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Silva. Estudios de humanismo y tradicion clasica.

Silva. Estudios de humanismo y tradicion clasica. Ed. by Jesus-M. Nieto Ibanez and Juan Francisco Dominguez Dominguez. Nr. 6, 2007. Universidad de Leon, Spain. 447 pp. The latest issue of this, the newest of the journals devoted to Neo-Latin literature and culture, contains eight articles. In "El poder politico o el arte de hacer real lo posible: el Agamemnon de la Hecuba de Euripides y algunas recreaciones posteriores (Seneca, Gelli y Perez de Oliva)," Jose Vicente Banuls and Carmen Morenilla offer a very interesting reinterpretation of Euripides Hecuba, in which Agamemnon's actions are generally seen as cowardly and indecisive. This, the authors argue, is because the reservations of the king are misinterpreted: these reservations should be seen as a sign of prudence in specific political circumstances. What makes this reinterpretation interesting is that it is completed through Seneca, Aulus Gellius, and Perez de Oliva, confirming the argument of Charles Martindale (Redeeming the Text (Cambridge, 1993), 7) that our current interpretations are inevitably bound to the chain of interpretations that link us to the original work. Next Florence Bistagne, in "Le De sermone de Giovanni Pontano est-il un traite e savoir vivre?," explores the ideal virtue that makes a person witty in conversation. Wit arises from both ancient rhetoric and from medieval courtesy books, such that De sermone becomes both a work of aesthetics and ethics, of theory and practice. In "Publicacoes cristas na China no secolo XVII. Uma edicao da Relatio Sepulturae ... S. Francisco Xaverio erectae, Pequim de c. 1700," Manuel Cadafaz de Matos explores the effect of the missionary press in the Far East on the historiography of St. Francis Xavier. This article focuses on two editions (one from India, the other from the Philippines) that concern Father Mastrilli, subject of a miracle by Xavier; and on another, probably Chinese edition that relates to the saint's burial on the island of Sanchuan.

In a nice complement to the edition of Reinhold Glei reviewed elsewhere in this issue of NLN, Arturo Echavarren analyzes the frequent references to Virgil's Aeneas in the non-mythological dramas of the Spanish Golden Age. "La figura de Eneas en el teatro espanol del Siglo de Oro" shows how the intertextual links between Virgil's epic and a series of plays draw from a similar symbolic connection, but unfold differently in different dramas. In "La poesia dispersa de Juan de Mal Lara: una formulacion estetica entre latin y vernaculo (con nuevas noticias biografico-literarias)," Francisco Javier Escobar Borrego studies the poetry of the humanist Juan de Mal Lara (1526-1571), which has been scattered into many manuscripts and older editions. Its variety of registers illuminates the poetry of this humanist and that of a number of other writers linked to his Academy. "Algunas ideas de estetica neoplatonica a traves de un soneto hereriano," by Francisco Garrote Perez, analyzes the neoplatonic ideas which Fernando de Herrera used to compose an exemplary sonnet. Next, in "Silva, comentario y memorial: la Silva Palentina de Alonso Fernandez de Madrid," Lilith Lee examines the relationships between 'commentary,' 'memorial,' and 'silva,' showing that the final term can indeed mean 'miscellany,' but it also signifies a way of writing-a distinction that proves useful with the Silva Palatina, which accords with the second meaning but not the first. In "Mitos y nombres miticos en las obras literarias de Jovellanos," Juan Antonio Lopez Ferez analyzes the presence of myths and mythical names in Jovellanos' literary works.

I have divided the articles into two groups because the division suggests to me the strengths that recent work on Neo-Latin offers. The second group might be considered traditional in their focus on philology and its concerns, but they are done to a very high standard and lead to new insights about neo-Latin writings we do not know enough about. The three articles in the first group suggest in turn what happens when these traditional philological concerns are opened up by some of the newer methodologies. The first article ends up being a sophisticated application of reception theory, the second a sort of exercise in cultural studies, and the third an interesting account of what happens when west meets east. That both approaches can meet, and meet profitably, in the pages of the same journal suggests that the next decade or two should be unusually interesting for neoLatin studies. (Craig Kallendorf, Texas A&M University)
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Title Annotation:NEO-LATIN NEWS
Author:Kallendorf, Craig
Publication:Seventeenth-Century News
Article Type:Periodical review
Date:Sep 22, 2008
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