Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Manuel Carlos de Brito, "Opera in Portugal in the Eighteenth Century" (Book Review)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (1992), 69, (2), 213


REVIEWS OF BOOKS 213 arguments come together, and where she uses criticism on narrative structure to excellent effect, finally bringing out the importance of underlining the duality, inherent but in danger of being ignored, in prose such as that of Maria Luisa Bombal. It is in this chapter that the author attempts to clarify the distinction between identification and identity, a distinction that she had not made explicit in her study of the novel, La amortajada, where it is of vital importance in terms of the narrative structure of the book. In any discussion on Bombal the questions of her femininity, the way in which her writing is female, and whether she could ever be considered a vindicator of women's rights are problematic. In this study, they are side issues, and it is the case that here their presence would intrude. It is disappointing, however, that the author accepts so easily the notion of Bombal's 'intuitive' criticism of woman's role in society (6), for it diminishes the fact that Bombal was quite capable of making conscious and articulating the social reach of her writing. For indeed she did: she constantly said that her task was poetry not denunciation, and her poetry in prose dwelt exclusively on the imaginative leap necessary to express female experience. It is too easy to fall into the use of words like 'intuitive' and passive in the criticism of this writing, and they in their turn fall too easily into a facile categorization of the prose as suppressed feminism. In the final chapter the author enters into a discussion about how the 'woman writer has not only designed her craft but has also confronted and transcended the conventional strictures that have been given her' (69). She deals with this well, delving into the areas of artistic alienation, rebellion and impotence. Yet, in this chapter Kosropolus-Cooperman seems less confident of her material, and uneasy with the conclusions about the feminine, female and feminism that she seems to see herself forced to draw: the last paragraph appears to sum up an argument about the female impetus for change rather than about the lyrical vision of Maria Luisa Bombal. Nevertheless, this final chapter opens the way to other questions, not least of these the testy notion of the definition of a female space. Given the quality of this study on the lyrical vision, I look forward to reading this author on a long-debated and still murky concept. twentieth-century Spanish-American theatre. The first volume lists original works and incorporates plays that have circulated in multiple mimeographed copies as well as those published in books and journals. Volume II is devoted to criticism and includes doctoral dissertations as well as histories, bibliographies, monographs and articles. JAMES HIGGINS Liverpool. An A to Z of Modem Latin-American Literature in English Translation. London: Institute of Latin-American Studies, University of London. 1989. 96 pp. JASON WILSON, This attractively-produced and reasonably-priced book offers a pretty exhaustive checklist of English translations of fiction, theatre and poetry (and, where appropriate, essays or memoirs by a literary author) from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin America. There is also a chronological list of anthologies and some general bibliography on Latin-American literature in translation. Apart from an entry on Sor Juana, the book focuses on literature since independence, and covers translations published up to July 1989. The authors listed vary from the very famous to the barely known, but no commentaries on their status or background are provided. None the less, the book should prove useful to those teaching literary courses through translations, and may even encourage more third-level study of Latin-American literature outside of Spanish departments. Scholarly authors who are requested to quote from translations will also welcome it. Of course, many of the translations cited will be out of print or difficult to obtain by now. Still, the book will be warmly appreciated by the all-too-familiar student who is, sadly, constantly on the look-out for a translation of his or her set texts-for such individuals, in particular, Wilson's book will seem a blessing. PHILIP SWANSON Edinburgh. CATHERINE M. BOYLE London. Bibliografia del teetro hispanoamericano contetnporiineo (19001980). Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert. 1985. 2 vols xvi + 473 pp.; 226 pp. FERNANDO DE TORO, PETER ROSTER, Though limited to works in Spanish, this bibliography is an invaluable reference book for students of Opera in Portugal in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1989. xv + 254 pp. MANUEL CARLOS DE BRITO, This detailed survey of opera in eighteenth-century Portugal should become essential reading for any scholar interested in the period. The author combines the skills of the social historian and professand the fruits of his research are ional musicologist . . impressrve. Copyright (c) 2004 ProQuest Information and Learning Company Copyright (c) Liverpool University Press

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