Hispanists will welcome the intensive approach of this anthology reflected in the twenty-four selections representing Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, thirteen of José María Heredia, twelve of Mariano Melgar, eleven of Martínez de Navarrete, and eight of Juan del Valle y Caviedes. The extent of the collection is indicated by the inclusion of twenty-five authors among whom are Miguel de Guevara, Manuel de Lavardén, Jacinto de Evia, and Luis de Sandoval y Zapata. The value of the texts is increased for the student by select bibliographical data which conclude the English introductions to each writer’s works. In each instance numerous editions and critical works are cited.
Many readers will object to an anthology entitled The Colonial Period which begins with Comentarios reales de los Incas (1609). The editor passes over the whole sixteenth century and initiates his collection with the first American-born generation. Perhaps this rigorous chronological limitation would be acceptable if a similar rigor were evidenced in the selection and annotation of texts.
The editor includes “No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte” with poems of Miguel de Guevara with this comment: “As for the little masterpiece, . . . it is not Guevara’s after all! Having been associated with his name for over a quarter of a century it is included here only in memory of a lost cause (for sentimental reasons?) and as an initiation to the rhetoric of baroque mysticism” (p. 139). However, a quarter-century of association did not cause him to include “Título, coche o mujer” or “Lamentaciones sobre la vida en pecado” with the works of Valle y Caviedes. There are some curious errors of fact—for example, coincidence of the death of Shakespeare and Cervantes (p. 2) and “Oña’s octosyllabic stanzas” (p. 95)—as well as typographical irregularities (notes, pp. 525 and 552) and capricious, anachronistic titles in English (“A Robinson Crusoe Preview,” p. 5; “Surrealist Art,” p. 128). These do little to recommend the work to a demanding public.