Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Thomas), "Spanische handschriften der münchener Staatsbibliothek" (Ludwig Pfandl), "O elemento germânico no onomástico portugués" (J. J. Nunes), "Los nombres árabes de las estrellas" (O. J. Tallgren). The most important contribution of Volume II and one of the outstanding recent contributions to Romance philology is the last article, the work of Tallgren on the Arabic names for the stars, with their transcription in the time of Alfonso the Learned. Tomo Tercero. Volume III begins with a contribution of interest to all, "De música y métrica gallegas" by Julián Ribera, the well-known interpreter of the music of the Cantigas. The following articles are also worthy of notice: "Significació de l'elogi de l'acròpolis d Atènes pel rey Pere L'Cerimoniós" (A. Rubió I. Lluch), "La reaparición del Tirant lo Blanch de Barcelona de 1497" (Homero Serís), "Testo d'una delle canzoni di Bernart de Ventadorn" (Vincenzo Crescini), "The De liberis educandis of Antonio de Lebrija" ((Hayward Keniston), "El teatro escolar y el renacimiento español" (Adolfo Bonilla y San Martín), "Proceso de ilegitimidad del prior de Crato" (Duque de Alba), "Un embajador de España en la escena inglesa" (Antonio Pastor), "Los nombres geográficos a través del tiempo" (Antonio Blázquez), "Precedentes islámicos de la fonética moderna" (M. A. Alarcón), "La universidad de Alcalá" (Antonio de la Torre y del Cerro), "La librería de Velásquez" (F. J. Sánchez Cantón), "Roland à Saragosse" (Mario Roques), "Un juglar español en Sicilia" (Ezio Levi), "Miscelas etimologicas" (Carolina Michaëlis de Vasconcellos), "Sobre los iberos y su lengua" (Manuel Gómez Moreno), "La historia del abad Don Juan" (Felipe Morales de Setién), "El resumen del santoral del culto mozárabe" (Elías Tormo), "Juan de Mal Lara y su Filosofía vulgar" (Américo Castro). The third volume ends with an epoch-making work on Basque phonetics, "Pronunciación guipuzcoana" by the famous Spanish phonetician Tomás Navarro Tomás, one of Menéndez Pidal's most brilliant disciples.

From an extended article published in El Sol of Madrid for March 7 we learn that on the previous day, the sixth of March, there took place at the Centro de Estudios Históricos the "acto de entregar" or presentation of the homenaje to don Ramón. Many distinguished scholars from all parts of the world had contributed to the homenaje, and a few were actually present at the official presentation of the volumes. Speeches were made by Américo Castro, Navarro Tomás and by don Ramón, all of which are printed in El Sol.



Azorín: Doña Inés (Historia de amor). Madrid, 1925.

The newest cycle of the Don Juan legend, which was initiated not many years ago, is as yet far from complete if we may judge by the new works, relating to the theme, that are constantly appearing. Among the more recent is Doña Inés, by the newly elected member of the Spanish Royal Academy, Martínez Ruiz or "Azorín." It will be remembered, perhaps, that this is not the first work of the delightful essayist and literary critic to claim relationship with the hero of Zorrilla's drama, for his Don Juan appeared in 1922. Indeed the spirit of the new volume is thoroughly in harmony with that of its pre

[ocr errors]

decessor, for its connection with the legend of Don Juan is equally remote and evasive. One need feel no literary obligations whatsoever toward the fair Doña Inés de Ulloa when treating of this new work; so we shall proceed to examine it with all freedom, despite its compromising title.

Doña Inés is called an Historia de amor, and is really nothing more than an episode, as the Spanish critic, Enrique Diex Canedo, has already stated. It is in truth the last episode in the amorous life of Doña Inés de Silva, a Segovian lady of noble birth who, as may be presumed, is no longer in her first youth. We are presented to this mid-nineteenth century lady, a slender figure in sweeping skirts, as she is said to appear in a faded daguerrotype of the period. To us she seems rather a lady who has just stepped from a charming portrait of Madrazo. However, the prose portrait, presented with a boldness of relief which suggests a clear-cut Spanish landscape against a Mediterranean sky, is finely representative of Azorín's plastic manner.

As we have already stated, Doña Inés is no longer in the first flush of youth when she embarks upon the love venture of this refined tale-the other figure being a certain poet of Segovia, Diego, el de Garcillán. We may imagine that she has many love affairs behind her, for when the work begins she is living in an obscure lodging house in Madrid, where she receives a letter from Don Juan, the contents of which are not revealed but easily imagined. Doña Inés departs soon after for Segovia. This fugitive episode brings into relief the previous existence of our feminine Don Juan, and suggests very subtly that flow of continuity from past to present which is inherent in the author's vision of life. The trip by diligence to Segovia enables Azorín to include one of his characteristic landscape sketches, revealing an almost religious devotion to the humble and unobtrusive in nature and an exquisite sensibility for shifting shadows and the wild fragrance of rosemary and thyme. Then we enter the old Castilian town itself, dominating the Erasma from a lofty spur, banked by snow-clad peaks-Segovia with its proud mansions, its towering aqueduct overshadowing busy scenes of trafficking and marketing, its humble romanesque churches of mellowed stone. Azorín, by choosing this gay and beautiful city as the setting of Doña Inés, links it with Toledo and austere Avila, which have already infused their charm into tales of Castile.

Against this Segovian background which weds yellow piles to green banks and trailing flowers, there are projected a series of figures and animated scenes, each with its dominant theme, tragic, gay, grotesque each complete in itself and detached from its fellows. It is as though fleeting moods had been imprisoned there, and crystallized. There is Matias, el pastor, who incarnates the worthy line of shepherds that made possible the celebrated weavers and tanners of Segovia. There is Plácida, the fresh village maid, first muse of the poet Diego, whose prototype of an earlier age inspired the serranillas of medieval poets. And then the shrewd bishop, the civil magistrate, vivacious Tía Pomiplia and her husband Tía Pablo, of whom we shall speak later! They are all figures who have a deeper significance than mere individuals of flesh and blood; they are the essence of their several types, creatures of a conventionalized art steeped in tradition and historic spirit.

Even Doña Inés herself is not an exception to this grouping. Despite


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

the life-like portrait which we have of her in the opening pages, a portrait in which her most intimate gestures are revealed-despite the luxurious scene in which we surprise her in the intimacy of her alcoba, disillusioned after her rupture with Don Juan-even despite the two meetings with Don Diego of which we are made participants, and which the author has obviously made every effort to render passionate and dramatic-Doña Inés is an abstraction, an elusive being whose concrete self is estranged from us by the poetic vision of the author.

There is another character in this historia de amor, who, although less dramatic than Doña Inés, is nevertheless admirably drawn, the object of a delicate introspective study. Into the figure of Tío Pablo, whom Doña Inés visits in Segovia, Azorín has certainly put much of his own personality. A figure whose counterpart has been presented more or less suggestively throughout the course of the author's work, he might well symbolize that Spanish gentlemen whom we style "el fin de la rasa." He is one whose excess of sensibility makes him unfitted for the active life. His morbid sensitiveness to the tragedy of the present moment, trembling on the verge of the past, causes him to seek refuge in his books and writings and the tranquil enjoyment of emotional states once experienced.

The autumnal tone that pervades this work is imparted by the personality of Don Pablo. He it is who interprets and completes the character of Doña Inés; he alone who understands her. For while this kindly gentleman is presented to us as chronicler of the life of a certain Doña Beatriz de Silva, a remote ancestor of Doña Inés, he is in reality compiling the life of Doña Inés herself. Fortunate we are in having been introduced to this understanding and penetrating spirit, who knew the romantic lady of 1840 as well as the author, and certainly better than she did herself.

If the heroine of this historia is indebted to one of the other characters for having revealed to us her fullest personality, she has nevertheless a thoroughly independent rôle as far as the structure of the work is concerned. She it is who gives unity and finality to the fragmentary plot. Her relations with the poet Diego terminate as do all such sudden fascinations, in the gradual cooling of the passion, and likewise of the scandal which it had provoked in the smooth flow of the village events. The adventurous lady then sails for South America, where Don Diego had passed the greater part of his childhood, there founding a home for Spanish waifs, and perpetuating, as Tío Pablo probably had foreseen, the pious repentance of that fourteenth century Beatriz de Silva. Indeed the unity and firmness of structure, so noticeably absent in several of the author's earlier narrative works, are strikingly manifest in Doña Inés. The lyric plot is sufficiently well-knit to support the decorative pattern which embellishes and enhances it. All of those characteristic qualities which have made Azorín one of the most delightful and refined of Spanish prose writers today have attained their perfection in this volume. What if, as has been argued, the vein of inspiration is a limited and oft-recurring one? It has been thoroughly worked, the dross discarded, and the metal burnished to its highest luster. This alone is an accomplishment which few of his contemporaries have attained, and which has made famous many an artist since the days of Horace and his golden mean.




Practical Spanish Grammar

by Arthur Romeyn Seymour and Adelaide Ellen Smithers, both of the University of Illinois.

Pages ix+230. The thirty lessons of the book are preceded by an introduction (5 pp.) dealing with pronunciation. Each lesson contains a body of paradigms, rules, drills, and exercises in Spanish and English. There is an appendix of verbs, numerals, and classroom expressions. There are two vocabularies and an index. At the beginning and the end of the book, inside the cover and on the fly leaf, are charts of the most common irregular verbs and of the radical changing verbs. About a dozen pictures and maps embellish the work. 1925. Longmans, Green & Co. $1.50.

First Spanish Course

by E. C. Hills, of the University of California, and J. D. M. Ford of Harvard University.

Pages vi+410. This new edition of the First Spanish Course contains, as new features, a set of alternative English-Spanish exercises, a list of classroom expressions, and fourteen topical illustrated charts, which are numbered drawings of such subjects as the classroom, the country, etc. Accompanying each chart is a direct method conversational exercise. The words corresponding to the numbers on the chart are after the last chart. Preceding the lessons are ten pages devoted to pronunciation. There are fifty lessons, each containing a body of grammatical explanations in English, with paradigms, drills, exercises in English and Spanish, and a vocabulary. Two general vocabularies (46 pp.) and an index complete the book. There are many Spanish and Spanish-American illustrations as well as three appropriate maps. 1925. D. C. Heath & Co. $1.56. New First Spanish Book

by Lawrence A. Wilkins, Director of Modern Languages in the New York High Schools.

Pages xiii+418+1xx. The book is a combination reader and grammar. Thirty pages of preliminary material, dealing mostly with pronunciation, precede the lessons, which are thirty-eight in number. Each lesson contains a reading selection, a vocabulary, a discussion of grammatical matters, various drills, and an exercise for translation from English into Spanish. Pages 341-75 contain vocabulary and grammar reviews, one for each three lessons. Next come an appendix of useful matters, prose and poetic readings, names, numerals, and personal pronouns, followed by an appendix of verbs, two vocabularies, and an alphabetical index. Many words in the Spanish vocabularies, both in the body and at the end of the book, are marked with asterisks and daggers to indicate their relative frequency. The book is profusely illustrated with pictures and maps. 1925. Henry Holt & Co. $1.48.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Spanish Grammar Review

by Joseph S. Galland, of Indiana University, and Roberto Brenes-Mesén, of Syracuse University.

Pages vii+170. There are twenty-four lessons, each containing a body of rules, explanations, paradigms, and four sets of composition exercises of ten sentences each. There is an appendix of verbs, numerals, etc., an English-Spanish vocabulary, and an index of eight pages. 1924. Allyn & Bacon. $1.20.

Spanish Drill Book

by Howard C. Leonard, Theodore Roosevelt High School, New York City. Pages 87. There are twenty-two chapters, each dealing with some fundamental grammar topic. Rules are given together with various types of drills, in English and Spanish, for mastering the difficulty. Distributed through the book are many thought questions. Chapter xviii contains prose passages for translation into English; chapter xix consists of sentences and connected passages for translation into Spanish; chapter xx, questions in Spanish; chapter xxi, forty subjects for free composition; chapter xxii, pronunciation and phonetics. There is an English-Spanish vocabulary (20 pp.). 1925. Globe Book Company. 67 cents.

Elementary Spanish Conversation and Composition

by Professor Aurelio M. Espinosa, of Stanford University.

Pages xx+138. There are thirty lessons, divided into fifteen units, each of which treats of a group of grammar topics, with a reading exercise, a set of questions, a drill in conjugations, a set of oral exercises and a theme for translation into Spanish. Preceding the lessons are five pages of familiar expressions and Christian names. There is an appendix of verbs (19 pp.) and two vocabularies (40 pp.). There are seventeen illustrations, including maps of Spain, Mexico, and South America. 1924. Allyn & Bacon. $1.20.

Un Viaje a Sud América, a Book of Spanish Conversation

by C. F. McHale, Director of Instruction in the Centro Internacional de Enseñanza, Madrid.

Pages x+284 (231 text, 53 vocabulary). The book is divided into three parts: I. Preparation for the Trip (12 chapters); II. In South America (20 chapters); III. Information about South America (15 chapters). Each chapter is accompanied by a "Cuestionario" and one other exercise, offering various types of drill and composition for the student. The text is illustrated by many pictures and maps. 1924. D. C. Heath & Co. $1.32.

Un Verano en España, a Spanish Reader

by Roger Burch Weems, formerly of Woodberry Forrest School, Virginia. Pages viii+249 (139 text, 58 exercises, 8 notes, 44 vocabulary). The text, which is an account of a trip to Spain, taken by the author, consists of forty-one brief chapters. Based upon each chapter is a group of exercises consisting of a set of questions, a collection of idiomatic expressions, and a short theme for

« AnteriorContinuar »