Get Your Free Goodie Box here

La Serie del Lenguaje Moderno Heath: Tres Comedias-Sin Querer de Pequenas Causas y Los Intereses Creados by Jacinto Benavente - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

Heath's Modern Language Series

TRES COMEDIAS

SIN QUERER

DE PEQUEÑAS CAUSAS...

LOS INTERESES CREADOS

POR

JACINTO BENAVENTE

EDITED BY

JOHN VAN HORNE, Ph.D.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

D. C. HEATH & CO., PUBLISHERS

BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO

COPYRIGHT, 1918,

BY D. C. HEATH & CO.

2 B 3

Printed in U. S. A.

CONTEMPORARY SPANISH TEXTS

General Editor

FEDERICO DE ONÍS

Professor of Spanish Literature,

University of Salamanca and Columbia University

CONTEMPORARY SPANISH TEXTS

1. Jacinto Benavente: Tres Comedias, Sin querer, De pequeñas causas, Los intereses creados. Edited with notes and vocabulary by ProfessorJOHN VAN HORNE of the University

of Illinois. xxxvi + 189 pages.

2. Vicente Blasco Ibáñez: La Batalla del Marne from Los cuatro jinetesdel Apocalipsis. Edited with notes and vocabulary by Professor FEDERICODE ONÍS of the University

of Salamanca and Columbia University. xi + 201pages.

3. Gregorio Martínez Sierra: Canción de Cuna. Edited with notes,direct-method exercises, and vocabulary by Professor

AURELIO M. ESPINOSAof Stanford University. xxvi + 142

pages.

4. Juan Ramón Jiménez: Platero y yo. Edited with notes, direct-methodexercises, and vocabulary by GERTRUDE M.

WALSH of the North High School,Columbus, Ohio. xiv + 136

pages.

5. Manuel Linares Rivas: El Abolengo. Edited with direct-methodexercises, notes, and vocabulary by Dr. PAUL G.

MILLER, formerlyCommissioner of Education of Porto Rico.

xvi + 124 pages.

6. Hill and Buceta: Antología de cuentos españoles: Edited withdirect-method exercises, notes, and vocabulary by

Professor JOHN M. HILLof Indiana University, and Professor

ERASMO BUCETA of the University ofCalifornia. xvi + 257

pages.

ADVERTENCIA GENERAL

Con este volumen iniciamos la publicación de una nueva serie de textospara el uso general de las clases de español. Intentamos con ellaresponder a las nuevas necesidades creadas por el rápido yextraordinario crecimiento del estudio del español que a través de todoel país estamos en estos días presenciando. El caudal de textosutilizado para esta enseñanza necesita ser renovado y aumentado deacuerdo con las nuevas demandas.

No creemos equivocarnos al interpretar la transformación a que estamosasistiendo, no sólo como un aumento en el número

de estudiantes y en laintensidad del estudio, sino como un cambio en la dirección y en losfines de éste. Hasta ahora dominaba una tendencia más bien literaria ehistórica; desde ahora, aun continuada e intensificada ésta, el primerplano de interés en el estudio del español lo ocupa el interés práctico,político y comercial. Reconocido este hecho a él debemos ajustarnuestras normas y a sus necesidades tenemos que subvenir; pero hemos deapresurarnos a afirmar que entendemos grave error el considerar esos dosfines como antitéticos.

El

estudio

práctico

del

español,

para

serverdaderamente práctico y eficaz, requerirá en el mayor grado posible elconocimiento y el uso de las obras puramente literarias.

La lectura de textos literarios originales de autores españoles serásiempre uno de los modos esenciales de llegar al conocimiento prácticode la lengua. Será además un insustituible medio de llegar a conocer lavida, las costumbres, el carácter y el espíritu de esos pueblos con losque nos ligan lazos múltiples. La transformación a que estamosasistiendo no deberá pues

entenderse en ningún sentido ni en ningún casocomo motivo de exclusión de los textos literarios en la enseñanza; perosí habrá seguramente que escoger entre la literatura de esos países laque más se adapte a las nuevas necesidades. Parece evidente que elestudio del español se dirige ahora mucho más que antes a las realidadesactuales de los pueblos hispánicos, y que por lo tanto la literatura quedebe ser conocida y utilizada generalmente en las clases debe ser laliteratura de hoy, la literatura actualmente viva, la que representa elespíritu y los ideales actuales de la gran comunidad hispana.

Se han utilizado con éxito hasta ahora (y se seguirán utilizando)ciertas

manifestaciones

literarias

españolas

pertenecientes sobre todoal siglo XIX; pero pueden contarse con los dedos de una mano las obrasde autores rigurosamente contemporáneos y las de autoreshispano-americanos que hasta ahora se han puesto en circulación. El grancaudal de la producción literaria contemporánea—que por otra partetiene el interés de ser uno de los momentos más brillantes de laliteratura española—permanece fuera de nuestras clases de español. Yesto es más grave si se tiene en cuenta que un cambio esencial se hallevado a cabo en las postrimerías del siglo XIX en las tendencias y enlos gustos literarios y por lo tanto en el espíritu colectivo, un cambiotal que significa la aparición de una nueva época claramente distinta yaun contradictoria de la anterior. Esta época es la que ahora seencuentra en su momento de plenitud y madurez. Los más de los escritoresdel siglo XIX han

desaparecido ya, los que aun viven son escritoresretardados en contradicción con el espíritu del tiempo, y la nuevageneración de escritores que surgió a la vida literaria en los últimosdiez años del siglo XIX se encuentra ahora, después de veinte o treintaaños de labor, en la cumbra de su vida y con una gloriosa obra detrás.

El mérito y el valor relativo de los hombres de esa generación ha sidoaquilatado por el público y la crítica españoles durante este tiempo yalgunos de ellos han obtenido una consagración que les da, hasta dondeel juicio contemporáneo puede llegar, el valor y la autoridad deescritores clásicos. Unos han visto abiertas las puertas de la RealAcademia Española, otros ven sus obras publicadas en ediciones completasy en selecciones y antologías, todos ellos las han visto traducidas alas diversas lenguas europeas, y—lo que significa más que nada—todosellos cuentan con la reputación, la autoridad y la influencia a travésde la gran comunidad espiritual de los pueblos que hablan español.

Creemos llegado el momento de ofrecer a nuestros estudiantes lo mejor deeste caudal literario, y para ello hemos concebido la publicación de unaserie constituida por un número limitado de textos que sean ejemplos deprimer orden de los diversos autores y de las diversas manifestacionesliterarias modernas en España y en Hispano-América y que al mismo tiemporeúnan aquellas condiciones que los hagan aptos para la enseñanzapráctica del idioma en nuestras escuelas y colegios.

La selección cuidadosa de los textos irá acompañada de ciertasinnovaciones en la edición que tiendan a darle mayor eficacia práctica.Cada texto llevará una breve introducción escrita en español claro, puroy sencillo, destinada a ser leída en las clases por los alumnos mismoscomo parte del texto. Los profesores comprenderán la importancia quetiene preparar al alumno para la inteligencia de un texto y un autor queforman parte de las realidades actuales de los países cuya vida sepretende dar a conocer. El Sr. Onís, director de la serie, escribirápara ella dichas introducciones.

Las notas tendrán un carácter práctico; se pretenderá en ellas no sóloresolver las dificultades gramaticales y de significación, sino dar aconocer el valor que, respecto al uso de la lengua comúnmente hablada,tiene la lengua literaria empleada en el texto. Muchas de las obras iránacompañadas de ejercicios adecuados al grado de enseñanza a que la obrase considere destinada. En todo caso la obra irá acompañada de

unvocabulario en el que se explicará suficientemente la significación y elvalor usual del caudal lexicográfico, el cual, por su modernidad, ofrecemuchas voces comunes que aun no han sido recogidas por losdiccionarios.

CONTENTS

Preface

Introduction

Jacinto Benavente

Sin querer

De pequeñas causas...

Los intereses creados

Notes

Vocabulary

PREFACE

The text of this edition is taken from Benavente's Teatro, Librería delos Sucesores de Hernando, Madrid; Sin querer comes from vol. 4, 2ded., 1913; De pequeñas causas... from vol.

18, 1909; Los interesescreados from vol. 16, 4th ed., 1914. A few obvious misprints arecorrected; accentuation is made to conform to the regulations in the1914 edition of the Spanish Academy Dictionary; punctuation isunchanged. The text proper is complete except for two slight omissionsfrom De pequeñas causas..., both of which are mentioned in the notes. Los intereses creados is chosen as one of the finest of Benavente'splays, and the one best suited to class use; the two shorter pieces areincluded to give an idea of the author's more normal manner.

Although De pequeñas causas... was produced on the stage after Los interesescreados, it precedes it in this edition in order that the long play maystand at the end of the volume.

It is believed that these plays can be read to greatest advantage afterstudents have had one year of Spanish. The Notes and Vocabulary havebeen prepared with that in mind, as much material as possible beingplaced in the Vocabulary rather than in the Notes. However, in thepresent dearth of good elementary texts, the book might be used towardthe end of the first year; it is hoped that the vocabulary is adequatefor such a purpose. The introduction aims to give as complete an accountas space permits, of Benavente's dramatic career. Therefore,non-dramatic works, such as De sobremesa, are treated in much moresummary fashion than they deserve.

The editor wishes to express his thanks to the author, Sr. D.

JacintoBenavente, for kind permission to edit these plays; to his father forcareful reading and correction of introduction, notes and vocabulary; toProfessor John D. Fitz-Gerald, and Dr.

Homero Serís, of the Universityof Illinois, and to Mr. José G.

García, of New York City, founder of thenewspaper Las Novedades, for valuable suggestions on difficult points.Dean Roscoe Pound, of the Law School of Harvard University, kindlyfurnished suggestions as to the probable interpretation of Emiliano andTriberiano.

INTRODUCTION

Benavente's Life. —Jacinto Benavente y Martínez or Jacinto Benavente, ashe is commonly known, was born in Madrid on August 12th, 1866. Heattended school in his native city, studied law at the University there,and finally abandoned his thought of a legal career in order to devotehimself to dramatic literature.

Much intercourse with varied types ofpeople has supplied him with the knowledge of human nature evident inhis dramatic productions. Although he has traveled to a considerableextent, Madrid has been the center of nearly all his literary activity,and it is impossible to identify him with any other place. The principalevents of his life have been associated with the theater, and are bestreviewed in connection with the study of his dramatic career.

Mariano Benavente, the father of the author, was a physician andspecialist in children's diseases, who came originally from Murcia. Hisinfluence upon his son is perhaps noticeable in the respect shown by thelatter for the medical profession and in his fondness for children.[1]

Devotion to the Stage. —In an interview published in the Madridperiodical La Esfera (in 1916) Benavente tells us that his affectionfor the theater was awakened at a very early age. He says that as a boyhe took delight in fashioning little theatrical pieces in which he couldact, and that his enthusiasm was aroused by the presentation rather thanby the composition of such pieces. Even recently[2] he declared that hewould rather have been a great actor than a writer of plays. In fact, hehas been known to appear on the stage with the actress María Tubau andin some of his own productions, one of which was Sin querer.

Benavente is a peculiarly natural product of the stage. No one couldgive himself more whole-heartedly to his profession than he has done. Heis interested in all theatrical matters: in the writing and presentationof plays, in actors, in the Madrid public which he praises and censuresin turn, in the history and criticism of the drama, in aestheticprinciples, in the relation between good art and financial success; inshort, no detail escapes his notice.

He likes to work with hisaudiences, to please and to amuse them, yet he does not lose sight ofthe serious mission of the drama. No outside interests have ever takenhim for any considerable time from his true vocation. He is an excellentand well-rounded,

but

at

the

same

time

a

delightfully

spontaneousproduct of Spanish dramatic art.

Minor Works. —We are informed in the interview already mentioned thatBenavente was forced to write several plays before he composed one thatwas accepted. In characteristically ironical style he asserts that itwas not hard for him to gain a hearing, because his father was thephysician of the theatrical manager to whom he made application. Hisearliest models, according

to

his

own

statement,

were

Shakespeare

andEchegaray. Veneration for the great English dramatist is apparent inBenavente's entire career. The influence is perhaps most directly seenin the Teatro fantástico, the first in date of his published writings(1892). Short sketches and prose dialogues are contained in two otherearly volumes, Figulinas and Vilanos.

A fourth book containingyouthful writings and entitled Cartas de mujeres is a series ofletters meant to illustrate the thoughts and the epistolary style ofwomen. These letters have been much praised in Spain for their literaryworkmanship and for their insight into the feminine heart, a facultywhich has always been considered one of the clearest manifestations ofBenavente's genius.[3]

Other productions distinct from the central body of

Benavente's dramaticworks (the Teatro) are De sobremesa and the Teatro del pueblo. Theformer, a collection in five volumes of weekly articles composed for Los lunes of El Imparcial (1908-1912), is the principal source forits author's views on dramatic criticism and on worldly affairs ingeneral. The Teatro del pueblo is a series of papers on subjectsconnected with the stage. Both these productions will be discussed aftera review of the plays.

List of Plays. —The following titles are encountered, in the order herefollowed, in the twenty-two volumes of the Teatro.

The date of the estreno (first performance) and a brief description are given witheach title.[4]

1894 October 6th. El nido ajeno (comedy, three acts).

1896 October 21st. Gente conocida (scenes of modern life, four acts).

1897 February 13th. El marido de la Téllez (comedy sketch, one act).

February 27th. De alivio (monologue).

October 31st. Don Juan (translated from Molière).

November 30th. La farándula (comedy, two acts).

1898 November 7th. La comida de las fieras (comedy, three acts).

December 28th, Teatro feminista (farce comedy with

music, one act).

1899 March 11th. Cuento de amor (from Shakespeare's

"Twelfth Night").

May 4th. Operación quirúrgica (comedy, one act).

December 7th. Despedida cruel (comedy, one act).

1900 March 31st. La gata de Angora (comedy, four acts).

April 6th. Viaje de instrucción (zarzuela).

July 15th. Por la herida (drama, one act).

1901 January 18th. Modas (sketch, one act).

January 19th. Lo cursi (comedy, three acts).

March 3rd. Sin querer (comedy sketch, one act).

July 19th. Sacrificios (drama, three acts).

October 8th. La gobernadora (comedy, three acts).

November 12th. El primo Román (comedy, three acts).

1902 February 24th. Amor de amar (comedy, two acts).

March 17th. ¡Libertad! (translated from the Catalan of Rusiñol).

April 18th. El tren de los maridos (farce comedy, two acts).

December 2nd. Alma triunfante (drama, three acts).

December 19th. El automóvil (comedy, two acts).

1903 March 17th. La noche del sábado (stage romance, five divisions).

No date. Los favoritos (adapted from episode in

Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing").

March 23rd. El hombrecito (comedy, three acts).

October 29th. Mademoiselle de Belle-Isle (translated from Dumas Pére).

October 26th. Por qué se ama (comedy, one act).

November 20th. Al natural (comedy, two acts).

December 9th. La casa de la dicha (drama, one act).

March 16th. El dragón de fuego (drama, three acts).

1904 March 15th. Richelieu (translated from Bulwer-Lytton).

No date. La princesa Bebé (scenes of modern life, four acts).

March 3rd. No fumadores (farce, one act).

1905 April 13th. Rosas de otoño (comedy, three acts).

No date. Buena boda (based on Augier).

July 18th. El susto de la condesa (dialogue).

July 22nd. Cuento inmoral (monologue).

December 23rd. La sobresalienta (farce with music).

December 1st. Los malhechores del bien (comedy, two

acts).

December 24th. Las cigarras hormigas (farce comedy,

three acts).

1906 February 22nd. Más fuerte que el amor (drama, four acts).

No date. Manón Lescaut (adapted from the Abbé Prévost).

1907 February 8th. Los buhos (comedy, three acts).

February 21st. Abuela y nieta (dialogue).

No date. La princesa sin corazón (fairy-tale).

January 10th. El amor asusta (comedy, one act).

March 16th. La copa encantada (adapted from Ariosto, one act zarzuela).

November 7th. Los ojos de los muertos (drama, three acts).

No date. La historia de Otelo (comedy, one act).

No date. La sonrisa de Gioconda (comedy sketch, one

act).

No date. El último minué (comedy sketch, one act).

September 21st. Todos somos unos (farce with music).

December 9th. Los intereses creados (comedy of masks).

1908 February 22nd. Señora ama (comedy, three acts).

October 19th. El marido de su viuda (comedy, one act).

November 10th. La fuerza bruta (comedy, one act).

March 14th. De pequeñas causas... (comedy sketch, one act).

December 23rd. Hacia la verdad (scenes of modern life, three divisions).

1909 January 20th. Por las nubes (comedy, two acts).

April 10th. De cerca (comedy, one act).

No date. ¡A ver qué hace un hombre! (dramatic sketch, one act).

October 14th. La escuela de las princesas (comedy, three acts).

December 1st. La señorita se aburre (based on Tennyson, one act).

December 20th. El príncipe que todo lo aprendió en los

libros (fairy-tale, two acts).

December 20th. Ganarse la vida (fairy-tale, one act).

1910 January 27th. El nietecito (from Grimm's Fairy Tales, one act).

1911 November 9th. La losa de los sueños (comedy, two acts).

1913 December 12th. La malquerida (drama, three acts).

1914 March 25th. El destino manda (from Hervieu).

1915 March 4th. El collar de estrellas (comedy, four acts).

No date. La verdad (dialogue).

December 22nd. La propia estimación (comedy, two acts).

1916 February 14th. Campo de armiño (comedy, three acts).

May 4th. La ciudad alegre y confiada (second part of Los intereses creados).[5]

It will be observed that the Teatro includes nearly all varieties ofdramatic output: one, two, three, and four act plays, monologues,dialogues, translations, adaptations, zarzuelas, farces, fairy-dramas,comedies, and tragedies.

First Period. —Between 1894 and 1901 Benavente produced eighteen playson the Madrid stage. They represent, in a general way, the first phaseof his dramatic career. The element that characterizes them mostconspicuously is satire. Benavente holds up to scorn Spanisharistocratic society of the present day. He introduces to his audiencesa succession of types whose failings and foibles are displayed withmerciless precision. The author himself is concealed behind the array ofpersonages whom he presents to the public.

Occasionally the reader will encounter a noble character isolated in themidst of selfish, amusement-seeking men, frivolous women, schemingparents and thoughtless sybarites.

Such types, however, arecomparatively rare; their function is to bring into stronger relief thegeneral worthlessness of other characters. A woman is usually chosen toplay the part of strength and virtue. This is by no means accidental.Study of Benavente reveals him as a defender of women; not at all theirblind worshiper, it is true, but distinctly a sympathizer with theirtrials and problems.

It is to be noted that no character in any of these early plays isrepresented as utterly bad. That would be contrary to the author'sconception of human nature. Benavente insists that no man or woman canbe regarded as entirely perverse or entirely admirable. Although hisattitude is nearly always objective, and his general method satirical orironical, he evinces upon occasion the ability to sympathize with thevery weaknesses of the persons whom he ridicules. If we w