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Pedro Calderon de La Barca: Life's a Dream (Hispanic Classics)


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Publisher Comments:

What is life? A frenzy. What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a fiction; and the greatest good is fleeting, for all life is a dream, and even dreams are but dreams. That is the haunting lesson learned by Prince Sigismund in Life's a Dream (La vida es sueno), the best known and most widely admired play of Catholic Europe's greatest dramatist, Pedro Calderon de la Barca. Calderon's long life (1600-1681) witnessed the pinnacle and collapse of Spanish political power as well as the great flowering of classical Spanish literature. He inherited his dramatic principles from his brilliant predecessor, Lope de Vega, perfecting his formula with more economical plots, greater subtlety of thought, and, in some cases, deeper character development and psychological insight. Nowhere is Calderon's talent more evident than in Life's a Dream, the poignant tale of a prince imprisoned at birth by his astrologer-king father and liberated on the same day a beautiful woman stumbles into his life. The interwoven themes of love, loss, power, and destiny make it the peer of such plays as Oedipus and Hamlet. The volume comes with a generous set of supplementary materials including critical introduction, translator's notes, suggestions for directors, bibliography, and glossary.

Book News Annotation:

Michael Kidd (Spanish, Augsburg College, Minnesota) offers a bilingual edition of Spanish playwright Calderón's (1600-81) play--Spanish verse facing pages of English prose--that can be studied in courses on Spanish language or literature, or can be used as a script for performance in either language. He does not interrupt the text with footnotes, but deals with all issues of interpretation and clarification in the back matter. The translation was first published by the University Press of Colorado in 2004 with American high school and college students in mind; that edition was awarded the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Publication Prize. For this British edition, he has revised the translation and updated the introductory materials and bibliography. Distributed in North America by The David Brown Book Co. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Kidd, Michael
Aris & Phillips
European - Spanish & Portuguese
Literature-A to Z
Hispanic Classics
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Criticism
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Pedro Calderon de La Barca: Life's a Dream (Hispanic Classics) New Trade Paper
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Product details 147 pages Aris & Phillips - English 9780856688959 Reviews:
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