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How should we read a text that does not exist, or present a play the manuscript of which is lost and the identity of whose author cannot be established for certain? Such is the enigma posed by Cardenio a play performed in England for the first time in 1612 or 1613 and attributed forty years later to Shakespeare (and Fletcher). Its plot is that of a 'novella' inserted into Don Quixote, a work that circulated throughout the major countries of Europe, where it was translated and adapted for the theatre. In England, Cervantes' novel was known and cited even before it was translated in 1612 and had inspired Cardenio . But there is more at stake in this enigma. This was a time when, thanks mainly to the invention of the printing press, there was a proliferation of discourses. There was often a reaction when it was feared that this proliferation would become excessive, and many writings were weeded out. Not all were destined to survive, in particular plays for the theatre, which, in many cases, were never published. This genre, situated at the bottom of the literary hierarchy, was well suited to the existence of ephemeral works. However, if an author became famous, the desire for an archive of his works prompted the invention of textual relics, the restoration of remainders ruined by the passing of time or, in order to fill in the gaps, in some cases, even the fabrication of forgeries. Such was the fate of Cardenio in the eighteenth century. Retracing the history of this play therefore leads one to wonder about the status, in the past, of works today judged to be canonical. In this book the reader will rediscover the malleability of texts, transformed as they were by translations and adaptations, their migrations from one genre to another, and their changing meanings constructed by their various publics. Thanks to Roger Chartier's forensic skills, fresh light is cast upon the mystery of a play lacking a text but not an author.
Roger Chartier is Professor of History at the Collège de France, Directeur d'Études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
Introduction READING A TEXT THAT DOES NOT EXIST
Chapter I CARDENIO AT COURT LONDON, 1613 Spain in England Don Quixote in translation Why Cardenio? Dorotea’s story Happy ending
Chapter II CARDENIO AND DON QUIXOTE SPAIN, 1605-1608 Don Quixote as he is depicted in his book Double marriages Don Quixote ‘gracioso de comedia’ The madman, the poet and the prince Seeming and being: an exchange of sons
Chapter III A FRENCH CARDENIO PARIS, 1628 AND 1638 Don Quixote in France Luscinde’s marriage The mad fits of Cardenio The mad fits of Don Quixote Guérin de Bouscal: the queen of Miconmicon The bearded dueña and the wooden horse Novel, novellas and theatre
Chapter IV CARDENIO IN THE REVOLUTION LONDON, 1653 Writing in collaboration. Fletcher and Shakespeare The famous history of the life of King Henry VIII The two noble cousins A play never published Don Quixote in the revolution From Shelton to Gayton. Cardenio in verse
Chapter V CARDENIO REDISCOVERED LONDON, 1727 The miracle of the Theatre Royal Publishing and politics Theobald, editor and author Preliminaries, dedications and privilege Theatrical enthusiasm. An authentically Shakespearean play Editorial prudence. A play excluded from the canon
Chapter VI REPRESENTATIONS OF CARDENIO ENGLAND, 1660-1727 Images and words. The illustrated Spanish text The engravings of translations Don Quixote without Cardenio. The booklets sold by peddlers Cardenio abridged Don Quixote in serial form Cardenio in the theatre. First D’Urfey, then Theobald
Chapter VII CARDENIO ON STAGE LONDON, 1727 The double betrayal The interrupted marriage Ruses and a denouement 1727, 1660, 1613 Double Falshood, a mystification or an adaptation?
Epilogue. CARDENIO FEVER The manuscript recovered How should a lost play be staged? Cardenio published The discrepancy between different periods
Postscript THE PERMANENCE OF WORKS AND THE PLURALITY OF TEXTS APPENDICES Notes Index of names Tables of Illustrations