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well if the speech habits of the Spanish-speaking people of the Maya country were compared with those of the Mayas, the speech habits of the Spanish-speaking people of Cuzco with those of the Quechuans, and so forth. We know with some approach to accuracy the changes in the Spanish vocabulary of America that are due to Indian influences, but we know little as to what changes, if any, have been caused in enunciation. On the frame-work of Spanish, that is to say, on its morphology and syntax, the Indian languages have had no effect whatever. E. C. HILLS




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El Ama de la Casa. Comedia en dos actos por Gregorio Martínez Sierra. Authorized edition, with Introduction, Notes, and Vocabulary by Arthur L. Owen. Boston: Benj. H. Sanborn & Co., 1926. xlv+128 pages (text, pages 1-89).

In the slowly growing, but increasingly valuable "Hispanic Series," under the general editorship of Professor Fitz-Gerald, contemporary dramatic literature finds a fitting representative in Professor Owen's edition of Martínez Sierra's two-act play in prose, El ama de la casa. The author, one of Spain's outstanding men of letters, needs no introduction to American teachers of Spanish. Selections from his Teatro de ensueño and an excellent edition of his Canción de cuna were provided by Professor Espinosa some years ago (1917 and 1921, respectively), and in HISPANIA (November, 1922, and February, 1923) Miss Frances Douglas studied extensively various phases of the author's work. As an admirable complement to the works just mentioned and as a splendid aid to a further appreciation of the versatile novelist and dramatist, El ama de la casa is sure to be welcomed by teachers and students alike. The simplicity of plot and language, the wholesomeness of atmosphere, and the pervading note of optimism make the play excellent material for reading early in the Spanish course. Since so many of our students of Spanish never advance beyond the second year, it is most desirable that such works of genuine literature be made available in carefully prepared editions.

Professor Owen's edition of El ama de la casa is a careful and scholarly piece of work. Like all editors of texts for the use of students of varying degrees of preparation, he is confronted with the problem.of avoiding the sins of over-annotation and those of insufficient annotation. In the editor's own words, "Having seen something of the enormous variation of opinion among teachers as to the supposedly average attainments of such students [those who have completed the usual elementary course in high school or college, for whom the text is edited], the editor has little hope of escaping the double criticism of having explained too much-and too little." Let us hasten to reassure the editor on this point: we confidently believe that few teachers of the text will have occasion to charge him with sin in either direction. To the reviewer it seems that everything needing explanation has found a place either in the notes or in the vocabulary, and yet there is nowhere an impression of surfeit of explanation. Only occasionally has it seemed that the device of cross-reference to previous explanation might have been used satisfactorily, though concerning the use of cross-refer


ences many conflicting opinions may be heard. The notes are sober and to the point, with no display of erudition of the sort that is usually meaningless to a lamentably large number of our undergraduates.

Particular attention should be called to the Introduction which Professor Owen has provided for his edition. In this part of his work the editor deals not merely with the play in question, but gives us also, along with an excellent summary of Martinez Sierra's career and a comprehensive appreciation of his literary art, an analysis of many of his most important literary productions, both novels and plays. The list of the author's works (included in the "Bibliographical Note" of the Introduction) is a long one and it would scarcely be possible or desirable in a school text to summarize all of them. Yet, in the present instance, in spite of the limitations of space, the editor has given us a very complete survey of Martínez Sierra's work as a whole and one entirely adequate to the needs of any student in our schools and colleges. The Introduction may well be recommended to students who wish to read further in the author's works.

In mechanical and typographical features the volume presents the excellence and neatness which users of the series to which it belongs are wont to expect. Only an occasional typographical error has escaped the vigilance of the editor and his publishers. Of these only two, perhaps, need be noted here: page 8, line 12, "como sólo es quiere” (read se), and page 19, line 22, “ir alla guerra” (read a la). Others are of minor importance and can be easily controlled by the reader. JOHN M. HILL


Zalacaín el Aventurero, Historia de las buenas andanzas y fortunas de Martín
Zalacaín de Urbía, por Pio Baroja. Edited with Introduction, Notes, and
Vocabulary by S. L. Millard Rosenberg and Laurence D. Bailiff. Alfred A.
Knopf, 1926. vi+256.

It is almost incredible, but, to the best of my knowledge, it is true, that American students of the contemporary Spanish novel have had to wait twentyfive years for an American textbook edition of a novel by the chief of presentday Spanish novelists, Pío Baroja. American teachers of Spanish have been solicited to offer to their students Blasco Ibáñez's apocalyptic vision purporting to be the battle of the Marne, as representative of the best in current Spanish fiction, and such fifth-raters as Pérez Escrich and Luis Ballesteros have been caressed and massaged by perspiring American editors. But Baroja has been shunned. Doctors Rosenberg and Bailiff merit a resounding salvo of hallelujahs for being less backward than some others, and I hereby fire off one gun.

The book is outfitted with an excellent photo of Don Pío himself, as a frontispiece, an Indice, a 12-page Introduction, about 170 pages of reading matter, 6 and a fraction pages of Notes, about 60 pages of Vocabulary, and a page of Bibliography. It will be observed that the text is unencumbered with Cuestionarios, Repasos de Gramática, Ejercicios, Locuciones, or other such bric-a-brac of the newer pedagogy.

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The Introduction by the editors is one of the most attractive features of the book. An interesting and judicious account is given of the life of Baroja, with

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descriptions of his works through the year 1924. The editors, for one thing, have registered partial dissent with the amazing dictum, circulated by Bell and Northup, to the effect that Baroja, while not quite like the Russian masters, is nevertheless markedly deficient in humor. The objection might have been insisted upon more vigorously, in the interest of ordinary accuracy. Fully onethird of Baroja's immense picture-gallery reveals the activity of an eye exceptionally sensitive to details that are of the very bone and marrow of humor. Even his most somber tomes are shot through with sprightly, albeit pithy, ironic comment and implication. The very shrugs of his self-reliant heroes, in the presence of considerations of metaphysical nebulosity, constitute a sardonic commentary. A reader of Baroja for many years, I have met literally scores of types who have made me chuckle, several of them masterpieces of their kind. Cervantes himself could not well have improved upon the famous vagabond Elisabide. Zalacaín is rich in such types. In Spanish literature since Cervantes, I defy anyone to cite an example of humorous portraiture more convincingly carried through than that of Tellagorri, un viejo cínico (Zalacain), one of the most engaging scoundrels I have met since Cellini swaggered about Florence. In general, the editors have succeeded in rendering justice to this and other aspects, good and bad, of Baroja's work.

In the novel itself, exclusive of the running titles, which read Adventurero throughout, there occur about 25 misprints, none of which destroys the sense.

The Vocabulary is meant to be complete, and is in general entirely satisfactory. In three cases-accidentado, anathema, zortzico-the editors have referred to the Notes without indicating the number of the page or line annotated. The fact is unimportant, except for the last word, which is of frequent occurrence. "Capullo, cocoon" is not apt for p. 59, 1. 25. “Cartelón, bill, sign," as used on p. 168, 1. 33, would be called a "chart" in the mid-west. "Cuarto, copper coin worth about 29/1000 of a peseta" seems far-fetched. Why not say: "An old coin, worth about 3 céntimos, or half a cent"?

The Notes, on the other hand, are apparently not meant to be complete, but assume a well-informed reader who can make shift with an irreducible minimum of help. They cover 6 pages. Consulting José (Heath), which has the same number of pages of text (170), one finds 31 pages of Notes. The disproportion becomes the more striking in view of the fact that Zalacain, where the space given to notes is relatively so meager, actually contains much more material that would lend itself to note-explanation than does José, dealing as the former does with the last years of the Carlist wars. I would suggest that, in a second edition, the Notes be fattened somewhat. Specifically, the Notes might treat the following: P. 132, 1. 9: Doña Blanca. Is she the historical wife, relative, mistress, or governess of the Pretender, or what is she doing with him?

P. 145, 1. 32: Carlos VII. A cross-reference to p. 68, 1. 19 would be useful, and would be in accord with the policy of the editors elsewhere.

P. 167, 1. 10 ff.: oniquillo. Is it the diminutive of ónique, is it a Basque word, or what do the editors think it is?

P. 179, 1. 1: St.-Jean Pied de Port. The information that Baroja began the novel in this place (see Baroja, Páginas Escogidas) would suggest his intimate knowledge of the terrain, and would be as important as most notes.

The following notes could be considerably improved:

P. 18, 1. 10: "When the direct noun or pronoun object precedes the verb a corresponding conjunctive pronoun object is usually placed before the verb also." This is in part ambiguous, if not meaningless, to students in second or thirdyear Spanish. It would help to read: or disjunctive pronoun.

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P. 40, 1. 6: es etc. "Should be está . . ." Note gets nowhere, since there are two eses in the line.

P. 47, 1. 11: si te las comes. "Comer is usually reflexive if a direct object is expressed." Inadequately explained, and might be expanded into a respectablesized note.

P. 111, 1. 16: el tipo aquel, “i.e., aquel tipo." No word of explanation is given as to this phenomenon.

P. 128, 1. 31: "digáis for diga." (The speech of one speaking incorrect Spanish is being commented on.) The context demands decid, not diga. Cf. Baroja's own illustration, “hagáis por haced,” p. 128, 1. 15.

P. 168, 1. 3: ". . . after having repeated their harvest." Probably meant to be reaped.

Moreover the usefulness of the Notes is somewhat impaired by a lack of correspondence between the page numbers listed with the Notes, and the pages referred to in the novel itself. I have noted many cases in which the page and line) given with the note do not fit the novel. There are 7 errors of only 1 or 2 lines; the others range from 4 lines to 15 or 20 pages, and 3 references I couldn't find at all, after diligent search.

But in spite of the unsatisfactory condition of the Notes, lovers of Baroja may well find a place for the text in their second- and third-year classes. It contains a rapidly moving story of Carlist adventure, into which are set many splendid etchings in miniature, chief among which is the immortal Tellagorri. It is romance made plausible, and a capital introduction to one of the foremost of Spanish writers. In a class of 25 second-year students, not conspicuous for guile in expressing their opinions, the greenest freshmen and the few critical sophisticates were alike enthusiastic over the novel's spontaneity and life-likeness. The editors selected a good text for their joint labors.



Altar Mayor, novela por Concha Espina. Madrid: Renacimiento, 1926.

Acabamos de recibir la última novela de Concha Espina, Altar Mayor. Sobrados motivos había para esperar que la insigne escritora que había logrado fraguar obras de arte literario tan bellas como La esfinge maragata, El metal de los muertos y Tierras del Aquilón despertase de nuevo en nosotros la admiración espontánea que suscita siempre el arte verdadero. Y terminada nuestra lectura de nuevo confesamos que hemos andado vagando por uno de los palacios del arte,, y cual si hubiésemos abandonado por el momento los recintos que encierran las obras del Greco y de Velázquez quedamos hondamente emocionados.

La triste historia de una bellísima joven asturiana, alma de una sensibilidad y fortaleza extraordinarias, que sabe triunfar sobre las flaquezas humanas y de un

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hombre bueno y malo, valiente y cobarde como muchos, eso es, en breve, esta verb obra. Teresina es como Gloria de Galdós una joven que vive, ama y sufre, y es


un símbolo de nuestra vida en este valle de lágrimas. Es una mujer que conocemos y a quien hemos visto llorar y sufrir. Nos resignamos, como ella, porque the comprendemos que de las dos vidas paralelas a que hace referencia Benavente en La noche del sábado ella ha sabido vivir la vida del espíritu y que ésa es la que to cuenta. No odiemos a Javier. Es un hombre verdaderamente humano por sus vacilaciones, traiciones y cobarde corazón. Y si ha profanado los deberes y juramentos más sagrados ha sido porque su flaca naturaleza triunfa siempre sobre lo bueno de su ser. Teresina ha penetrado en el fondo de su alma y ha pronunciado el fallo absoluto. Javier es un "cobarde."

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Concha Espina tiene sobre todo el don de poder despertar en nosotros hondas emociones en presencia del dolor. En ella el sentimiento de la vida es triste por la misma razón que puede en ciertos momentos u ocasiones conducir a la felicidad, a la alegría. El arte de Grecia y el arte de España se han unido para crear un arte nuevo que se afirma en la esperanza humana en algo vago, místico, abi siempre preferible a lo actual, pero que las almas sabidoras de la vida comprenden desde el primer momento de su vida racional que no se puede realizar. De allí esa vaga y dulce melancolía, ese místico abandono a la vida misma, esa temblorosa sensibilidad y esa suprema resignación cristiana que campean en la obra de la incomparable Concha Espina. Si en la vida no podremos encontrar la felicidad a que aspiramos podremos por lo menos realizar algo que valga la pena de vivirla medio del sacrificio. La filosofía de la vida como la comprende esta insigne española está encerrada en el siguiente pasaje de su Altar Mayor:

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Señor de los Villares: todas las esperanzas terrenas no pueden ir más lejos de una espantosa realidad, que es la Muerte. Y para darnos algún fruto han de convertirse en altruismo, desinterés, benevolencias y ternuras llenas de sacrificios. Esta actitud, sólo compatible con la inteligencia y la comprensión, nos hace sonreír y aun gozar sagrademente en el renunciamiento y la misericordia; pero nunca nos hara felices, porque el Dolor, hijo de los siglos, "es más pesado que las arenas del Mar."

Altar Mayor es otro triunfo notable en la brillante carrera literaria de Concha Espina. El Altar Mayor de Covadonga, la cuna de la nacionalidad española y símbolo eterno de la España grande y gloriosa, se ha convertido, gracias al verbo mágico de la ilustre escritora, en el Altar Mayor al cual todos debemos homenaje, el arte.




Spanische Kunst von Greco bis Goya, von Hugo Kehrer. München: Hugo Schmidt Verlag, 1926. 250 illustrations; 364 pages and an appendix of XXXVII pages of architectural illustrations.

Kehrer is professor of the history of art at the University of Munich and particularly of Spanish art. A number of separate works on Greco, Zurbaran, Murillo, Goya attest his competence, a competence which has also been recog

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