Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Your Holiday in Spain and Portugal (Book Review)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (1953), 30, (117), 63


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REVIEWS OF BOOKS Dlscurso del amor y de la muerte, praised in its day for " su erudici6n exquisita, su vniuersalidad prodigiosa, su eloqiiencia florida", Dr. Woodford finds absurdo e insulso", and the modern reader is tempted to say as much of the poems (a panegyric, an epithalamium, a descriptive piece), of the prose account of certain religious festivities, and even of the Competencia en los nobles y discordia concordada, a long dramatic colloquy symbolizing the four elements which is as clearly indebted to Calder6n as the epithalamium is to Gongora. If there be nothinghere for the general reader, there is, however, much for the student interested not merely to recapture the intellectual atmosphere of the colonies but to study the complex and endlessly fascinating question of the evolution of taste. Cueto y Mena was a licenciado, esteemed for the range and profundity of his learning, who possessed two hundred books and quotes from or refers to half that number of authors, classical and patristic, yet whose horizon is so narrowly bounded by the Christian ethic that he has not even begun to think outside it, mu.ch less to relate anything within it to the world about him. There is much ingenuity in the Competencia, and for the rest only ingenuous beateria. The sterility of his erudici6n " is pathetic, and doubtless-to judge from the profusion of clerical encomiums which adorned the original edition of his writings-not unrelated .to the company he kept. The editor's notes constitute a fund of scholarship more pertinent in nature: he has in fact done his task so well as almost to persuade us that it was worth doing. E.A.P. CC II TOPOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL The month of March was nearing its end when on a fine but chilly morning I was at Victoria Station half an hour before the 9 a.m. Continental Express was due to leave for Dover." So begins Mr. A. F. Tschiffely's Round and about Spain (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1952, pp. 318, 20S.) and it is not unfair to describe the sentence as typical. Those who have never visited Spain will no doubt derive much interest and instruction from a somewhat prolix account of the author's travels through the country on a motor-cycle (the feeding of a horse on a postwar currency allowance being out of the question), and, on reading the final words (" With this, gentle reader, I say to you I hope you have enjoyed my story' "), will answer the implied question with an emphatic Yes". Even the experienced, while running more lightly over the pages, will find points of interest, for Mr. Tschiffely is a shrewd and minute observer and throughout his five-thousand-mile tour he kept his eyes open and his pencil busy. But the book must definitely be classed as popular". E.A.P. cc I H II Copyright (c) 2004 ProQuest Information and Learning Company Copyright (c) Liverpool University Press

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