The Limits of Illusion: A Critical Study of Calderon
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The Limits of Illusion: A Critical Study of Calderon

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This is the first thorough study of Calderon in comparison with other important dramatists of the period: Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina in Spain, Racine and Corneille in France, and Shakespeare and Marlowe in England. Cascardi studies Calderon's paradoxical engagement with illusion in its philosophical guise as scepticism. He shows on the one hand Calderon's moral will to reject illusion and on the other his theatrical need to embrace it. Cascardi discusses plays from every period to show how in Calderon's best work illusion is not rejected; instead, scepticism is absorbed. Calderon is placed in and defined against the philosophical line of Vives, Descartes, and Spinoza. Of central importance to this argument is Calderon's idea of theatre and the various transformations of that idea. This emphasis will give the book an additional interest to students, readers in philosophy and comparative literature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 23mm | 424g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 052126281X
  • 9780521262811

Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; Note on texts and notes; Introduction; 1. La vida es sueno: Calderon's idea of a theatre; 2. La dama duende; 3. Calderon and Tirso: El galan fantasma; 4. El secreto a voces: language and social illusion; 5. Toward tragedy; 6. El medico de su honra; 7. Herod and Hercules: theatrical space and the body; 8. El magico prodigioso and the theatre of alchemy; 9. The illusions of history; 10. Authority and illusion: En la vida todo es verdad y too mentira; 11. The use of myth: Eco y Narciso; 12. Prometheus and the theatre of the mind; 13. Calderon's last play: the comedia as technology and romance; Notes; Index.
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