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In the nineteenth century, its drive for political reform and modernisation led to Zurich hosting two important federal institutions, the Polytechnikum and the first section of the railways, both programmatic elements for the creation of a unified, modern Switzerland. In , the same year the Polytechnikum was founded, the medieval walls were torn down, initiating a long-term trend of urban expansion. At the same time the population increased greatly with industrialization and the creation of large factory quarters, both along the railways and to the north and west of the main city.
The narrow, winding medieval streets of the historical core, the palatial grandeur of the tiny old banking district, the working-class housing colonies of Red Zurich, s stone-clad rationalist institutions and s residential towers appear like conceptual miniatures of European urban episodes.
Since the city is so small, the various cityscapes occur in restricted territories, sometimes only a few hundred meters long and a couple of streets wide. Characteristically of Zurich, the borders between these districts, be they natural or man-made, are prominent and final. When natives refer to the split structure of their city, they perceive a rift between one unit formed by the historical centre and its immediately adjacent quartiers, and another comprising industrial and postindustrial growth to the West and the North.
Its introverted culture of exclusive villas, little isolated farmyards and luxury hotels is replicated by the smaller settlements stringing southwards along the shores of Lake Zurich. The centre is profoundly divided, sliced three ways by the river Limmat, its confluence with the river Sihl, and the wide stretch of railway that cuts across the western side of the city. In its dimensions and decisiveness, the presence of this transport infrastructure is equivalent to that of a third river in the way it cuts across the industrial city fabric.
In contrast to the tendency of great European cities to conceal the railways beneath raised parapets and under ground, here they are on display, structuring the urban fabric and influencing the way people move through the city. The new apartment and office towers built along this stretch are oriented towards a panoramic view grounded by a field of steel rails, its horizon underlined by parallel cables and passing trains. The starting point was a series of images capturing the simple fact that over the last years […].
The following are simple thoughts, images and a bit of text that have been travelling between Switzerland and Bahrain in the summer of Many thousands of single person or family sized mounds have been cleared to make space for new infrastructure and housing. Several mounds have been significantly altered to make space for private parking and roads. Some grave chambers have been exposed to the city while others have been half way dissected leaving only a few cuts open and the remaining mound intact. The static mounds have become a part of a dynamic web of relations and interrelations that flow within a contemporary city.
This cohabitation affects not only the city, but also these structures. The result is an interesting relation between something as dynamic as life and something as static as death. By being part of the city these burial places becomes part of the collective unconsciousness. Like churches or monasteries they are simple signs, static urban facts and yet they are undeniably part of the everyday life surrounding them.
Maybe the contemporary life needs these stable points to establish a relation to death. But why should a permanent place be important to the dead when the living that keep their memories alive are constantly moving around in a non-permanent way. Everything is now mobile and negotiable. Even death is now fluid and dissolvable. We keep making piles into cities. Cities become piles upon piles. And cities become new cities new cities upon old piles. Cities are made from piles upon bodies.
New houses are build around the body. For practical reasons or for the reason of no practical reason. New houses become old houses. Keys, nameplates and addresses change hands as cities are smouldering. And cities are smouldering back into piles upon bodies. Letting go of being like old skin falling. When all has settled and the air is clear stands a new in its place seemingly alike. The form of graves and faith heavy and stabile make beds and cover.
It vibrates inside time and falls apart. In un-expected frequencies it all falls into piles. The question is whether our perception of signs is ready to change with the same speed and dynamics as everything surrounding us. Zakharia has exhibited prolifically across North America, Europe and the […].
These shapes can be child-like or Platonic; abstract, or figurative. For the architect, John Hejduk, they are probably all of these. Hejduk will be well known to […]. Hejduk will be well known to those within the architectural field but not to those outside it.
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Instead, he made scratchy drawings of carnivalesque objects wandering Europe. His work constituted a diaspora of subjects and objects. A cast-list of melancholia. He wrote many, many poems. He constructed strange installations — also comprised of collages of primary shapes but wrought into animistic life. He taught, lots. A poem is a poem. Music is music. The gaps are vantage points from which the city enters the building, or, you embody the city. For most of us, lived space happens in the middle ground and, as such, washes over us quietly. But not here.
There are only seven apartments in total in the building. Fourteen floors. Commissioned by the IBA Internationale Bauausstellung Berlin initiative, and finished in a year before the nearby Berlin Wall came down, this piece of pure auteurship stands alone, apart, even from itself. Metallic stars protrude from the outer walls, silently and regularly arrayed. Every day when I wake up inside this piece of literature masquerading as architecture, a spectral pulse runs through me.
This has been home. I have been a character, another primary form amongst others, visible and invisible. Life here is enchanting and unnerving. It is the force of incisive simplicity, the crisp composition of singular ideas. Their stones stand up; they remain still, obeying to the laws of statics. What is then moving? Their inhabitants running around undertaking their daily activities, the flags flapping on their poles, the clouds casting shadows on their moldings […]. Cities stand. Their inhabitants running around undertaking their daily activities, the flags flapping on their poles, the clouds casting shadows on their moldings and cobblestones.
A bowl contains soup, but it is made of a different material from its content. Its shape is apt to support a dense liquid and hold its heat for a certain time, but it obviously survives beyond this particular lifespan; and it could be used for very different goals from the ones it was planned for. Are we molluscs custom-producing our own homes or are we rather hermit crabs, looking for an empty shell to host our soft body, and migrating from one to another when the previous one is not fit for purpose any more?
Akin to a moment in a game of musical statues or a freeze-frame video-clip effect, their written and illustrated pictures created a snapshot of the material part of the city. Or better, they froze only some of its elements, specifically those ones that could appear in the memories and the minds of more than one of its inhabitants. If remembrance is a subjective power, they attributed this privileged state only to things and images that appeared in collective mental maps.
Both Lynch and Rossi understood that this condition of permanence of the physical body of the city was a shared need. Stillness is what founded the city as a public artefact, and prevented its spaces from being the mere result of the Brownian movement of its occupants and vehicles. The monument is still, yet the monument also stirs the dynamics of urban mutation, and focuses attention on the patterns of the open public spaces around it. First we grasp a changeable background that merges with the sky, then a rich texture of motifs in height, breadth and depth, infinitely varied by perspective, then something solid, bold, resistant, with certain animal characteristics — organs, members — then finally a machine having gravity for its motive force, one that carries us in thought from geometry to dynamics and thence to the most tenuous speculations of molecular physics, suggesting as it does not only the theories of that science but the models used to represent molecular structures.
It is through the monument or, one might rather say, among such imaginary scaffoldings as might be conceived to harmonise its conditions one with another — its purpose with stability, its proportions with its site, its form with its matter, and harmonising each of these conditions with itself, its millions of aspects among themselves, its types of balance among themselves, its three dimensions with one another, that we are best able to reconstitute the clear intelligence of a Leonardo. Such a mind can play at imagining the future sensations of the man who will make a circuit of the edifice, draw near, appear at a window, and by picturing what the man will see; or by following the weight of the roof as it is carried down walls and buttresses to the foundations; or by feeling the balanced stress of the beams and the vibration of the wind that will torment them; or by foreseeing the forms of light playing freely over the tiles and corniches, then diffused, encaged in rooms where the sun touches the floors.
It will test and judge the pressure of the lintel on its supports, the expediency of the arch, the difficulties of the vaulting, the cascades of the steps gushing from their landings, and all the power of invention that terminates in a durable mass, embellished, defended, and made liquid with windows, made for our lives, to contain our words, and out of it our smoke will rise. Architecture is commonly misunderstood. Our notion of it varies from stage setting to that of an investment in housing. I suggest we refer to the idea of the City in order to appreciate its universality, and that we should come to know its complex charm by recalling the multiplicity of its aspects.
For a building to be motionless is the exception; our pleasure comes from moving about it so as to make the building move in turn, while we enjoy all the combinations of its parts, as they vary: the column turns, depths recede, galleries glide; a thousand visions escape, a thousand harmonies. This category of monument presents a radical, morally traumatic break with the conventions of symbolism: its physical manifestation does not represent an abstract ideal, an institution of exceptional importance, a three-dimensional, readable articulation of a social hierarchy, a memorial; it merely is itself and through sheer volume cannotavoid being a symbol — an empty one, available for meaning as a billboard is for advertisement.
She has published several books on her projects, both with Italian and international publishers, among which Mousse Publishing and Bedford Press. Her […]. This tension arises from the […]. This tension arises from the differences between urban artifacts existing in the same place and must be measured not only in terms of space but also of time. The relation between palm trees and Portuguese culture can be traced as far back as , when John VI, then Prince of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, relocated the court to Brazil fleeing from Napoleonic wars.
The dissemination of the imperial palm in Brazil expressed the tensions of class structure in the then overseas colony, just as it later would upon its arrival in mainland Portugal. Naturally such restriction only made the imperial palm more desirable to the eyes of the emerging Brazilian bourgeoisie, which soon gave rise to a black market of the seeds fed by the gardeners of the Royal Nursery.
Portuguese cities and, quite notably, Porto, were impacted by the strong wave of Brazilian immigration following the return of John VI and its court to Portugal in and the subsequent independence process of Brazil. Wealthy Brazilian return migrants settled in the oriental part of the city, away from the center, and undertook the urban expansion towards the east. Their unusually large mansions broke with the standard metric of the Porto plot and defined a new standard of luxury and status in the city. The imperial palms were one of the recognizable symbols of these properties, and just like decades before in Brazil they expressed a new urban and social tension — one related to the upsurge of a new bourgeoisie with a craving for visibility, which would reconfigure urban form and local class structure.
Of course that in time, as palm trees spread across the urban territory and social structure of Porto, the original tension that they carried gave place to that of a collective symbol. Palm trees in Porto traveled across monarchic, republican, autocratic and democratic times. They spread into public space and institutional grounds, were objects of propaganda in the First Colonial Exhibition, and as they were liberalized they were to be found in households of every socioeconomic class, in every neighborhood of the city. Pervasive as they became, standing out and above the cityscape, exotic among the local temperate flora, Porto palm trees shaped the collective memory of the city in the past two hundred years, and in so doing they have acquired historical importance and the unofficial status of monuments.
The arrival of the red palm weevil in Porto circa has marked the beginning of a notorious process of urban transformation. The pest has attacked a great number of the city palms, and with it disfigured a distinctive attribute of the urban landscape. But as the corruption of these symbols anticipates its disappearance, the very process of putrefaction itself is elevating the monumental character of these elements. The lifeless bodies of dried fibers stand out in their spatial settings like they never did in their lush past, producing a powerful tension of decay that is breaking down the physical evidence of a culture and thus questioning the identity of the city.
It expresses […]. It expresses a deeper concern about the interrelations between architecture, territory and planning, which is very strongly developed in his writings of the early s. This response was aimed at fostering the collective and political dimension of space, in the belief that territory and planning were still the conditions that made any architectural project truly operative.
In the collective volume Problemi sullo sviluppo delle aree arretrate published in , Rossi significally starts his contribution with a critique to the totalising meta-geographical approach represented by Le Corbusier for its lack of relation to particular realities. Rossi argues that the autonomy of the architectural and urban discourse introduces, within the strict economic rationality of the plan, the possibility of articulating a political space.
In Problemi sullo Sviluppo delle Aree Arretrate, Rossi considers that this territorial, political space could be articulated through a new form of settlement: an architectural complex that, joining residence with industry, production with inhabitation, would show the occupation of the region by a new political collectivity.
In his subsequent writings, Rossi abandons this functional idea to consider, instead, that commercial and industrial buildings, infrastructures, and the like, constitute the elements that actually organise the territorial scale, while housing becomes an almost negligible element. What remains through this change of uses is the understanding that only architectural fragments can articulate the territory.
In this sense, the crucial differentiation between primary element and area — where the latter is predominantly residential — that Rossi establishes in The Architecture of the City can be seen as originating not in the city, but in the territory. The city Rossi was trying to encapsulate in his theory was composed of a varied, complex and rich architectural imagery, reaching beyond the historic and modern repertoire of formal articulations. By broadening its classical definition, we may conclude that the form of the city is to be associated with its geography, its routes, highways and other infrastructures, the irrigation of fields and industrial settlements; thus, the form of the city would actually be the form of its territory.
In this sense, Rossi participates of a generational concern, yet, unlike some of his contemporaries — like Saverio Muratori or Vittorio Gregotti who investigated how geography could contaminate architectural and urban form — the a priori formal autonomy of architecture that Rossi claims has the capacity to determine how the territory is going to be perceived and how it is going to be culturally and politically articulated.
Ajmone Marsan, V. Our translation. Founder with other colleagues of San Rocco Magazine and Genda. His work has been widely […]. When the villager had to get water from the village square fountain or food from the market place, social and political life was born in the city.
Similarly, the arcade was invented to protect inhabitants from snow or sun. The air pollution in 19th century cities gave rise to boulevards for ventilation, which, consequently, caused new social behaviors like strolling. Out of this came a tendency for urban designers and architects to use a morpho-typological analysis of the city, wherein they study and repeat more or less precisely the formal drawing and figurative language of the city in its current state, regardless of climate or physiological necessity.
Modernity began, full of hope, as a mechanism through which mankind could progress and find happiness. It ended with the bloodshed of World War II and the atomic bomb. The Critical Theories in architecture instead favored linguistic and semantic analysis that evolved from the post-modern economical affluence of the end of the 20 century and tourism development, a perfect match. We have seen in recent years the exhaustion of critical methods which actually had the effect of stifling architectural invention with repetition and formalism.
By banishing the scientific and medical tools, they had focus only on the narrative and plastic discourse, choosing the subjective over the objective, and obscuring the physiological and climatic causes of urbanization. These methodologies, however, lack the tools and theory to adequately address the very immediate issues of global warming and dwindling natural resources.. How to answer by irony to the Global warming? Why to tell a story on the depletion of resources instead of fighting it?
We think today that science is not the cause of the catastrophes of the 20th century but it was his use in a univocal political way without accepting difference, alterity and multiplicity, that was the cause. We want to reengage physiology and meteorology as new tools for the urban and architectural design, in thinking critically by welcoming the multiplicity, diversity, and alterity of spaces and atmospheres, embracing the comfortable and uncomfortable, hot and cold, good and bad, wet and dry, clean and polluted, and the gradations between these extremes, to allow the user the freedom to use and interpret spaces in order to ensure his or her free will.
We want to abandon the modern univocal vision of space. We do not want to design uniform atmospheres that would only provide so-called perfect climates, because we also want the free choice for everybody between colder or warmer spaces, sunny or cloudy, clean or polluted. In this sense, we are the heirs of critical thinking, and not the neo-modern. Our goal is to re-engage science, medicine and technology with critical thinking, and to expand the toolset of critical thinking to include medical tools and physiological analyses.
Our design brings variety of atmospheres and diversity of situations into the outdoor and indoor spaces, abandoning the so-called perfect and the univocal controlled modern architecture, keeping the field of the architectural design as open as possible, diversified, multiple, by accepting and designing either so-called good and less good places.
Thus, the future of architecture and urbanism is post-critical. We need to reengage the basic physiological and climatic necessities of the contemporary world in order to invent a new urban language, new forms, urban spaces to address these needs and raise new political, social, and cultural behaviors. The echoes are embarrassingly close to home. Driving from northwest of Modena, the cemetery appears over the gentle rise of a highway ramp. Arriving at San Cataldo, from America, from an American childhood and architectural education, tests the boundaries of associative thinking.
The pastel mass of its pitched metal roof aligns with overhead power lines. There is a bus stop and a parking lot. It is surprising how big the buildings are, how wide and how tall. A few people get off the bus holding flowers. The disconnect between expectation and experience makes space for a strange flash of association — you could mistake it for America, for a vast complex of stucco buildings surrounded by highways, a pilgrimage site of sorts out in the suburbs.
It almost looks like a shopping mall. But the core of it sticks with you: a crossing of wires brought on by an unexpected, buried body of personal experience. A mundane, essentially American memory of the city layering itself, unbidden, onto an Italian icon. Memory, and the ways that memory locates itself within or grafts itself onto physical artifacts, are essential concepts in The Architecture of the City.
But Rossi is less interested in the psychology and memory of the individual citizen, or the noncitizen visitor. It is not possible to shake the suburban scale of the place, or the rush of the highway so nearby. You are in Modena, on the edge of an ancient city, but you are also home, in Upstate New York, or driving across Indiana.
You are standing at the edge of a housing subdivision, looking over a corrugated metal gate into the adjoining hayfield. There is the rumbling discomfort of wide open spaces. The power of collective memories and spaces is that they gather individual stories, that they provide an image and a canvas that is constantly, productively refracted through the assembled histories of those that pass through. They provoke comparison, discussion, and framing that allow disparate forces to come together without the pressure of consensus.
San Cataldo is a product of Modena, of the study of its history, its people, of the history of the European city, of the Italian landscape. Every day it is a venue for people to remember the dead, to stand in silence at their engraved names, and to return home on the bus. But part of the uncanny power of the place comes from the ease with which it sheds that specificity — how it welcomes and dissolves into images brought from other countries, traditions, and times.
His watercolors are the inverse, raw emotion distorting and smearing his clean forms, shadows deepening to harsh black. But for an American visitor at San Cataldo, the building itself — half-built, too big, stranded on the edge of the city — allows for an ambiguity and space for thought that is not achieved by either the book or the drawings. How to best arrange thirty underground parking spaces? What about the width of the corridor so that two people can pass, and the distance to the lift shaft?
How many square meters are the offices, what is […]. Thirty underground parking spaces. How many square meters are the offices, what is the size of the canteen, how big is the lobby, what proportion is the facade to the floor area? How big is the plaza, what is the width of the pavement beyond the plaza, what is the footprint of the building in the master plan, how many trees are in the streets are there trees , what is the distance to the bus stop, the city centre, the airport, the suburb?
So pick up your Neufert, your guidebook to the actual. The logic that informs it is the foundation to our regulations, our planning, our designs. The world it describes presents neutrality as a style, an ideal device for fixing in place the invisible bureaucratic forces that form the city. Its generalised solutions set out each and every point of life as a discrete problem, from the completely public to the deeply private.
It has come to describe how to live rather than how we might be minimally comfortable.
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It describes that things need not be any more than this, nor any less than that. Efficiency as the primary generator of space. This is the condition within which we live. And if efficiency was not the starting point? There have been and could be other priorities, impulses and ideas. The point at which bureaucratic technocracy becomes not just a useful assistant in making our cities, but the very spirit, style and character of our environment is the point when we must wonder if this is what we want. By focusing on discrete guidelines and solutions, Neufert and its close family members, regulation and standardisation, have led to a technique of hyper specificity that results in vague places.
Rossi in his Architecture of the City attempts the opposite: ambiguous discourse asking for specific qualities to be designed into places. It resists being what it is, a book of guidelines for designers, resisting for the sake of not becoming a deadening closed system. I have no argument with standard building processes and materials. I make no argument that Rossi rally against them. In Architecture of the City Rossi is asking us to see what other ingredients make a city that go beyond data.
Who are these decisions for, whose duty is it to care, how can a design be precise and concrete, yet adaptable in use and non-oppressive? The book can be seen as the result of a productive anxiety over the responsibility of these decisions. Rossi does not hide from the monumental scale of collective experience that the city requires. The desire to write and theorize about what propels Architecture of the City comes as one epoch is ending and another starting.
It was the forbearer of other seminal books that hoped to respond to the supposed death of modernism: first Learning from Las Vegas, then Delirious New York. The later books are written with America as the subject, and aim to resolve a then tense desire for relevance by theorizing an American vernacular city form as a new paradigm these theories later become their design work.
The authors aimed to supersede the seminal books that proceeded their own as manifestos. This was a generation, perhaps the final one that had a truly classical education. The relevance of this is that their work was a hybrid between the historical forms they had learnt and the raw abstraction they were looking for. In this sense Rossi was not post-modern like his contemporaries who worked with the fine plastic details and games of falsity from high classical architectural systems.
His work is primarily based on unadorned primary forms and elements, with a more archaic, more proletarian, more infrastructural quality. The results of his attempt at a resolution between architectural history and leftist politics has been adopted both consciously and unconsciously by parts of each subsequent generation: in some cases wanting to replicate the qualities of traditional city as opposed to continue the spatial experiments of post war modernism, and in some cases wishing to recall the rawness of archaic temples and ancient infrastructural wonders.
Purposefully dense, architecturally direct, intellectual ambitious, the ideas Rossi set forward in Architecture of the City hold great power today. And yet in his book he wriggles as much as possible out of allowing one to follow his texts as a set of commandments.
This is perhaps the most powerful quality of the work. Amberg worked as assistant curator at Kunsthalle Basel from until […]. Made of insertions and movements, rethinking and omissions still partly perceptible, the text […]. This is also why The Architecture of the City is a palimpsest: to each explicit word corresponds a hidden one. In order to follow the discourse, it is necessary to trace some virtual parenthesis or notes, unravel formulations so dense that they sound unfathomable, presuppose passages lost on the way, perceive the imminent presence of undeclared sources, shuffle incoherent sequences into the right order.
If we admit that this is the question Rossi seeks to answer, everything becomes clearer. Anyone expecting a following argumentation on this point will be let down. Here is where Rossi wanted to arrive. What was a chiasm for van Eyck becomes however a unilateral assertion for Rossi: house is city. It is indeed from this conflict that la chose humaine par excellence originates: the city.
The City of Architecture. The blue notebooks record faithfully the intellectual and physical commitment required by the amount of work Rossi undergoes. In particular, those written between and contain several intimate notes …. Their tone is […]. Their tone is not surprising, while the literary style and writing reveal haste, impatience, moments of instability and neglect.
In Rossi writes: The last time we had dinner together in Milan one sentence struck me: the advantage to start drinking in the morning is to be subtly drunk without ever being really drunk. When I was young I thought it was important to be really out of control, a total collapse.
Now I listen and stay: through a growing deafness abstraction is tinged by a sense of presence. It may be the disappointment of a brilliant man, but perhaps only the condition of an old man. Rossi in won the Pritzker prize. The ceremony was held in Venice on June 16th, at Palazzo Grassi. Maria della Porta. The building, at n. The international notoriety grows together with the number of contracts.
The office needs a bigger and more central space. The time that slips through your fingers becomes more and more rapidly the focus of the blue notebooks. Each reader will find something of interest but will regret the lack of in-depth treatment within a particular field of specialization. One will take heart, however, from the generous references, and will acquire new insights in areas which may be unfamiliar. This is especially true of Part III, where the informative articles on the Portuguese experience in Africa and Asia may provide new dimensions for both the Latin Americanist and the Peninsular specialist.
The format of the book is attractive, with a readable typeface and virtually error-free typesetting. It is all very well to theorize about the reciprocally dynamic relationship between folklore and literature, but we read here a specific description of how it works. Medievalists must wonder at the curious continuity experienced by the Infantes de Lara , once a medieval planctus , which has now come full circle and has again come to be used as a mourning song 43 n 5.
Ballad watchers and others will enjoy the compelling historical accounts of the fortunes of six modern ballads which deal with epic topics. In the introductory remarks they give an excellent history of their own field work , and with admirable candor a summary of the reviews of the first volume in the series. The extensive bibliography, subdivided into published sources, and chronicle MSS , is extended by a cross-index of linguistic-geographic categories of ballad studies and collections, e.
A folklore motif index is supplemented by an index of topoi not in Stith Thompson. I found only one minor omission -L Attempt to fly to heaven punished. Car supported by eagles. The musicologist, Katz, describes his three-step method: a transcription from the field tape, an analysis of each tune, and a comparison of variant tunes For the musically uninstructed, his study of melody types is eye-opening particularly for those of us who have never experienced the ballads other than as written texts.
Picking out the melodies on a piano and singing along however imperfectly brings these songs into focus as real songs sung by real people. Photographs of the singers, their countries of origin, age, and current residence place the variants in space, time, and social context. Especially interesting are the singers' comments which show how they understood the ballad's plot. For example, the tragic events of the Infantes de Lara are woven into a cultural consciousness of centuries of persecution of the Jews , Another singer says that the imprisoned Alonso El rey Fernando en Francia was a revolutionary.
A singer, mistrustful of authority thinks that King Fernando, in the same ballad, really intends to kill his prisoner For the convenience of the reader, the critical apparatus follows each ballad. Each is summarized with its variants along with a list of Stith Thompson motifs and a Textual Commentary which traces the poem's literary history, its relationship with other ballads. Sensitive narrative analyses, ethno-musicological commentaries by Katz and the particular ballad's bibliography complete the apparatus.
Footnotes rather than end notes save the reader much flipping back and forth. The usefulness of this fascinating volume extends well beyond the field of the romancero. Ballads are poems after all and the discussion of the ending of El rey Fernando and n 21 deals with poetic closure. Of great folkloristic interest are the discourses on: salt, knives and bread , numerological meaning of seven and nine n 11 , marriage with the murderer of one's father n 15 , the strong, brave woman in Jewish tradition n 46 , the motif of a young woman imprisoned in a tower and n 27 , incest and n As before, we can only express our admiration for and gratitude toward this remarkable team of investigators for yet another outstanding contribution to the general fund of usable and useful knowledge.
Students of Golden Age Theater, especially undergraduate students, should be indebted to J. Hall for this invaluable compilation of fundamental analytical information on Lope de Vega's remarkable drama, Fuenteovejuna. In this work Hall provides excellent background information, both historical and dramatic, on the play which, in turn, offers a point of departure for further study by the curious or more serious student. As we all know only too well, the comedia and its criticism is often difficult for the average student to read and to understand.
Hall has carefully written this work in language that is more accessible to the student, which facilitates the student's comprehension and appreciation of the ideas of the play. He relates the actual historical accounts upon which the play is based and the possible sources from which Lope de Vega could have drawn his material. He further explains why the costuming was so elaborate and how the costumes functioned as visual symbols in the play In defining the plot and sub-plot in the third chapter, Hall cautiously presents the views and opinions of opposing critics.
I was impressed with his attempt to acquaint the student with more than one viewpoint so that, given the facts, the student is allowed to form an opinion. The author also clarifies the scenification of the comedia , thereby revealing the internal structure of the work. He demonstrates how the plot and sub-plot are interwoven or overlap in some scenes and yet remain separate in others.
Obviously this characterization pertains to much more than just the Comendador. The remainder of the characters are not depicted in as much depth but their characterizations are sufficient to clarify the role each plays in the drama. One of the weaknesses of the work is that Hall mentions the Cross of Calatrava, the royal coat of arms, and the animal imagery, yet he does not explain fully this symbolism. It is conceivable that many students would not be aware of the symbolism mentioned and would, therefore, benefit from a somewhat more substantial explanation or perhaps a footnote to serve as a point of departure for further study.
In this chapter Hall also presents the levels of style appropriate language usage in discourse , irony and wit, and, finally, versification within the drama. Again, Hall turns to the text to illustrate the themes that he sets forth. The author brings the dramatist into his comments as he attempts to interpret the reasoning behind Lope's choice of themes. In the Conclusion Hall restates that the themes are not themselves original, but that it is Lope's skill as an artist that distinguishes his borrowing of these themes.
On the whole, I think that Lope de Vega: Fuenteovejuna is an excellent work for the student of the comedia. At first reading I felt that it fell short in that many of the discussions were not as detailed or as penetrating as I would have liked. After some thought on the matter and rereading the text I have changed my view of the work.
I believe that Hall offers the student more than sufficient information and material with which to begin an in-depth study of the drama. At the same time, the author leaves enough unsaid to challenge the student to think and to seek further information. One final noteworthy inclusion in the work is Hall's annotated bibliography on Fuenteovejuna which will be invaluable to the student. Hall has succeeded in making Fuenteovejuna more accessible to the student of the comedia.
German and English Romanticism, especially the Schlegel brothers' studies of irony and humor, is the point of departure for this study which is a major reworking of the author's dissertation UCLA , Frederich Schlegel saw irony as an existentially liberating influence whose multiple interpretations require an analytical intellect and an aesthetic appreciation. The author shows both as she traces the development of the theories that ultimately coalesce into her coherent and convincing analytical approach. She notes that his comic irony stems from the medieval tradition that equated laughter with evil.
Yet at the same time, oratory made use of laughter to convey disagreeable truths. By the Renaissance, laughter, now characterized as unique to man, was considered an essential part of his relations with his world. Because the comedia deals with deception and hypocrisy in a highly structured system, she sees it as an escape valve rather than a defense of the hierarchy. In this regard, she cites Robortello who, in , distinguished between the theater of entertainment based on imitation in contrast with the didacticism of the rhetoric of persuasion She next traces the Romantics' development of types of irony with special attention to dramatic irony.
The ironic message is often conveyed to the audience by means of a deliberate rupture of the dramatic illusion on the part of the gracioso. This combination of parody and objectivity together produces the irony of Calderonian tragedy. For her, the gracioso is a fictitious character whose asides bridge the gap between the play and the spectators and remind the latter that they are watching a fiction. For example, in the tragedies, the gracioso 's negative attitude toward marriage ultimately reveals the fallacy of marriage as a happy ending and solution to all problems.
Both chapters appeared previously: the former in the Bulletin of the Comediantes ; the latter, in Hispania. Both women engage in deception: Teuca because she is possessed by the devil and Tamar, because of amorous passion. Their duplicity sets in motion the tragic force of the play. By linking the two women, the gracioso emphasizes the play's causality for the audience. He is also the author's mouthpiece for the expression of disagreeable truths.
Her study would have been even more substantive, however, if she had established the gracioso 's ancestry. To a large extent, he revives the dramatic functions of the shepherd of the sixteenth-century religious drama. The coarse, iconoclastic rustic also used asides to prevent the audience from empathizing with the play and served as an explicator of values and morals. The tragedias de honor are nowhere mentioned in the book even though Coquin of El medico de su honra provides a perfect case in point to illustrate the third chapter.
The author writes well, clearly and concisely.
Bibliographie américaniste - Persée
Her book is a valuable contribution to Calderonian criticism. This is a modest book in appearance. The work consists of an introduction and three lengthy chapters. The final chapter summarizes and brings together the insights acquired in the previous discussions. In spite of its modest appearance and aims, the book is a significant contribution to Calderonian studies, providing new and important visions of his tragic plays.
Fate also creates suspense. While fate is the key element in the structure in this first model, tragic irony is central to signification. Along with the dichotomy created between freedom and necessity, comes the separation of perception between central character and spectator, for the latter, through distancing, can perceive the ambiguity and polyvalence of signs announcing the future, while the central character is of necessity blind to the diverse possibilities, since his interpretation is based on his own limited vision. The woman marries, thinking her lover dead or unattainable, only to discover that such is not the case.
In a present moment dominated by honor, a past love surfaces. The figure of the loved one is transformed into the symbol of temptation, for he refuses to accept the present situation. This leads to suspicion, misunderstanding, fear and finally death. While she is ruled by fear, her husband is ruled by suspicion. In these honor tragedies we also have a separation between spectator and actor.
There is a radical rupture in vision and interpretation between these two. The male protagonist follows a code that demands assassination. His violent and cruel act is not followed by an anagnorisis. The spectator, on the other hand, witness to the myriad oppositions and contradictions, comes out with a greater understanding and an expanded awareness. There is much in this book that will be of use to the student of Golden Age drama. Their cyclic nature, as studied by William R.
And, what of the role of Providence? Can its presence turn a tragic vision into a comic one as Thomas O'Connor proposes? This is an excellent study, clear and well-written, that explores some key questions that concern not only Calderonian drama, but also all of Golden Age theater. It provides new insights and leads us to further speculation and discussion on the nature of tragedy, tragic irony and the role of honor and fate in the comedia.
Checa has written a very valuable and well-structured study which, however, appears to be titled somewhat inaccurately. Maxim P. Kerkhof and Dirk Tuin eds. Constance L. Wilkins and Heanon M. Wilkins Book Review. Hall, "Fuenteovejuna" Book Review. Lope de Vega, "Cartas", ed. Michael D. McGaha Book Review.
Felipe B. Judith A. JOHN A. Trevor Dadson Book Review. Dadson Book Review.
Hans Flasche Book Review. Riley, "Don Quixote" Book Review. JOHN G. Tirso de Molina, "La mujer que manda en casa", ed. Dawn L. Smith Book Review. Antonio Gual, "El Cadmo y la Oronta", ed. Simposio internacional en el bicentenario de la muerte de Gregorio Mayans. Valencia-Oliva 30 sept. Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, "Obras completas, Vol. Correspondencia", ed.