS
To Woden's Hall all,
Where in plenteous bowls of burnish'd gold,
We shall laugh
And dance and quaff
The juice that makes the Britons bold.

The six Saxons are led off by the priests, in order to be sacrificed.
Exeunt omnes. A battle supposed to be given behind the scenes, with
drums, trumpets, and military shouts and excursions, after which the
Britons, expressing their joy for the victory, sing this song of
triumph.

TENOR II
"Come if you dare," our trumpets sound.
"Come if you dare," the foes rebound.
We come, we come, we come, we come,"
Says the double, double, double beat of
the thund'ring drum.

CHORUS
"Come if you dare," our trumpets sound, etc.

TENOR II
Now they charge on amain.
Now they rally again.
The Gods from above the mad labour behold,
And pity mankind that will perish for gold.

CHORUS
Now they charge on amain, etc.

TENOR II
The fainting Saxons quit their ground,
Their trumpets languish in their sound,
They fly, they fly, they fly, they fly,
"Victoria, Victoria," the bold Britons cry.

CHORUS
The fainting Saxons quit their ground, etc.

TENOR II
Now the victory's won,
To the plunder we run,
We return to our lasses like fortunate traders,
Triumphant with spoils of the vanquish'd invaders.

CHORUS
Now the victory's won, etc.




ACT TWO

Philidel, a repentant airy spirit, reports to Merlin that Grimbald is
approaching and will attempt to mislead the conquering Britons to
cliffs, where they will fall to their deaths, by telling them that they
are pursuing the retreating Saxons. Merlin commands Philidel, assisted
by his band of spirits, to protect the Britons and counter. Grimbald's
forces. Exit Merlin in this chariot. Merlin's spirits stay with
Philidel. Enter Grimbald in the habit of a shepherd, followed by King
Arthur, Conon, Aurelius, Albanact and soldiers, who wander at a distance
in the scenes.

PHILIDEL
Hither, this way, this way bend,
Trust not the malicious fiend.
Those are false deluding lights
Wafted far and near by sprites.
Trust 'em not, for they'll deceive ye,
And in bogs and marshes leave ye.

CHORUS OF PHILIDEL'S SPIRITS
Hither, this way, this way bend.

CHORUS OF GRIMBALD' S SPIRITS
This way, hither, this way bend.

PHILIDEL
If you step no longer thinking,
Down you fall, a furlong sinking.
'Tis a fiend who has annoy'd ye:
Name but Heav'n, and he'll avoid ye.
Hither, this way.

PHILIDEL' S SPIRITS
Hither, this way, this way bend.

GRIMBALD' S SPIRITS
This way, hither, this way bend.

PHILIDEL' S SPIRITS
Trust not the malicious fiend.
Hither, this way, etc.

Conon and Albanact are persuaded not to follow Grimbald any further, but
Grimbald produces fresh footprints as proof that they are following the
Saxons.

GRIMBALD
Let not a moon-born elf mislead ye
From your prey and from your glory;
To fear, alas, he has betray'd ye;
Follow the flames that wave before ye,
Sometimes sev'n, and sometimes one.
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry on.

Ritornello

GRIMBALD
See, see the footsteps plain appearing.
That way Oswald chose for flying.
Firm is the turf and fit for bearing,
Where yonder pearly dews are lying.
Far he cannot hence be gone.
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry on.

All are going to follow Grimbald.

Ritornello

PHILIDEL'S SPIRITS
Hither, this way, this way bend.

GRIMBALD' S SPIRITS
Hither, this way, this way bend.

PHILIDEL'S SPIRITS
Trust not that malicious fiend.
Hither, this way, etc.

They all incline to Philidel. Grimbald curses Philidel and sinks with a
flash. Arthur gives thanks that the fiend has vanished.

PHILIDEL
Come, follow me.

SOLOS
Come, follow me,
And me, and me, and me, and me.

CHORUS
Come, follow me.

PHILIDEL, SOPRANO
And green-sward all your way shall be.

CHORUS
Come, follow me.

BASS
No goblin or elf shall dare to offend ye.

CHORUS
No goblin or elf shall dare to offend ye.

Ritornello

TWO SOPRANOS, TENOR
We brethren of air
You heroes will bear
To the kind and the fair that attend ye.

CHORUS
We brethren of air, etc.

Philidel and the spirits go off singing, with King Arthur and the rest
in the middle of them. Enter Emmeline led by Matilda. Pavilion Scene.
Emmeline and Matilda discuss King Arthur. Matilda entreats Emmeline to
forget her cares and let a group of Kentish lads and lasses entertain
her while she awaits Arthur's return. Enter shepherds and shepherdesses.

SHEPHERD
How blest are shepherds, how happy their lasses,
While drums and trumpets are sounding alarms.
Over our lowly sheds all the storm passes
And when we die, 'tis in each other's arms
All the day on our herds and flocks employing,
All the night on our flutes and in enjoying.

CHORUS
How blest are shepherds, how happy their lasses, etc.

SHEPHERD
Bright nymphs of Britain with graces attended,
Let not your days without pleasure expire.
Honour's but empty, and when youth is ended,
All men will praise you but none will desire.
Let not youth fly away without contenting;
Age will come time enough for your repenting.

CHORUS
Bright nymphs of Britain with graces attended, etc.

Here the men offer their flutes to the women, which they refuse.

Symphony

TWO SHEPHERDESSES
Shepherd, shepherd, leave decoying:
Pipes are sweet on summer's day,
But a little after toying,
Women have the shot to pay.
Here are marriage-vows for signing:
Set their marks that cannot write.
After that, without repining,
Play, and welcome, day and night.

Here the women give the men contracts, which they accept.

CHORUS
Come, shepherds, lead up a lively measure
The cares of wedlock are cares of pleasure:
But whether marriage bring joy or sorrow.
Make sure of this day and hang tomorrow

Hornpipe

The dance after the song, and exeunt shepherds and shepherdesses.

Second Act Tune: Air

Emmeline and Matilda are captured by Oswald, who has refused to release
them during a parley with Arthur. The Britons prepare to rescue Emmeline
from the Saxon fortress.




ACT THREE

FIRST SCENE
The Britons are panicked by the magic horrors that have been put around
the Saxon fortress to protect it and want to retreat. Arthur, however,
is prepared to attempt to penetrate them alone. Merlin advises him to
wait until after the spells have been broken, but does promise to spirit
him off to the captive Emmeline, and to restore her sight.


SECOND SCENE
A Deep Wood

Philidel is captured by Grimbald while trying to find Emmeline, but he
escapes and casts a strong spell over the evil spirit. Merlin and Arthur
enter; Merlin gives Philidel a vial containing the drops that will
restore Emmeline's sight and leaves to attempt to dispel the

dire enchantments in the wood. Emmeline and Matilda enter from the far
end of the wood. Arthur withdraws as Philidel approaches Emmeline,
sprinkling some of the water out of the vial over her eyes. Emmeline
sees Arthur for the first time, and tells him that not only Oswald, but
also Osmond desires her love. Airy spirits appear to congratulate her on
the recovery of her sight, but then vanish when Philidel announces the
approach of their foes. Emmeline and Matilda are left alone. Osmond,
whom Emmeline now sees for the first time, ardently woos her and boasts
how he has thrown Oswald into prison. Emmeline, frozen with terror,
refuses his advances, but Osmond assures her that Love will thaw her,
and demonstrates by using his magic wand to change Britain's mild clime
to Iceland and farthest Thule's frost.


THE FROST SCENE

Prelude

Osmond strikes the ground with his wand, the scene changes to a prospect
of winter in frozen countries.

Cupid descends.

CUPID
What ho! thou genius of this isle, what ho!
Liest thou asleep beneath those hills of snow?
Stretch out thy lazy limbs. Awake, awake!
And winter from thy furry mantle shake.

Prelude

Genius arises.

COLD GENIUS
What power art thou, who from below
Hast made me rise unwillingly and slow
From beds of everlasting snow?
See'st thou not how stiff and wondrous old,
Far unfit to bear the bitter cold,
I can scarcely move or draw my breath?
Let me, let me freeze again to death.

CUPID
Thou doting fool forbear, forbear!
What dost thou mean by freezing here?
At Love's appearing, All the sky clearing,
The stormy winds their fury spare.
Winter subduing,
And Spring renewing,
My beams create a more glorious year.
Thou doting fool, forbear, forbear!
What dost thou mean by freezing here?

COLD GENIUS
Great Love, I know thee now:
Eldest of the gods art thou.
Heav'n and earth by thee were made.
Human nature is thy creature,
Ev'rywhere thou art obey'd.

CUPID
No part of my dominion shall he waste:
To spread my sway and sing my praise
E'en here I will a people raise
Of kind embracing lovers, and embrac'd.

Cupid waves his wand, upon which the scene opens, discovers a prospect
of ice and snow. Singers and dancers, men and women, appear.

Prelude

CHORUS OF COLD PEOPLE
See, see, we assemble
Thy revels to hold:
Tho' quiv'ring with cold
We chatter and tremble.

Dance

CUPID
'Tis I, 'tis I, 'tis I that have warm'd ye.
In spite of cold weather
I've brought ye together.
'Tis I, 'tis I, 'tis I that have warm'd ye,

Ritornello

CHORUS
'Tis Love, 'tis Love, 'tis Love
that has warm'd us.
In spite of the weather
He brought us together.
'Tis Love, 'tis Love, 'tis Love
that has warm'd us.

CUPID & COLD GENIUS
Sound a parley, ye fair, and surrender,
Set yourselves and your lovers at ease.
He's a grateful offender
Who pleasure dare seize:
But the whining pretender
Is sure to displease.
Sound a parley, ye fair, and surrender.
Since the fruit of desire is possessing,
'Tis unmanly to sigh and complain.
When we kneel for redressing,
We move your disdain.
Love was made for a blessing
And not for a pain.

Ritornello

CHORUS
'Tis Love, 'tis Love, 'tis Love
that has warm'd us, etc.

Third Act Tune: Hornpipe

A dance; after which the singers and dancers depart. Emmeline is saved
from Osmond's lustful advances when the ensnared Grimbald cries out,
compelling the magician to go to the rescue of his evil spirit.




ACT FOUR

FIRST SCENE
Osmond learns that Merlin has broken his spells but plans to cast new
spells and seduce Arthur with visions of beauty.


SECOND SCENE
The Wood

Arthur, having first been warned by Merlin that everything he sees is
illusion, is left alone in the wood under the watchful eye of Philidel,
who can reveal any evil spirits with a wave of Merlin's wand. Arthur is
amazed that instead of the horrors and dangers he had expected, he hears
soft music and sees a golden bridge spanning a silver stream. Though
suspecting a trap, he approaches the bridge. Two sirens naked to the
waist, emerge, begging him to lay aside his sword and join them.

TWO SIRENS
Two daughters of this aged stream are we,
And both our sea-green locks have comb'd for ye.
Come bathe with us an hour or two;
Come naked in, for we are so.
What danger from a naked foe?
Come bathe with us, come bathe, and share
What pleasures in the floods appear.
We'll beat the waters till they bound
And circle round, and circle round.

Though sorely tempted, Arthur resists and presses on.As he is going
forward, nymphs and sylvans come out from behind the trees. Dance with
song, all with branches in their bands.

Passacaglia

TENOR I
How happy the lover,
How easy his chain!
How sweet to discover
He sighs not in vain.

CHORUS
How happy the lover, etc.

Ritornello

SYLVAN & NYMPH
For love ev'ry creature
Is form'd by his nature.
No joys are above
The pleasures of love.

CHORUS
No joys are above.
The pleasures of love.

THREE NYMPHS
In vain are our graces,
In vain are your eyes.
In vain are our graces
If love you despise.
When age furrows faces,
'Tis too late to be wise.

THREE SYLVANS
Then use the sweet blessing
While now in possessing.
No joys are above
The pleasures of love.

THREE NYMPHS
No joys are above
The pleasures of love.

CHORUS
No joys are above
The pleasures of love.

Fourth Act Tune: Air

Arthur commands the sylvans, nymphs and sirens begone and they vanish.
In an attempt to break the spells, he draws his sword and strikes a blow
at the finest tree in the wood. A vision of Emmeline appears from its
trunk, her arm wounded by the blow; it persuades him to lay down his
sword and take her hand. Philidel rushes in, and with a touch of the
wand reveals the vision to be Grimbald in disguise, Arthur then fells
the tree, breaking the spells and opening a safe passage for the Britons
to the Saxon fortress. Grimbald is bound up by Philidel and led out
into daylight.




ACT FIVE

FIRST SCENE
Osmond's spells have been broken and his spirit Grimbald captured. He
decides to release Oswald from the prison in the hope that together they
may at last defeat Arthur.


SECOND SCENE
The Britons march on the Saxon fortress, and are met by Oswald, who
proposes the war be decided in single combat with Arthur. After a very
close fight, in which the two magicians are also pitted against each
other, Arthur finally succeeds in disarming Oswald, but grants him his
life.

Trumpet Tune

A consort of trumpets within, proclaiming Arthur's victory. While they
sound, Arthur and Oswald seem to confer. Arthur commands Oswald to
return to Saxony with his men. Emmeline is restored to Arthur. Merlin
imprisons Osmond and proclaims the triumph of British sovereignty, faith
and love. Merlin waves his wand; the scene changes, and discovers the
British Ocean in a storm. Aeolus in a cloud above: Four Winds hanging,
etc.

AEOLUS
Ye blust'ring brethren of the skies,
Whose breath has ruffled all the wat'ry plain,
Retire, and let Britannia rise
In triumph o'er the main.
Serene and calm, and void of fear,
The Queen of Islands must appear.

Aeolus ascends, and the Four Winds fly off. The scene opens, and
discovers a calm sea, to the end of the house. An island arises, to a
soft tune; Britannia seated in the island, with fishermen at her feet,
etc. The tune changes; the fisher men come ashore, and dance a while;
after which, Pan and a Nereid come on the stage, and sing.

Symphony

NEREID, PAN
Round thy coast, fair nymph of Britain,
For thy guard our waters flow:
Proteus all his herd admitting
On thy green to graze below:
Foreign lands thy fish are tasting;
Learn from thee luxurious fasting.

CHORUS
Round thy coast, fair nymph of Britain, etc.

ALTO, TENOR, BASS
For folded flocks, and fruitful plains,
The shepherd's and the farmer's gains,
Fair Britain all the world outvies;
And Pan, as in Arcadia, reigns
Where pleasure mix'd with profit lies.
Tho' Jason's fleece was fam'd of old,
The British wool is growing gold;
No mines can more of wealth supply:
It keeps the peasants from the cold,
And takes for kings the Tyrian dye.

Enter Comus with peasants.

COMUS
Your hay, it is mow'd and your corn is reap'd,
Your barns will be full and your hovels heap'd.
Come, boys, come,
Come, boys, come,
And merrily roar out our harvest home.

CHORUS OF PEASANTS
Harvest home,
Harvest home,
And merrily roar out our harvest home.

COMUS
We've cheated the parson, we'll cheat him again,
For why shou'd a blockhead have one in ten?
One in ten, one in ten,
For why shou'd a blockhead have one in ten?

PEASANTS
One in ten, one in ten,
For why shou'd a blockhead have one in ten?

COMUS
For prating so long, like a book-learn'd sot,
Till pudding and dumpling are burnt to the pot:
Burnt to pot, burnt to pot,
Till pudding and dumpling are burnt to pot.

PEASANTS
Burnt to pot, burnt to pot,
Till pudding and dumpling are burnt to the pot.

COMUS
We'll toss off our ale till we cannot stand;
And heigh for the honour of old England;
Old England, Old England,
And heigh for the honour of old England.

PEASANTS
Old England, Old England,
And heigh for the honour of old England.

Dance

The dance varied into a round country-dance.

Enter Venus.

VENUS
Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasure and of love;
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav'rite nation,
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy that poisons passion,
And despair that dies for love.
Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs that blow the fire of love;
Soft repulses, Kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev'ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev'ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown'd for love.

SHE
You say, 'tis Love creates the pain,
Of which so sadly you complain,
And yet would fain engage my heart
In that uneasy cruel part;
But how, alas! think you that
I Can bear the wounds of which you die?

HE
'Tis not my passion makes my care,
But your indiff'rence gives despair:
The lusty sun begets no spring
Till gentle show'rs assistance bring;
So Love, that scorches and destroys,
Till kindness aids, can cause no joys.

SHE
Love has a thousand ways to please,
But more to rob us of our ease;
For waking nights and careful days,
Some hours of pleasure he repays;
But absence soon, or jealous fears,
O'erflows the joy with floods of tears.

HE
But one soft moment makes amends
For all the torment that attends.

BOTH
Let us love, let us love and to happiness haste.
Age and wisdom come too fast.
Youth for loving was design'd.

HE
I'll be constant, you be kind.

SHE
You be constant, I'll be kind.

BOTH
Heav'n can give no greater blessing
Than faithful love and kind possessing.

Trumpet Tune (Warlike Consort)

The scene opens above, and discovers the Order of the Garter. Enter
Honour, attended by heroes.

HONOUR
Saint George, the patron of our Isle,
A soldier and a saint,
On this auspicious order smile,
Which love and arms will plant.

CHORUS
Our natives not alone appear
To court the martial prize;
But foreign kings adopted here
Their crowns at home despise.
Our Sov'reign high, 'in awful state,
His honours shall bestow;
and see his sceptred subjects wait
On his commands below.



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Martes, 08 de Noviembre de 2016 14:12. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica






Notas sobre 'El Ordenador Renacentista'

jueves, 5 de noviembre de 2015

Notas sobre ’El Ordenador Renacentista’


Notas sobre The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print, libro editado por Neil Rhodes y Jonathan Sawday (Routledge, 2000). El volumen trata sobre el desarrollo de la tecnología de la imprenta como medio estético y cognitivo en los siglos XVI y XVII, y sobre el impacto de este nuevo medio en la organización y el uso social del conocimiento, estableciendo frecuentes analogías con el desarrollo de la escritura electrónica al final del siglo XX.

 

 


 
 
 
English Abstract: 

Notes on ’The Renaissance Computer

Notes on The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print, ed. Neil Rhodes and Jonathan Sawday (Routledge, 2000). The volume addresses the development of printing technology as an aesthetic and cognitive medium in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the impact of this new medium on the organization and social use of knowledge, finding frequent analogies in the development of electronic writing at the turn of the century.
 

 

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 88


calculus ratiocinator


Aparece en las siguientes revistas electrónicas y repositorios:


CSN Subject Matter eJournals (Date posted: October 27, 2015)
                          
ISN Subject Matter eJournals
    
LIT Subject Matter eJournals
             
LIT Subject Matter eJournals
    



_____. "Notas sobre El Ordenador Renacentista." Net Sight de José Angel García Landa 24 Oct. 2015.*
    http://www.unizar.es/departamentos/filologia_inglesa/garciala/publicaciones/ordenadorrenacentista.html
    http://www.unizar.es/departamentos/filologia_inglesa/garciala/publicaciones/ordenadorrenacentista.pdf 

_____. "Notas sobre El Ordenador Renacentista." Academia 10 Jan. 2016.* (On Rhodes and Sawday, The Renaissance Computer).
    https://www.academia.edu/20140751/
    2016
_____. "Notas sobre El Ordenador Renacentista." ResearchGate 5 Feb. 2016.*
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292995742
    2016






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Sábado, 05 de Noviembre de 2016 11:22. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica




Samson Agonistes

Samson Agonistes

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.



Samson Agonistes, a tragedy by *Milton, published 1671, in the same volume as *Paradise Regained. Its composition was traditionally assigned to 1666-70, but W. R. Parker in his biography (1968) argues that it was written much earlier, possibly as early as 1647. A closet drama never intended for the stage, it is modelled on Greek tragedy, and has been frequently compared to Prometheus Bound by *Aeschylus or Oedipus at Colonus by *Sophocles: other critics have claimed that its spirit is more Hebraic (or indeed Christian) than Hellenic. Predominantly in blank verse, it also contains passages of great metrical freedom and originality, and some rhyme. Samson Agonistes (i.e. Samson the Wrestler, or Champion) deals with the last phase of the life of Samson of the Book of Judges when he is a prisoner of the Philistines and blind, a phase which many have compared to the assumed circumstance of the blind poet himself, after the collapse of the Commonwealth and his political hopes.

Samson, in prison at Gaza, is visited by friends of his tribe (the chorus) who comfort him; then by his old father Manoa, who holds out hopes of securing his release; then by his wife *Dalila, who seeks pardon and reconciliation, but being repudiated shows herself ’a manifest Serpent’; then by Harapha, a strong man of Gath, who taunts Samson. He is finally summoned to provide amusement by feats of strenght for the philistines, who are celebrating a feast to *Dagon. He goes, and presently a messenger brings news of his final feat of strength in which he pulled down the pillars of the place where the assembly was gathered, destroying himself as well as the entire throng. The tragedy, which has many passages questioning divine providence (’Just or unjust, alike seem miserable’), ends with the chorus’s conclusion that despite human doubts, all is for the best in the ’unsearchable dispose / of highest wisdom’: its last words, ’calm of mind all passion spent’, strike a note of Aristotelian *catharsis, and the whole piece conforms to the *neo-classical doctrine of unities.





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Stanley Fish on Samson Agonistes:








Heads of an answer to Fish:

- The notion of unconscious meanings, tensions in the writer’s project, unresolved conflicting intentions.... etc. have vanished from this clear-cut distinction between meaning and significance (which, incidentally, reminds me of E. D. Hirsch rather than Fish—whither Deconstruction?). But a theorization of such tensions seem to be a prime critical tool in dealing with Milton, witness e.g. the issue of Satanic parallelisms with the Parliamentarians, and the Absolutist trappings of his God in ’Paradise Lost’.

- ’9/11 terrorist bombings are out of Milton’s context, and are therefore a matter of significance, not meaning’. OK (but let me point out that discussion of significance is well within the province of the literary critic’s activity, contrary to what Fish’s closing words would seem to imply. A discussion of Milton is also a discussion of the Milton semantic complex which includes his interpretations). OK ... BUT:

- The unresolved issue of the legitimacy or legitimation of political violence, is, indeed, part of Milton’s contemporary context, as is the issue of terrorist bombings of political and ideological landmarks causing indiscriminate death. It is indeed a prominent element in the aforementioned tensions. And if 9/11 as a massacre is outside his ken, Milton was well aware of another (intended) massacre, the Fifth of September, which has some uncanny parallels to the Samson suicide bombing of the Temple of Dagon. Not as far as the suicide is concerned, perhaps, but insofar as it should have been a spectacular and symbolic massacre of infidels en masse, together with their leaders, inspired and justified by a religious rationale. Milton had written while at Cambridge a Latin exercise on the Gunpowder Plot, "In quintum Novembris, Anno aetatis 17", with appropriate Protestant glee at the discomfiture of the plotters. Now, in old age, he seems to be writing a palinode, and a justification of the political and religious violence of "thralled discontent", on second thoughts. Of course, this time God was on ’his’ side, at least on the side of that part of his brain he was aware of.

- Fish’s distinction between meaning, significance, and appropriation are therefore too neat. They are illustrative as pointers, but reality’s much more of a mess and a mesh; and intention is also a much more complex affair than he allows it to be here. Actually, the tensions and the intentions in Milton and in his poems cannot be cut off from the tensions and intentions circulating in his own context, which is not (but also is, to a certain extent) our own.






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Viernes, 04 de Noviembre de 2016 09:10. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


John Dryden

John Dryden

 

From the Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:


DRYDEN, John (1631-1700), educated at Westminster School under *Busby and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He inherited a small estate, but supported himself mainly by his writing. His first major poem was the Heroique Stanza's (1658) on the death of Cromwell: he later celebrated the King's return with Astraea Redux and To His Sacred Majesty. Other poems were addressed to Sir Robert Howard, whose sister Lady Elizabeth Dryden married in 1663; the earl of *Clarendon, *Charleton, and Lady Castlemaine. He also published a long poem in quatrains, *Annus Mirabilis (1667), but most os his early writing was for the theatre and included several rhymed heroic plays, The Indian Queen (1664, in collaboration with Sir Robert Howard), The Indian Emperour (1665, which has the Mexican ruler Montezuma as subject), *Tyrannick Love (1669), and The Conquest of Granada in two parts (1670). He also wrote comedies, The Wild Gallant (1663), The Rival Ladies (1664), Sir Martin Mar-all (1667, in collaboration with the Duke of *Newcastle), *An Evening's Love (1668), and a radical adaptation of *The Tempest (1667, with *D'Avenant). He was most original, however, with his tragi-comedies, Secret Love (1667), *Marriage-à-la-mode (1672), The Assignation (1672), and a second Shakespeare adaptation, *Troilus and Cressida (1679). All these plays, together with the operatic adaptation of *Paradise Lost, under the title The State of Innocence, and Fall of Man (unperformed, pub 1667) and the immensely successful Oedipus (1678, with N. *Lee), reveal Dryden's considerable interest in philsoophical and political questions. He became *poet laureate in 1668, and historiographer royal in 1670.

Dryden constantly defended his own literarypractice. His first major critical work was *Of Dramatick Poesie (1668). Subsequent essays include A Defence of an Essay (1668)(, preface to An Evening's Love (1671), Of Heroick Plays (1672), Heads of an Answer (to *Rymer, c. 1677, pub. 1711), and The Grounds of Criticism in Tragedy, prefixed to preface to Troilus and Cressida (1679). *Aureng-Zebe was his bes rhymed heoric play. The prologue, however, denounces rhyme in serious drama, and his next tragedy, *All for Love (1678), was in blank verse. Much of Dryden's criticism was devoted to the assessment of his Elizabethan predecessors, Shakespeare, *Jonson, and *Fletcher. Despite his genuine respect for their achievement, Dryden was unsparing in his enumeration of what he perceived as their 'faults', although he frequently modified his critical views and his artistic practice. This flexibility as critic and dramatist left him vulnerable to attack. He was represented as Bayes in *The Rehearsal (1671) by *Buckingham, and physically assaulted in 1679, possibly at the instigation of *Rochester. His principal opponent was *Shadwell, whom Dryden ridiculed in *Mac Flecknoe (c. 1676, pub. 1682). Other poems in which he develops his critical principles include many witty and imaginative prologues and epilogues, and poems about, or addressed to, fellow writers and artists, notably Lee, *Roscommon, *Oldham, *Congreve, and *Kneller.

The constitutional crisis of the late 1670 and early 1680s saw Dryden's emergence as a formidable Tory polemicist. His contribution to the political debate included plays, especially *The Spanish Fryar (1680), The Duke of Guise (1682, written with Lee), and the operatic Albion and Albanius (1685); his celebrated satires *Absalom and Achitophel (1681), *The Medall (1682), and a number of lines for N. *Tate's The Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel (1682), as well as a host of partisan prologues and epilogues. His interest in religion was also heightened at this time. In *Religio Laici (1682) he offers a defence of the Anglican via media. However, following the accession of James II Dryden became a Catholic and wrote *The Hind and the Panther (1687) in suport of his new co-religionists. At the death of Charles II he attempted a Pindaric *ode, Threnodia Augustalis (1685), the first of several poems in this form, notably To the Pious Memory . . . of Mrs Anne Killigrew (1686), A Song for Saint Cecilia's Day (1687), 'An Ode, on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell' (1696), and Alexander's Feast (1697), which was later incorporated into *Fables Ancient and Modern (1700). Dryden also wroter numerous witty elegant songs for his many plays.

In 1689 he lost both his court offices and returned to the theatre. Two of his late plays, *Don Sebastian (1689) and *Amphitryon (1690), are excellent; Cleomenes (1692) is intellectually impressive; and only Love Triumphant (1694) is a failure; but Dryden was tired of the theatre and turned to the politically less compromising work of translating. His immense and splendid achievements in this field include translations of small pieces from *Theocritus and *Horace, and more substantial passages from *Homer, *Lucretius, *Persius, *Juvenal, *Ovid, *Boccaccio, and *Chaucer, as well as the whole of *Virgil. His version of the Georgics is especially magnificent. In all these translations he made frequent but subtle allusions to his Jacobite principles. He also returned to criticism, notably in preface to the Sylvae (1685), *A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693), Dedication to Examen Poeticum (1693), and Dedication of the Aeneis (1697). His culminating and most impressive achivement both as critic and translator was Fables Ancient and Modern, which should be read as a whole, and to which 'The Secular Masque' (1700) is a wise and noble coda. He was buried in Westminster Abbey (see also RESTORATION).

Other works by Dryden include:

Plays: Amboyna (1673, a tragedy), *Mr Limberham (1679, a sexually explicit comedy), and a dramatic opera, King Arthur (1691). Poems: 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings' (1649), Britannia Rediviva (1688), Eleonora (1696). Prose works: His Majesty's Declaration Defended (1681), Life of Plutarch (1683), Vindication of the Duke of Guise (1683), Character of St Evrémond (1692), Character of Polybius (1693), Life of Lucian (1711), translations of Maimbourg's The History of the League (1684), Bouhours' Life of St Francis Xavier (1686), Du Fresnoy's De Arte Graphica (1695).

The standard complete edition is The Works of John Dryden, ed. E. N. Hooker et al. (1956- ), 20 vols pub. as of 1997. Other editions include Sir W. *Scott's (18 vols, 1808, with life as vol. i, rev. edn. by *Saintsbury, 18 vols, 1882-93); Dramatic Works, ed. M. Summers (6 vols, 1931-2); Poems, ed. J. Kinsley (4 vols, 1948); The Poems of John Dryden,  ed. P. Hammond (4 vols , 1995- ); Of Dramatic Poesy, and Other Critical Essays, ed. G. Watson (2 vols, 1962); Letters, ed. C. E. Ward (1942). See also J. A. Winn, John Dryden and His World (1987); J. and K. Kinsley (eds.), Dryden: The Critical Heritage (1971); P. Harth, Contexts of Dryden's Thought (1968) and Pen for a Party (1993).



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Notes on some works by Dryden (from the Oxford Companion):


Annus Mirabilis, a poem in quatrains by *Dryden, published 1667. 
    Its subjects are the Dutch War (1665-6) and the Fire of London. Prefaced by 'Verses to her Highness and Dutchess' [of York], it indicates that even in the 1660s Dryden's optimism about the monarchy, mercantilism, and the *Royal Society (of which he was a fellow) did not preclude the expression of an ironic vision of history. Queen Elizabeth II, to the bewilderment of some journalists, drew on Dryden's poem in a speech (24 Nov. 1992) referring to the fire of Windsor in that year, using the words 'Annus Horribilis'.
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Tyrannick Love, or The Royal Martyr, a heroic play by *Dryden, produced and published 1669.
     Based on the legend of the martyrdom of St Catherine by the Roman emperor Maximin, it contains some of Dryden's most extravagant heroic verse. Possibly deliberately comic at times, it is also seriously concerned with contrasting Lucretian and Christian conceptions of God. It was ridiculed in *The Rehearsal, and by *Shadwell. Dryden himself satirizes its excesses in *Mac Flecknoe.
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An Evening's Love, or The Mock Astrologer, a comedy by Dryden, produced 1668, published 1671.  Combining elements of Spanish intrigue comedy and fast-moving farce with sexually explicit language, it proved a commercial though not an artistic success. The plog, borrowed from M. de *Scudéry, *Corneille, Quinault, *Molière, and others, shows the exploits of two English cavaliers, Wildblood and Bellamy, in Madrid at carnival time. In the course of the play Bellamy acts the part of the eponymous astrologer, and bothe men gain Spanish wives while also helping their host Don Lopez to one. Most memorable are the scenes featuring Wildblood's spirited mistress Jacinta testing her lover in the guise first of a Moor and then of a Mulatta. Despite Wildblood's spectacular failure to remain faithful to her on both occasions, Jacinta forgives him and agrees to marry him. The preface to this play is among the most stimulating of Dryden's critical essays. He defends drama as entertainment, and replies to charges of plagiarism, offering his most explicit statement on literary appropriation to this date. The preface represents his views when he was least sympathetic to *Jonson and is therefore of importance in the dispute with Jonson's champion *Shadwell which culminated in *Mac Flecknoe.


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Marriage-à-la-Mode, a tragi-comedy by *Dryden produced 1672, published 1623.
    The main plot concerns a usurper's discovery that his daughter and his (lawful) predecerssor's son have been secretly reared together in rural seclusion and have fallen idealistically in love. The comic plot is a double intrigue involving two friends and their pursuit respectively of the wife of the one and the betrothed of the other. The counterpointing of these contrasting plots is particularly striking, especially as each ends anticlimactically, the lawful heir being restored to his throne in an overtly stagy manner, and the adulterous lovers failing to consummate their affairs. The play contains some of Dryden's finest songs, and embodies the principles of comic writing outlined in his preface to *An Evening's Love.

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Of Dramatick Poesy: An Essay by *Dryden, published 1668.
    The essay is in the form of a dialogue between Eugenius (C. *Sackville), Crites (Sir Robert Howard), Lisideius (*Sedley), and Neander (Dryden himself), who take a boat on the Thames on the day of the battle between the English and Dutch navies in June 1665, and subsequently discuss the comparative merits of English and French drama, and of the old and new in English drama. The essay is largely concerned with justifying Dryden's current practice as a playwright. It also contains admirable appreciations of Shakespeare, J. *Fletcher, and *Jonson.

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Aureng-Zebe, a tragedy by *Dryden, produced 1675, published 1676.
    The plot is remotely based on the contemporary events by which the Mogul Aureng-Zebe wrested the empire of India from his father and his brothers. The hero is a figure of exemplary rationality, virtue, and patience, whose stepmother lusts after him and whose father pursues the woman with whom Aureng-Zebe is himself in love. Apparently highly schematic in its organization, this last of Dryden's rhymed heroic plays evinces a deeply disturbing awareness of the anarchy and impotence which threaten every aspect of human life, emotional, moral, and political.

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All for Love, or The World Well Lost, a tragedy by *Dryden produced and published 1678.
    Written in blank verse in acknowledged imitation of Shaespeare's *Antony and Cleopatra, it is Dryden's most performed and his best-known play. It concentrates on the last hours in the lives of its hero and heroine. In contrast to Shakespeare's play, it is an exemplary neo-classical tragedy, notable for its elaborately formal presentation of character, action, and theme. (See NEO-CLASSICISM.)



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Mac Flecknoe (c. 1676), or A Satyr upon the True-Blew-Protestant Poet, T. S., a *mock-epic poem by *Dryden published 1682, and in a definitive edition, 1684.
    The outcome of a series of disagreements, personal, professional, and critical, between Dryden and *Shadwell, the poem represents the latter as heir to the kingdom of poetic dullness, currently governed by the minor writer *Flecknoe. It brilliantly exploits the crudity of Shadwell's farces (notably The Virtuoso) and critical writings; while the range of its allusions to 17th-cent. theatre demonstrates the complexity of Dryden's critical thought and, since he satirized his own work (notably *Tyrannick Love) as well as Shadwell's, his humility towards the tradition in which he was working. Mac Flecknoe was a vital inspiration for Pope's Dunciad.

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The Spanish Fryar, a tragi-comedy by *Dryden, produced and published 1681.
    The serious plot is characteristically about a usurpation. Torrismond, though he does not know it, is lawful heir to the throne, and secretly marries the reigning but unlawful queen, who has allowed Torrismond's father, the true king, to be murdered in prison. The sub-plot is dominated by Father dominic, a monstrous corrupt friar, who uses the cant terms of Dissenters and who pimps for the libertine and whiggish Lorenzo. The latter is a highly dubious character, yet ironically it is through his agency that the lawful Torrismond is rescued. The woman Lorenzo is pursuing, however, turns out to be his sister. The play is like *Mr Limberham in breaching comic as well as tragic decorum and in its deeply sceptical treatemnt of religious and political orthodoxies.



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Absalom and Achitophel, an allegorical poem by *Dryden, published 1681.
    A *mock-biblical satire based on 2 Sam. 13-19, it deals with certain aspects of the Exclusion crissi, notably the intrigues of the earl of Shafesbury and the ambition of the duke of Monmouth to replace James duke of York as Charles II's heir. Various public figures are represented under biblical names, notably Monmouth (Absalom), *Shaftesbury (Achitophel), the duke of *Buckingham (Zimri), Charles II (David), *Oates (Corah), and Slingsby Bethel, sheriff of London (Shimei). The poem concludes with a long speech by David vigorously but paradoxically affirming Royalist principles, and asserting his determination to govern ruthlessly if he cannot do so mercifully.
    In 1682 a second part appeared, mainly written  by N. *Tate. However, it contains 200 lines by Dryden, in which he attacks two literary and political enemies, *Shadwell as Og an *Settle as Doeg.

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The Medall,  a poem by *Dryden, published 1682.
    The earl of *Shaftesbury, who is represented in *Absalom and Achitophel and possibly in *Mr Limberham, was acquitted of charges of high treason in 1681, and a medal was struck to commemorate the event. Dryden's response includes savage attacks on Shaftesbury himself, the City, and the Commons. It predicts with some accuracy the constituted instability which was to beset the country in the ensuing 30 years. *Shadwell and Samuel Pordage (1633-?91) both wrote replies.

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Religio Laici, a poem by *Dryden, published 1682.
    Written in defence of Anglicanism against Deist, Catholic, and Dissenting arguments, Religio Laici combines an exalted recognition of religious sublimity with a defence of a 'layman's' reasonable and straightforward religious attitudes. The poem's operning lines, beginning 'Dim as the borrow'd Beams of Moon and Stars', are among the finest Dryden wrote.

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The Hind and the Panther, a poem by *Dryden, published 1687.
    Dryden became a Catholic in 1685, and the poem represents an attempt to reconcile Anglican and Catholic political interests, while at the same time defending Catholic doctrine. The first part describes various religious sects under the guise of different beasts, and in particular the Catholic Church and the Church of England as the Hind and the Panther respectively. The second part is occupied with arguments about church authority and transubstantiation, issues full of political as well as ecclesiological implications. This leads into the third part, which constitutes half the poem, and is designed to recommend  a political alliance between both Churches and the Crown against Whigs and Dissenters. It contains two celebrated fables, that of the swallows and that of the doves. However the balance of the latter, and so of the whole poem, may have been upset by James II's Second Declaration of Indulgence, which appealed to dissenting protestant sects over the heads of the Anglican establishment.

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Fables, Ancient and Modern, by *Dryden, published 1700.
    Verse paraphrases of tales by *Ovid, *Boccaccio, and *Chaucer are interspersed with poems of Dryden's own, and together with the preface, in itself one of the most important examples of Dryden's criticism, they compose themselves into an Ovidian and Catholic meditation on the place of nature, sex, and violence in the flux of history.

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Don Sebastian, a tragi-comedy by *Dryden, produced 1689, published 1691.
    The play is based on the legend that King Sebastian of Portugal survived the battle of Alcazar. He and the princess Almeyda, with whom he is in love, are captured by Muley Moloch, who spares their lives until he discovers that they have secretly married. In love with Almeyda himself, he orders Dorax, a renegade Portuguese nobleman, to execute Sebastian, but Dorax, once Sebastian's favourite, refuses to do so. Muley Moloch is killed in a revolt, but Sebastian and Almeyda then discover that their marriage is incestuous, and they renounce each other and their thrones. However, they do not renounce the memory of their love, which is subsumed in ecstatic and total submission to the decrees of an inscrutable Providence. Counterpointing this main plot is a notably erotic and earthy sub-plot. The play is Dryden' most complex dramatic treatment of a number of important political, sexual, and religious themes.

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Amphytrion, a comedy by *Dryden, produced and published 1690.
    Adapted from the comedies of *Plautus and *Molière on the same subject, it represents the story of Jupiter's seduction of Alcmena in the guise of her husband Amphytrion. In this he is aided by Mercury, who is disguised as Amphytrion's slave Sosia. The cruel abuse of mortal love by the gods is in striking contrast to the play's uninhibited eroticism. The same story was adapted by *Giraudoux in his Amphytrion 38 (1929).

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A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire, by *Dryden.
    The Discourse was published with The Satires (1693) of *Juvenal and *Persius, translated by various hands, among them Dryden's. Less impressive for its scholarship (which is not, however, negligible) than for its broad sense of the principles underlying literary and social history, it distinguishes between 'Varronian', 'Horatian', and 'Juvenalian' satire in a way that has considerably influenced criticism of Dryden's own satirical works and that of his Augustan successors.

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Mr Limberham, or The Kind Keeper, a comedy by *Dryden, produced 1679, published 1680.
    The play was banned by royal decree after three performances and has been execrated since, but Dryden nonetheless thought highly of it. The title role is possibly based on *Shaftesbury. Limberham is an impotent masochist, who is cuckolded by the oversexed hero Woodall, to whom every woman in the play succumbs. In this Woodall (who has been brought up abroad and is under an assumed name) is enthusiastically abetted by his unknowing father, Aldo. By implication the play attacks the patriarchism of a sexually corrupt court, the blind hedonism of the nobility, and the hypocrisy of Dissenters.






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Jueves, 03 de Noviembre de 2016 09:26. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


San Isidoro sobre el teatro

San Isidoro sobre el teatro


Del libro XVIII.42-51 de las Etimologías de San Isidoro de Sevilla, hacia el año 600.  El estado del teatro a principios del siglo VII—observemos que se habla en pasado, mayormente; era cosa de antes y de paganos. La exposición sigue a Tertuliano, que escribió De spectaculis hacia el año 200.  El tratado de San Isidoro sitúa a los espectáculos teatrales después de las competiciones deportivas y antes de las peleas de gladiadores en el anfiteatro.


42. Sobre el teatro

1. Teatro es el lugar en que se encuentra un escenario; tiene forma de semicírculo y en él todos los presentes observan. Su forma fue inicialmente circular, como el anfiteatro; después, de medio anfiteatro se hizo un teatro. El nombre de theatrum le viene del espectáculo mismo, derivado de theoria, porque en él el pueblo, colocado en los lugares elevados y asistiendo como espectadores, contemplaba los juegos. 2. Al teatro se le denomina también "prostíbulo", porque, terminado el espectáculo, allí se prostituían (prostrare) las rameras. Se llama también lupanar por esas mismas meretrices que, a causa de la frivolidad de su prostituido cuerpo, reciben el nombre de lupae (lobas), pues "lobas" son llamadas las prostitutas por su rapacidad, ya que atraen hacia ellas a los desdichados y los atrapan. Pues los paganos establecieron lupanares para que allí se expusiera al público el pudor de las infelices mujeres y sufrieran deshonra tanto los que allí acudían como quienes en aquel lugar se prostituían.

43. La escena

La escena era el lugar situado en la parte inferior del teatro; tenía la apariencia de una casa dotada de una tribuna, tribuna que se denominaba orchestra y en la que cantaban los actores cómicos o trágicos, y donde bailaban los histriones y los mimos. El nombre de escena es de origen griego: se denomina así porque presentaba el aspecto de una casa. Por idéntico motivo, entre los hebreos, la dedicación de los tabernáculos se llamaba skenopégia, por la semejanza que éstos tenían con una casa.

44. La orchestra
La orchestra era la tribuna de la escena; en ella podía actuar el bailarín o representar dos personas en una disputa. A ella subían los poetas cómicos o trágicos a rivalizar en los certámenes. Y mientrs unos cantaban, otros hacían pasos de danza. Los que se dedicaban al arte escénico eran los tragediógrafos, comediógrafos, músicos, histriones, mimos y danzarines.

45. Sobre los tragediógrafos 
Los tragediógrafos son los que, con verso triste y ante el público espectador, contaban las antiguas hazañas y delitos de reyes criminales.

46. Sobre los comediógrafos

Los comediógrafos son los que, con sus palabras y sus gestos, cantaban hechos de personas particulares y representaban en sus comedias los estupros de las doncellas y los amores de las prostitutas.

47. Sobre los músicos

Thymelici eran los músicos de la escena, que iniciaban el canto con sus instrumentos musicales, de ordinario liras o cítaras. Se les denominaba thymelici porque antiguamente cantaban subidos en la orchestra, en lo alto de la tribuna, que era llamada thymele.
 
 48. Sobre los histriones

Los histriones son los que, vestidos con ropas femeninas, imitaban los gestos de las mujeres impúdicas. Asimismo, con sus danzas representaban historias y hechos ocurridos. Se les llama histriones porque este tipo de actores fue traído de Histria; o porque representaban comedias urdidas con diferentes historias, como si se les dijera historiones.

49. Sobre los mimos

A los mimos se les denomina así, con un término griego, porque son imitadores de las cosas humanas. Tenían su propio guionista; éste, antes de que se representase la acción mímica, narraba el argumento. Y es que los poetas componían las comedias de tal modo que pudieran adaptarse perfectamente al movimiento del cuerpo.

50. Sobre los danzarines

Varrón afirma que los danzarines recibieron el nombre de saltatores derivándolo del árcade Salio, a quien Eneas llevó consigo a Italia, y que fue el primero que enseñó a danzar a los jóvenes nobles romanos.

51. Qué se representa y bajo qué patronato

Es de todo punto evidente el patrocinio de Líber y de Venus en las artes escénicas y en todo lo propio y privativo de la escena, como son los gestos y flexiones del cuerpo. En efecto, ofrendaban a Líber y a Venus la sensualidad, unos por el sexo, y otros, disolutos, por el fasto. Por su parte, todo cuanto se desarrolló mediante la palabra y el canto, los instrumentos de viento y las liras, tiene como patronos a los Apolos, las Musas, las Minervas y los mercurios. Tú, cristiano, debes aborrecer este espectáculo del mismo modo que aborreciste a sus patronos.

 

Nota de los editores José Oroz y Manuel A. Marcos: "Todo este capítulo, con muy ligeras variantes, está tomado literalmente de Tertuliano (De Spectaculis 10.8-9). La edición de E. Castorina, en este pasaje de Tertuliano, recoge flexu; aunque—indica en la nota—"se podría aceptar también fluxu". Y continúa, en la nota, la exposición de las razones por las que prefiere flexu frente a fluxu, pese a que en los mejores códices de Isidoro se encuentra fluxu, y sólo en los deteriores encontremos flexu. Aduce la autoridad de Quintiliano (2,13,9) y Fírmico (Math. 6,30,9). En favor de fluxu señala Séneca (De tranq. animi 17,4), Apuleyo (Met. 11,,8) y Arnobio (6,12). Pese a todo, se incluna por flexu. Frente a litteris, de Tertuliano, encontramos lyris en Isidoro, número 2." San Isidoro de Sevilla, Etimologías.  2 vols. Ed. José Oroz Reta and Manuel-A. Marcos Casquero. Introd. Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz. 2nd ed. Madrid: BAC, 1993.





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Jueves, 03 de Noviembre de 2016 09:04. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Vagabundos de las estrellas

domingo, 1 de noviembre de 2015

Vagabundos de las estrellas


Una nota sobre algunos aspectos de la narrativa de Jack London, en especial El vagabundo de las estrellas, desde la perspectiva de la narratología evolucionista y cognitiva. La consciencia del sentido de la evolución por parte de London tiene varias consecuencias para la teoría y práctica del anclaje narrativo en sus ficciones, en particular en el establecimiento de conexiones explícitas entre la Gran Historia y la praxis narrativa del autor.

 

Vagabundos de las estrellas

silver surfer stars

English Abstract: 

Star Rovers

A note on some aspects of Jack London’s fiction, particularly The Star Rover, from the standpoint of evolutionary and cognitive narratology. London’s awareness of the significance of evolution has a number of consequences for the theory and practice of narrative anchoring in his fictions, particularly in the building of explicit connections between Big History and the writer’s narrative praxis.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Jack London, Big History, American fiction, Historicity,

 
The paper appears in the following SSRN eJournals and repositories:
 

eJournal Classifications (Date posted: October 22, 2015)
AARN Subject Matter eJournals
             
AARN Subject Matter eJournals
             
CSN Subject Matter eJournals
             








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Martes, 01 de Noviembre de 2016 14:35. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


John Webster - The Duchess of Malfi [BBC, 1972]

Jueves, 29 de octubre de 2015

John Webster - The Duchess of Malfi [BBC, 1972]

 

The Duchess of Malfi. Dir. James MacTaggart. Based on John Webster's play.  Cast: Eileen Atkins - The Duchess; Michael Bryant - Daniel de Bosola; Charles Kay - Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria; T.P. McKenna - The Cardinal; Gary Bond - Antonio Bologna; Jean Gilpin - Julia; Jerome Willis - Delio; Sheila Ballantine - Cariola; Tim Curry - a madman. BBC TV, 10 Oct. 1972. Online at YouTube (Lothriel) 15 May 2010.*

         https://youtu.be/M3NT4lnanTk?list=PL8FB3F193D8BF98F3

        2016

 

 

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MACBETH 1978 | Ian McKellen | Judi Dench

jueves, 29 de octubre de 2015

MACBETH 1978 | Ian McKellen | Judi Dench









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Style and Patterns of Blending

miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

Style and Patterns of Blending









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The Earl of Rochester

martes, 27 de octubre de 2015

The Earl of Rochester

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:



Rochester, John Wilmot, second earl of (1647-80), lyric poet, satirist, and a leading member of the group of 'court wits' surrounding Charles II. He was born at Ditchley in Oxfordshire, his father was a Cavalier hero and his mother a deeply religious woman related to many prominent Puritans. In his early teens he was sent to Wadham College, Oxford, the home of the *Royal Society, and then went on a European tour, returning to the court late in 1664. At the age of 18 he romantically abducted the sought-after heiress Elizabeth Malet in a coach-and-six. Despite the resistance of her family, and after a delay of 18 months (during which Rochester fought with conspicuous gallantry in the war against the Dutch), she married him. Subsequently his time was divided between periods of domesticity with Elizabeth at his mother's home in the country (the couple had four children), and fashionable life in London with, among several mistresses, the brilliant actress Elizabeth *Barry, and his riotous male friends, who included the earl of Dorset (C. *Sackville) and the duke of *Buckingham. Wherever he was staying he tried to keep up the other side of his life through letters, many of which survive.rochester

Although Dr. *Johnson dismissed Rochester's lyrics, their wit and emotional complexity give him some claim to be considered one of the last important *Metaphysical poets of the 17th cent., and he was one of the first of the *Augustans, with his social and literary verse satires. He wrote scurrilous lampoons—some of them impromptu—dramatic prologues and epilogues, 'imitations' and translations of classical authors, and several other brilliant poems which are hard to categorize, such as his tough self-dramatization 'The Maimed Debauchee' and the grimly funny 'Upon Nothing'. He wrote more frankly about sex than anyone in English before the 20th cent., and is one of the most witty poets in the language. Although his output was small (he died young), it was very varied. *Marvell admired him, *Dryden, *Swift, and *Pope were all influenced by him (he was Dryden's patron for a time), and he has made an impression on many subsequent poets—*Goethe and *Tennyson, for example, and in modern Britain, *Empson and P. *Porter.

Rochester is famous for having, in Johnson's words, 'blazed out his youth and health in lavish voluptuousness'. He became very ill in his early thirties and engaged in discussions and correspondence with a number of theologians, particularly the deist Charles Blount and the rising Anglican churchman G. *Burnet, an outspoken royal chaplain who superintended and subsequently wrote up the poet's deathbed conversion. It was the final contradiction in a personality whose many oppositions—often elegantly or comically half-concealed—produced and important body of poems. See Complete Poems, ed. D. M. Vieth (1968); Poems, ed. K. Walker (1984); Letters, ed. J. Treglown (1980). There is a life by V. de Sola Pinto (1953, 2nd ed. 1964); see also Lord Rochester's Monkey (1974) by G. *Greene.



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En tiempos de los cíclopes - In the Times of the Cyclopes

martes, 27 de octubre de 2015

En tiempos de los cíclopes - In the Times of the Cyclopes

Comentamos en este artículo la figura de los cíclopes en Homero y en Vico, leyéndola como un arquetipo cultural y psicológico de la sociedad protohumana. Los dos aspectos complementarios del mito (como tradición cultural que se remonta a la prehistoria, y como estructura psicológica, referida a la socialización y al desarrollo psicológico individual) convergen en un origen ontofilogenético común; se refuerzan mutuamente, y proporcionan una consciencia cultural intuitiva de la realidad de la evolución mental y cultural, y de los lazos existentes entre el mundo humano y el animal.



Jose Angel Garcia Landa


Universidad de Zaragoza

July 15, 2011


coloso

 


English Abstract:

In the Times of the Cyclopes

This paper comments on the figure of the cyclopes in Homer and in Vico, read as a cultural and psychological archeype of protohuman society. The two complementary aspects of the myth (as a cultural tradition harking back to prehistory and as a psychological structure, referring to socialization and individual psychological development) point out to a common ontophylogenetic origin; they reinforce each other, and provide an intuitive cultural awareness of the reality of the evolution of mind and culture, and of the link between the human and the animal world.


Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: Myth, Cyclops, Vico, Homer, Evolution, Neanderthals, Human origins, Prehistory,








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Time & Memory: Mark Turner

lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

Time & Memory: Mark Turner







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La Teoría de la Mente y el Receptor Implícito

lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

La Teoría de la Mente y el Receptor Implícito


Proponemos en este artículo reinterpretar algunos conceptos relativos a la intersubjetividad presentes en la filosofía de la comunicación y teoría crítica (el interlocutor ideal de Adam Smith, el lector implícito de Booth, el dialogismo de Bajtín, etc.) en términos de los actuales enfoques de la psicología cognitiva englobados bajo el término de "Teoría de la Mente".

La Teoría de la Mente y el receptor implícito 

English Abstract:

Theory of Mind and the Implied Receiver

This paper puts forward a proposal to reread some concepts related to intersubjectivity used in the philosophy of communication and critical theory (Adam Smith's ideal interlocutor, Booth's implied reader, Bakhtin's dialogism, etc.) in terms of the contemporary approaches in cognitive pscychology known as "Theory of Mind".

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: Theory of Mind, Psychology, Intersubjectivity, Discourse analysis, Receivers, Implied reader, Goffman, Adam Smith, Kenneth Burke


Date posted: October 17, 2015  

http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2675105

eJournal Classifications
CSN Subject Matter eJournals
             
RCRN Subject Matter eJournals
             
RCRN Subject Matter eJournals
             










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Miércoles, 26 de Octubre de 2016 08:23. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Notas sobre El Ordenador Renacentista

sábado, 24 de octubre de 2015

Notas sobre El Ordenador Renacentista

Notas sobre 'The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print', libro editado por Neil Rhodes y Jonathan Sawday (Routledge, 2000).




Notas sobre El Ordenador Renacentista -  en html  y en PDF.



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Marlowe - EDUARDO II

miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2015

Marlowe - EDUARDO II







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Hurting Enough and Losing Touch

domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015

Hurting Enough and Losing Touch

From Vikram Seth's An Equal Music (I.11):

When I was being considered for the Maggiore Quartet, Helen asked me how Julia was. They knew each other because our trio and their quartet—both recently formed—had met at the summer programmes in Banff in the Canadian Rockies.
    I said that we'd lost touch.
    "Oh, what a pity," said Helen, "And how's Maria? Marvellous cellist! I thought the three of you played awfully well together. You belonged together."
    "Maria's fine, I think. She's still in Vienna."
    "I do feel it's a pity when one loses touch with friends," babbled Helen sympathetically. "I had a school-friend once. He was in the class above me. I adored him. He wanted to be, of all things, a dentist. . .  Oh, it's not a sensitive subject, is it?"
    "No, not at all. But perhaps we should get on with the rehearsal. I've got to be somewhere at five-thirty."
    "Of course. You told me that you were in a hurry, and here I am, nattering on. Silly me."
    To lose touch — an hearing and smell and taste and sight. Not a week passes when I don't think of her. This after ten years, too persistent a trace in the memory.



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En el Rhetorical Theory eJournal

domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015

En el Rhetorical Theory eJournal

En el Rhetorical Theory eJournal

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John Cleveland

John Cleveland


From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.

CLEVELAND, John (1613-58). *Cavalier poet, born in Loughborough, the son of a clergyman, and educated at Cambridge. He joined the king's camp in Oxford during the Civil War as an active Royalist; he wrote there one of his best known satires, 'The Rebel Scot', which contains the couplet commended by Dr. *Johnson, 'Had Cain been Scot, God would have changed his doom / Not forced him wander, but confined him home.' Although criticized during his life as an academic and coterie poet, his works were highly popular, and 25 editions (none, apparently, with his supervision) appeared between 1647 and 1700. *Dryden's opinion of him as one 'who gives us common thoughts in abstruse words' eventually prevailed, but the 20th cent. revival of interest in the *metaphysicals and in political satire has led to more serious consideration. An edition by B. Morris and E. Withington appeared in 1967.




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'MEDEA' de Eurípides

domingo, 11 de octubre de 2015

'MEDEA' de Eurípides

 






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Rhetorical Identity and Identification

Rhetorical Identity and Identification

10 Oct. 2015


Dear Jose Angel Garcia Landa:

Your paper, "ACCIÓN, RELATO, DISCURSO: ESTRUCTURA DE LA FICCIÓN NARRATIVA (ACTION, STORY, DISCOURSE: THE STRUCTURE OF NARRATIVE FICTION)", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: RCRN: Rhetorical Identity & Identification (Topic).

As of 10 October 2015, your paper has been downloaded 91 times. You may view the abstract and download statistics at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2480262.

Top Ten Lists are updated on a daily basis. Click the following link(s) to view the Top Ten list for:

RCRN: Rhetorical Identity & Identification (Topic) Top Ten.

Click the following link(s) to view all the papers in:

RCRN: Rhetorical Identity & Identification (Topic) All Papers.

(Actually, this paper doesn't show up as there's another one with the same number of downloads in no. 10. But I've got another one in the top ten:)

Rhetorical Identity and Identification

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Sophocles Oedipus Rex 1957

miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2015

Sophocles Oedipus Rex 1957







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Calderón de la Barca: El gran teatro del mundo

Calderón de la Barca: El gran teatro del mundo

Introducción a 'El Gran Teatro del Mundo', auto sacramental de Pedro Calderón de la Barca, con imágenes de la producción de TVE (1968).






Y una representación completa (Perú, 1997):







Calderón, como Shakespeare, sabía que "es representación la humana vida"—y exprime aquí la teatralidad de la vida real duplicando el drama dentro del drama. Estos dramaturgos, avisados por su experiencia del teatro, usan a éste no como una imagen gratuita, sino extrayendo de la auténtica teatralidad de la vida la potencia de su estética. En su comprensión de que la vida es realmente (y por tanto también figuradamente) dramática, en su saber que no estaban sólo jugando con las palabras, o no más de lo que jugamos en cada escena del drama de la vida real, se anticipan a la sociología dramatística de Erving Goffman y otros, que en nuestros días siguen manteniendo la literalidad de esta proposición, que en la misma medida en que el teatro es vida real, la vida real es teatro.

A estas cuestiones de vida, dramaturgia, y metadrama, siempre dialécticamente implicadas entre sí, dedico mi página titulada EL GRAN TEATRO DEL MUNDO.

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Atentos al Top Ten

Atentos al Top Ten


Dear Jose Angel Garcia Landa:

Your paper, "ATENCIÓN A LA ATENCIÓN: SOCIOBIOLOGÍA, ESTÉTICA Y PRAGMÁTICA DE LA ATENCIÓN (PAYING ATTENTION TO ATTENTION: SOCIOBIOLOGY, AESTHETICS AND PRAGMATICS OF ATTENTION)", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: PRN: Philosophy of Perception (Topic).

As of 05 October 2015, your paper has been downloaded 22 times. You may view the abstract and download statistics at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2180235.

Top Ten Lists are updated on a daily basis. Click the following link(s) to view the Top Ten list for:

PRN: Philosophy of Perception (Topic) Top Ten.

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Miércoles, 05 de Octubre de 2016 08:12. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


This Is My Play's Last Scene

This Is My Play's Last Scene


Un poema de los Holy Sonnets de John Donne, "This Is My Play's Last Scene", que me llama la atención en primer lugar por la metáfora de la vida como teatro, aunque es sólo la primera imagen de muchas que da para el telón final:


This is my play's last scene; here heavens appoint
My pilgrimage's last mile; and my race,
Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace,
My span's last inch, my minute's latest point;
And gluttonous death will instantly unjoint
My body and my soul, and I shall sleep a space;
But my'ever-waking part shall see that face
Whose fear already shakes my every joint.
Then, as my soul to heaven, her first seat, takes flight,
And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,
So fall my sins, that all may have their right,
To where they'are bred, and would press me, to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purg'd of evil,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil. 

 Traducido así a la ligera:
Esta es la última escena de mi drama, aquí el cielo señala
la última milla de mi peregrinar, y mi carrera,
que he corrido ocioso pero rápido, tiene este último paso,
la última pulgada de mi palmo, el último punto de mi minuto;
y la muerte glotona al punto desmembrará
mi cuerpo y mi alma, y dormiré un rato;
pero mi parte insomne verá ese rostro
que de miedo me hace temblar ya todo el cuerpo.
Entonces, mientras mi alma al cielo, su primer asiento, emprende el vuelo,
y el cuerpo nacido terrenal morará en la tierra,
que del mismo modo caigan mis pecados, y cada cual tenga lo suyo,
a donde se criaron, y a donde querrían llevarme a la fuerza, al infierno.
Consideradme recto, purgado así de mal,
Puesto que así dejo el mundo, la carne y el demonio.
Quizá lo más llamativo, aparte del temor reverencial a Dios que aparece en otros sonetos —Dios es para Donne una especie de terrorífico rey absolutista en su corte majestuosa— es la curiosa manera en que formula su esperanza de resurrección y trascendencia. 
Hay quien dice que las sucesivas reformas y conversiones doctrinales forzosas dejaron a los ingleses sin fe—sólo con una creencia formulaica, y con una religión política. A Donne sí lo dejaron más dispuesto a jugar con las ideas doctrinales que a tomárselas muy en serio. En cuestiones de religión, quizá su expresión más directa y sincera sea esa Elegía en la que dice que la auténtica verdad está en la búsqueda incesante de la verdad, y no en creerse que se ha hallado en una doctrina que prometa certidumbre y detenga esa búsqueda.
Así pues, la teología de este poema, si nos lo tomamos como teología y no como juego de ideas, es totalmente poco ortodoxa... y sin embargo muy cristiana a su manera.
Ante la duda de si él, como pecador, irá al cielo o al infierno, Donne prefiere tomar todas las alternativas. Irá al cielo, irá al infierno, y también se quedará en la tierra.  Es decir, su alma inmortal irá al cielo, que es de donde viene, su cuerpo se quedará evidentemente en la tierra (aunque esto contradice otros sonetos divinos, y la resurrección de los cuerpos) y sus pecados caerán al infierno, que es su lugar más propio. La cosa ciertamente tiene su lógica propia, y reduce a un ejercicio de ingenio metafísico las dudas y angustias sobre el más allá. Quizá sea el mejor uso que pueda dárseles, a esas angustias trascendentales.

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Relatos y Textos para nada

miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2015

Relatos y Textos para nada

 

 


RELATOS Y TEXTOS PARA NADA
Samuel Beckett
Traducción e introducción de José Francisco Fernández
Descripción:
Cuando en 1955 la editorial Minuit publicó los Relatos y Textos para nada, en su versión original en francés, Samuel Beckett ya había sorprendido al mundo con la originalidad y el ingenio de Esperando a Godot (estrenada en 1953). La producción de nuevas obras de teatro, todas ellas de gran calado existencial, haría que en las siguientes décadas el autor irlandés se convirtiera en el dramaturgo más influyente del siglo XX. Sin embargo, su obra narrativa no es en absoluto desdeñable y, en la opinión de muchos críticos, la profundidad alcanzada en sus novelas y relatos es muy superior a lo conseguido en teatro. Los Relatos de Samuel Beckett, por ejemplo, muestran a un Beckett en plena madurez creativa, presentando con toda crudeza a un tipo de personaje característico de su universo literario: un ser desamparado que deambula por escenarios inhóspitos y cuyas peripecias reflejan, parcialmente, las penalidades sufridas por el autor durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Los Textos para nada, por su parte, constan de 13 fragmentos en los que Beckett despoja a la literatura de todo artificio y se aproxima, en una búsqueda obsesiva, como ningún escritor había hecho antes, a lo que yace detrás de las palabras, ya sea la verdad o el vacío. Fue el propio Beckett el que tradujo al inglés todas las secciones que conforman el libro hasta que se publicó en esta lengua en 1967.
Sobre el autor:
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) ha sido uno de los representantes más importantes del experimentalismo literario del siglo XX. Figura clave del Teatro del absurdo, ha sido uno de los escritores más influyentes del siglo pasado. La obra de Beckett, escrita en inglés y francés, es sombría, tendente al minimalismo y profundamente pesimista sobre la condición humana. Sin embargo, este pesimismo se ve atemperado por un particular sentido del humor, negro y sórdido.
Sobre el traductor:
José Francisco Fernández es profesor titular en la Universidad de Almería, donde imparte clases de literatura inglesa. Sus investigaciones se centran en el estudio y la traducción de la obra de Samuel Beckett. Ha publicado artículos sobre el Premio Nobel irlandés en revistas como Journal of the Short Story in English, AUMLA, Estudios irlandeses y Journal of Beckett Studies, entre otras. Es autor de la traducción al castellano de dos novelas de Samuel Beckett: Sueño con mujeres que ni fu ni fa, junto con Miguel Martínez-Lage (Tusquets, 2011), y Mercier y Camier, (Confluencias, 2013), así como del relato «Asunción» (Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2015).
JPM Ediciones

http://www.facebook.com/jpmediciones

________________


Sobre estos relatos y textos para nada iba mi primera publicación, también para nada, allá a mediados de los 80: La subjetividad como máscara en los relatos de Beckett.



—oOo—


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Viernes, 30 de Septiembre de 2016 05:37. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2015

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

 

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.



Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a greatly admired alliterative poem from the North-West Midlands, dating from the second half of the 14th cent. (some authorities date it around 1375), the only manuscript of which is the famous Cotton Nero A. X which is also the sole manuscript of *Pearl, *Patience, and *Cleanness. The poem is in 2,530 lines in long-lined alliterative stanzas of varying length, each ending with a *'bob and wheel'. Most modern critics regard the four poems in the manuscript as the work of a single poet; but as far as the interpretation of this poem is concerned, the question of single authorship is largely irrelevant, so different is its subject from the three doctrinal pieces.

The story of the poem is as follows (under the headings of its four 'fitts', narrative divisions).  

Fitt 1: Arthur and his court are seated at a New Year's feast in Camelot waiting for a marvel when a huge green man enters, bearing an axe and a holly bough. He challenges a knight to cut his head off on condition that the knight agrees to have his head cut off a year hence. Gawain accepts the challenge and cuts the green knight's head off; the knight picks it up and rides away.

Fitt 2: A year later Gawain sets off to keep his side of the bargain. After riding through grim landscapes in wintry weather, on Christmas Eve Gawain comes upon a beautiful castle where he is graciously received. The lord of the castle makes an agreement with Gawain that each day he himself will hunt in the fields and Gawain in the castle; at the end of the day they will exchange spoils.  

Fitt 3: For three consecutive days, the lord hunts and Gawain, famous for his sill and prowess in love, is amorously approached by the beautiful lady of the castle, who gives him one kiss the first day, two on the second, and on the third day three kisses, and a girdle which has magic properties that will save his life. Each evening Gawain exchanges the kisses with his host for the animals slain in the hunt; but in the third evening he keeps the girdle (thus breaking his bargain), to protect him in the imminent meeting with the green knight. 

Fitt 4: Gawain is directed to the green knight's chapel where he kneels to receive his blow. Twice the knight feints at him, and the third time he makes a slight cut in Gawain's neck. Then he explains that he is the knight of the castle in a different form, and that the cut in the neck was sustained because of Gawain's infidelity in keeping the girdle. Gawain bitterly curses his failing and the snares of women; but hte green knight applauds him and, on Gawain's return to Arthur's court, they declare that they will all wear a green girdle in honour of his achievement.

The poem may be connected with the founding of the Order of the Garter. The elegance of the construction of the narrative, as well as the vivid language of the poem, are universally admired, and this is agreed to be one of the greatest poems in Middle English. Interpretation of its somewhat enigmatic raison d'être has been more varying; Speirs stressed its connection with some unexpressed archetypal story of seasons and vegetation; John Burrow concentrates on the moral seriousness underlying its colourful romantic exterior; modern critics, such as E. Wilson, see it in relation to the other Christian poems in the manuscript.

Ed. J. R. R. *Tolkien, E. V. Gordon, and N. Davis (2nd edn, 1967); J. A. Burrow, A Reading of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1965); J. Speirs, Medieval English Poetry (1957): 215-51; A. C. Spearing, The Gawain Poet (1970), ch. 5; E. Wilson, The Gawain-Poet (1976); W. R. J. Barron, Trawthe and Treason (1980); D. R. Howard and C. K. Zacher, eds. Critical Studies of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1968).




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Jueves, 29 de Septiembre de 2016 07:49. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Fit the First

lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2015

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Fit the First







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Jueves, 29 de Septiembre de 2016 07:39. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Bibliografía sobre Diarios y Dietarios

domingo, 27 de septiembre de 2015

Bibliografía sobre Diarios y Dietarios

Diaries —de mi Bibliografía de Teoría Literaria, Crítica, y Filología, subido a Scribd por Arnaldo Donoso

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Jueves, 29 de Septiembre de 2016 07:37. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Introduction to Theatre and Drama Arts: Lecture 9 - The Play

domingo, 27 de septiembre de 2015

Introduction to Theatre and Drama Arts: Lecture 9 - The Play

 





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Martes, 27 de Septiembre de 2016 06:48. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Orientations: Beowulf

martes, 22 de septiembre de 2015

Orientations: Beowulf

From Michael Alexander’s 
History of English Literature 
(2nd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)



Beowulf

Like Greek literature, English literature begins with an epic, a poem of historic scope telling of heroes and of the world, human and non-human. Compared with the epics of Homer, Beowulf is short, with 3182 verses, yet it is the longest as well as the richest of Old English poems. Like other epics, it has a style made for oral composition, rich in formulas. The poem is found in a manuscript of the early eleventh century, but was composed perhaps two centuries earlier still, on the coasts of the Baltic. This was the northwest Germanic world from which the English had come to Britain. The coming of the Saxons is recalled in a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 937.

... from the east came
Angles and Saxons up to these shores,
Seeking Britain across the broad seas,
Smart for glory, those smiths of war
That overcame the Welsh, and won a homeland

The first great work of English literature is not set in Britain. Beowulf opens with the mysterious figure of Scyld, founder of the Scylding dynasty of Denmark, who would have lived c. 400, before England existed. A Hengest mentioned in a sub-story of the poem may be the Hengest invited into Kent in 449 (see page 12). The Offa who is mentioned may be an ancestor of Offa, King of Mercia in the 8th century.

Beowulf showed the English the world of their ancestors, the heoric world of the north, a world both glorious and heathen. Dynasties take their identity from their ancestors, and the rulers of the English kingdoms ruled by right of ancestral conquest. The date and provenance of Beowulf are uncertain, and its authorship unknown, but the poem would have had ancestral interest to such a ruler.

West-Saxon genealogies go back to Noah via Woden; they include three names mentioned in Beowulf—Scyld, Scef and Beow. When in the 7th century the English became Christian they sent missionaries to their Germanic cousins. The audience for poetry was the lord of the hall and the men of his retinue. Such an audience was proud of its ancestors—even if, as the poem says of the Danes, ’they did not know God’.

The text of Beowulf is found in a manuscript in the West-Saxon dialect of Wessex which had become the literary standard. All the texts in the manuscript are about monsters, but the prime concern of Beowulf is not with monsters or even heroes but with human wisdom and destiny. It recounts the doings over two or three generations about the year 500 of the rulers of the Danes and the Swedes, and of a people who lived between them in southern Sweden, the Geats. The name Beowulf is not recorded in history, but the political and dynastic events of the poem are consistent with history. Beowulf is the nephew of Hygelac, King of the Geats, who died in a raid on the northern fringe of the Frankish empire. This key event of the poem is recorded in two Latin histories as having happened in about 521.

Hygelac fell in a raid in search of booty. In attacking the Frisians on the Frankish border, Beowulf’s uncle was asking for trouble, says the poem. The Franks took from Hygelac’s body a necklace of precious stones, a treasure previously bestowed on Beowulf by the Queen of the Danes as a reward for having killed the monster, Grendel (see below). On his return from Denmark, Beowulf had presented this prize to his lord, Hygelac, but the necklace was lost in this needless attack. Beowulf stopped the enemy champion, Dayraven, from taking Hygelac’s armour by crushing him to death with his bare hands. Beowulf returned with the armour of thirty soldiers, and declined the throne, preferring to serve Hygelac’s young son. But when this son is killed for harbouring an exiled Swedish prince, Beowulf became king and ruled the Geats for ’fifty years’.

The poem has a mysterious overture in the arrival of Scyld as a foundling child, sent by God to protect the lordless Danes, his victorious life and his burial in a ship. His great-grandson Hrothgar inherits the Danish empire and builds the great hall of Heorot, where he rewards his followers with gifts. At a banquet, Hrothgar’s poet sings the story of the creation of the world. The sound of music, laughter and feasting is resented by the monster Grendel, who comes from the fens to attack Heorot when the men are asleep. He devours thirty of Hrothgar’s thanes. Beowulf hears of the persecution of the Danes and comes to kill Grendel, in a tremendous fight at night in the hall. The next night, Grendel’s mother comes to the hall and takes her revenge. Beowulf follows her to her lair in an underwater cave, where with God’s help he kills her. Finally, in old age, he has to fight a dragon, who has attacked the Geats in revenge for the taking of a cup from his treasure-hoard. Beowulf faces the dragon alone, but can kill it only with the help of a young supporter; he dies of his wounds. The poem ends with a prophecy of the subjection of the Geats by the Franks or the Swedes. The Geats build a funeral pyre for their leader.

Then the warriors rode about the barrow
Twelve of them in all, athelings’ sons.
They recited a dirge to declare their grief,
Spoke of the man, mourned their King.
They praised his manhood, and the prowess of his hands,
They raised his name; it is right a man
Should be lavish in honouring his lord and friend,
Should love him in his heart when the leading-forth
From the house of flesh befalls him at last.

This was the manner of the mourning of the men of the Geats,
Sharers in the frest, at the fall of their lord:
They said that he was of all  the world’s kings
The gentlest of men, and the most gracious,
The kindest to his people, the keenest for fame.

The foundation of Germanic heroic society is the bond between a lord and his people, especially his retinue of warriors. Each will die for the other. Beowulf’s epitaph suggests an ethical recipe for heroism: three parts responsibility to one part honour. The origin of Beowulf’s life-story in the folk-tale of the Bear’s son and his marvellous feats, is transformed by the poem into a distinctly social ideal of the good young hero and the wise old king.

The heroic world is violent, but neither Beowulf nor Beowulf is bloodthirsty. The poem shows not just the glory but also the human cost of a code built upon family honour and the duty of vengeance. This cost is borne by men, and differently, by women. In this aristocratic world, women have honoured roles: peacemaker in marriage-alliances between dynasties, bride, consort, hostess, counsellor, mother, and widow. In Beowulf the cost of martial honour is signified in the figure of the mourning woman. Her is the Danish princess Hildeburh at the funeral pyre of her brother Hnaef, treacherously killed by her husband Finn, and her son, also killed in the attack on Hnaef. Shortly after this, Finn is killed by Hengest.

Hildeburh then ordered her own son
To be given to the funeral fire of Hnaef
For the burning of his bones; bede him be laid
At his uncle’s side. She sang the dirges,
Bewailed her grief. The warrior went up;
The greatest of corpse-fires coiled to the sky, 
Roared before the mounds. There were melting heads
And bursting wounds, as the blood sprang out
From weapon-bitten bodies. Blazing fire,
Most insatiable of spirits, swallowed the remains
of the victims of both nations. Their valour was no more.

The heroic way of life—magnificent, hospitable and courageous—depends upon military success. It can descend into the world of the feud, violent and merciless. The heroic code involves obligations to lord, to family and to guest, and heroic literature brings these obligations into tension, with tragic potential.

A comparison can be made between Beowulf and the Achilles of the Iliad. When Achilles’ pride is piqued, he will not fight, rejoining the Greeks only after his friend and substitute is killed. Achilles takes out his anger on the Trojan Hector, killing him, dishonoring his corpse and refusing to yield it for burial, until at last Hector’s father humiliates himself before Achilles to beg his son’s body. Achilles is reminded that even he must die. Homer’s characterization is more dramatic, brilliant and detailed; the characters of Beowulf are types rather than individuals. The ethos is also different. Beowulf devotedly serves his lord Hygelac, and his people the Geats. His youthful exploits in Denmark repay a debt of honour he owes to Hrothgar, who had saved Beowulf’s father Edgetheow, paying compensation for the life of a man Edgetheow had killed. Like Achilles, Beowulf is eloquent, courageous, quick to act, unusually strong. But Beowulf is considerate, magnanimous and responsible. As Hrothgar points out, he has an old head on young shoulders; he makes a good king. Yet as the poem makes clear in a series of stories marginal to Beowulf’s own life, most warriors from ruling families fall far short of Beowulf’s responsibility and judgement. Beowulf is both a celebration of an an elegy for heroism. The ideal example set by Beowulf himself implies a Christian critique of an ethic in which honour can be satisfied by ’the world’s remedy’, vengeance.

Gendel envies the harmony of the feast in Heorot and destroys it. He is a fiend: feond means both enemy and malign spirit. He is also in man’s shape, though of monstrous size. He is identified as a descendant of Cain, the first murderer, who in Genesis is marked and driven out by God from human society. Fratricide was an occupational hazard in ruling Germanic families, since succession was not by primogeniture but by choice of the fittest. In the heroic age of the north, sons were often fostered out, partly to reduce conflict and risk, but fraternal rivalry remained endemic. In Beowulf the greatest crimes are treachery to a lord and murder of kindred. The folklore figure of Grendel embodies the savage spirit of fratricidal envy. The dragon is a brute without Grendel’s human and demonic aspects. He destroys Beowulf’s hall by fire in revenge for the theft of a golden cup from his treasure. The dragon jealously guards his hoard underground, whereas the king shares out rings in the hall.

Beowulf commands respect by the depth and maturity of its understanding. Although its archaic world of warriors and rulers is simple, the poem is often moving in its sober concern with wisdom and right action, the destiny of dynasties, the limits of human understanding and power, and with the creative and the destructive in human life. Its style has reserve and authority.



—oOo—

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Jueves, 22 de Septiembre de 2016 07:13. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Literatura y crítica


Bibliografía sobre drama y teatro

domingo, 20 de septiembre de 2015

Bibliografía sobre drama y teatro

Art García republica mi bibliografía sobre drama y teatro. Sólo la panorámica general, claro. Hay más bibliografías específicas sobre teatro, por géneros, áreas, etc., en http://bit.ly/abiblio

1.General.drama by JAGL - uploaded by Art García

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Martes, 20 de Septiembre de 2016 11:26.