Newsletter

Cervantes Society of America
October 1995

News . . .

Greetings from Granville, once again. The academic cycle is now well under way, and we hope that for all of you in your various institutions, professions, studies, and places, this autumn has gotten off to a good start.

First, it is once again our sad task to mention the passing of one of our colleagues, a illustrious and fascinating cervantista, Maurice Molho. His friend Prof. Carroll B. Johnson sent us the following note of tribute:

     On Saturday 17 June 1995 Maurice Molho died in Paris. He had gone to Bordeaux in an effort to improve his failing health, but in the end he was drawn back to the intellectual ferment of Paris. He was participating in a professional colloquium when they took him to the hospital where he died.
     “Mauricio,” as he was known to Hispanists of various generations and nationalities, was unique. He had a superb formation in philosophy and Saussurean linguistics, and indeed, he was the plenary speaker for linguistics at the 1992 AIH meeting. His uniqueness consisted in a gift for wedding his erudition and an almost geometric rigor of exposition to some of the most inventive and imaginative readings of literary texts that I know of.
He made every text he turned to open itself like a flower and reveal the most unexpected inner core of structural symmetries, fragile beauty, and disquieting psychic perturbations: the significance of the two Clorilenes in La vida es sueño with respect to King Basilio's attitudes toward his son; the reciprocal triangular logic of Don Pablos, Don Diego, and Don Toribio in the Buscón; the Cueva de Montesinos in general; the resonances of the name “Rabelín” in the “Retablo de las maravillas”; the totally unexpected but brilliantly argued return of little Andrés from Don Quijote I, 4, as seen from a very different perspective in Berganza's account of life among the thieving shepherds in the Coloquio de los perros.
     His method of exposition was rigorously linear, beginning with historical and philosophical contextualization and proceeding to the logic of the text in question. But somewhere toward the end there would be a switch which inverted the terms and rearranged the relationships so that a new meaning would emerge, grounded on the very exposition that was now undermined, a method that Prof. Márquez Villanueva once called “una especie de prestidigitación.”
     Mauricio never lost his enthusiasm or his energy. I recall riding in a bus with him at the end of a long day at an international meeting. It was dark outside. Our fellow congresistas were recumbent all around us and I was fighting to stay awake. Only Mauricio was as alert as ever, the ideas tumbling out as one association led to another.
     He never accepted the conventional wisdom, because he understood scholarship as an endless dialectic of past and present in which his task consisted precisely in challenging the received truths. He typically sought out the company of his junior colleagues and students. In Boston he made friends with Christopher Maurer Efrain Kristal, and continued an established friendship with Jim Iffland. He came to our annual Southern California Cervantes Symposium as the featured celebrity speaker, and by lunchtime he had made friends with all the graduate students and was engaging them animatedly on their ideas and readings of texts.
     He took calling Cervantes “el Supuesto,” by way of insisting on our inability to know him directly, unmediated by text, and his consequent status as a mental construct. One of my favorite memories is of waiting with Mauricio for a plane at LAX, and of him enthusiastically imagining Cervantes as our contemporary, arriving in Málaga on Air Maroc in the company of Spanish legionnaires and friars and Arabic-speaking businessmen, then figuring the entire variegated culture of the western Mediterranean in the sixteenth century transposed to the present.
     Mauricio Molho's special place in Hispanism is the result of that unique interaction of erudition, philosophical rigor, and imagination. Or as “el Supuesto” himself once said: “Yo soy aquel que en la invención excede a muchos, y al que falta en esa parte, es fuerza que su fama falta quede.”
* * *

At the recent XII Congreso of the Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, held at Birmingham, England (21-26 August), there were no less than seven sessions devoted to Cervantes studies and two other sessions in which significant presentations on Cervantes's work were offered. The participants and their ponencias are as follows: James A. Parr, “Del interés de los narradores del Quijote”; María Fernanda de Abreu, “Tras las huellas del editor de Cide Hamete: el Quijote, modelo para la parodia del Manuscrito encontrado”; Eduardo Urbina, “El juego de la fortuna en el Quijote, Primera Parte”; Steven Hutchinson, “Economía de la penitencia en Don Quijote”; María Antonia Garcés, “Delirio y obscenidad en Cervantes: el case Vidriera”; Augustín Redondo, “De vapulamientos y azotes en el Quijote. Algunas calas en la elaboración de la parodia cervantina”; Juan Diego Vila, “Don Quijote y el Arte Poético de Cardenio: asedios en torno a la imagen del vacío femenino”; José Luis Gotor López, “Una lectura social del Quijote (A la luz de un ‘Discurso del Reino’)”; Gonzalo Díaz Migoyo, “El sueño de la lectura en la cueva de Montesinos”; Jaime Fernández, “La función del azar en el ‘espanto cencerril y gatuno’ (DQ, II, 46)”; Jack Weiner, “La ‘Numancia’ de Cervantes y la alianza entre Dios e Israel”; Alberto Castilla, “El arte de Cervantes en ‘El retablo de las maravillas’”; Francisco Márquez Villanueva, “Bernardino Telesio y el ‘antiguo sacerdote’ de La Galatea”; Isaías Lerner, “Para la fortuna de La Galatea de Cervantes en el siglo XVIII”; Antonio Cruz Casado, “Secuelas del Persiles”; Georges Güntert, “Ariosto en el Quijote: una cuestión por replantear”; Dominick L. Finello, “Cervantes y Keats”; William Clamurro, “Los pecados del padre: ‘erotika pathemata’ e identidad en La española inglesa”; José M. Paz Gago, “El Quijote, de la novela moderna a la novela posmoderna”; Thomas A. Lathrop, “El Cervantes ficticio”; Luisa López Grigera, “Las causas de las acciones femeninas en el Quijote”; Vsevolod Bagno, “El utopismo como base de la mentalidad quijotesca y del quijotismo mundial”; and María A. Costa Vieira, “Don Quijote y la novela brasileña: estudio acerca de las proyecciones temáticas y estéticas en Fogo morto y Memórias póstumas de Brás Cubas.”

Concerning other recent publications, presentations, and related items of interest, we should mention that our colleague Eduardo Urbina (Texas A & M) announces the initiation of a major bibliographic project, the Anuario Bibliográfico Cervantino. He sent us the following information:

The development and publication of an annual international bibliography of the works of Miguel de Cervantes is a project of great interest to all Hispanic scholars as well as an invaluable research tool for the study and dissemination of Spanish literature and culture. The Anuario Bibliográfico Cervantino at Texas A&M University will include references to all publications and records relating to Cervantes and his works. It will follow the standards of the prestigious World Shakespeare Bibliography edited by Prof. James L. Harner of the Department of English, Texas A&M University, who has agreed to serve as Consulting Editor for this project.
The presence at Texas A&M of the World Shakespeare Bibliography constitutes a unique resource. In addition, support from the three foremost international associations dedicated to the study of Cervantes—the Asociación de Cervantistas, Spain, the Cervantes Society of America, and the Centro de Estudios Cervantinos (CEC), Alcalá de Henares, Spain—guarantee a broad dissemination of the Bibliography. Funding in kind and time by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages represents a long-term commitment to the development of the Bibliography.
At present, we have obtained initial funding from the CEC, the Committee for Cultural Cooperation between Spain and US universities, and the Department of Modern Languages, Texas A&M U, acquired and installed all the necessary hardware—fax-modem, tape back-up system, high speed laser printer, expanded memory chips—and developed a taxonomy for Cervantes's works. We have also designed a database and a protocol for submission of entries by prospective collaborators worldwide. The second stage of the project, already underway, includes the following goals to be accomplished by June 1996: a) Solicit additional external funding from the NEH-Research Tools Program; b) Compile directory of journals and publishers to be reviewed periodically; c) install and test the database system; d) Continue data collection and entry.
Although bibliographical records will be downloaded electronically from designated collections, the principal amount of the research in connection with the identification of bibliographical sources and materials will be conducted annually at the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, a major repository of publications about Cervantes and his works. Additional research will be conducted at the Centro de Estudios Cervantinos, Alcalá de Henares, and the Library of Congress, Washington DC.
     We are currently evaluating a database for CD-ROM with hypertext capabilities, and we are working with the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries at Texas A&M University to produce the Bibliography digitally with immediate update and access through the WWW[???]. In any case, by September 1996 we plan to send to the publisher a camera-ready copy of the first prototype volume containing items from 1994. Possible avenues of publication include Cervantes (the journal of the Cervantes Society of America), a joint venture between the CEC and Texas A&M University, and my own series on Cervantes published by Peter Lang, New York.
     The Anuanrio Bibliográfico Cervantino will be the first publication of its kind.
     All those interested in collaborating in this project should contact E. Urbina at (409) 845-0464, e-mail: e-urbina@tamu.edu.

Also concerning bibliographies, Prof. John A. Jones of the University of Hull (UK) Department of Hispanic Studies informs us that he edits the section on Golden Age Prose and Poetry for The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies and would therefore greatly appreciate receiving information, offprints, etc., from each and all of you concerning recent publications on Cervantes or any other Golden Age topic of interest. His address is:
Prof. John A. Jones
Dept. of Hispanic Studies
Univ. of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01482-465360
Switchboard: 01482-346311
FAX: 01482-465991


Other Items of interest include the establishing of the Fundación “Cervantes” in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its president is Dr. Vsévolod E. Bagno and the address is as follows:
199034, Russia, St. Petersburg
Nab. Makarova, 4
Fundación “Cervantes”
Telephone(s): (812) 234-3527
234-9352
FAX: 218-1140
234-9352
312-4128 ap. 1319
Telex: 121345 PTB SU ap. 1319


Our colleague Prof. Joseph V. Ricapito (LSU) presented two lectures last spring at the Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City, “Pícaros, Rogues, Scamps, Con Men (Women): The Picaresque in a Comparative Perspective” and “Cervantes and History: The Case of La gitanilla.”

While not specifically Cervantes-related, the recent collection of essays María de Zayas: The Dynamics of Discourse, edited by our colleagues Amy Williamsen (U. of Arizona) and Judith Whitenack (U. of Nevada-Reno) will be of interest to many of you.

Announcements, upcoming conferences:

We would like to remind all our members of the April 1996 Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (April 18-20, 1996) to be held in Lexington. At this conference, the CSA business meetings and related panels will be held. For further information, please contact the Kentucky organizers, especially Prof. Joseph R. Jones, Dept. of Spanish & Italian, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0027/ Phone: (606) 257-7096/ FAX: (606) 323-9077/ jjones@ukcc.uky.edu. The Deadline for submissions is November 15, 1955.

Also, we would like to mention the recent Call for Papers for next May's Souther California Cervantes Symposium (to be held at UCLA, May 24-26, 1996). Abstracts should be sent no later than DECEMBER 1, 1995 to:
Ms. Susanne M. Kahle, Assistant Director
UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Box 951485
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1485
Telephone: (310) 825-1880
FAX: (310) 825-0655

Finally, we would once again like to remind all our members the check the date number to the right of their name on the address label. The dues rates (which we inadvertently omitted from the last Newsletter) are $20/year for regular membership, $10/year for students, and $30 for couples. You may pay for more than one year in advance, if you like, and we encourage this. If you have any questions about your status, or if you feel that our records are in error, please feel free to contact us.

Warmest best wishes for the balance of the autumn semester.

Cervantes Society of America
c/o William H. Clamurro
Department of Modern Languages
Denison University
Box M
Granville, OH 43023


Fred Jehle jehle@ipfw.edu Publications of the CSA HCervantes
URL: http://www.h-net.org/~cervantes/csa/nwsltf95.htm