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A New and Complete Translation

Editorial Notes — Essays 61-70

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Essay 61

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 [61.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 [61.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 [61.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 7–8.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 [61.4] Ibid. 8.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 [61.5] Ibid. 9.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Essay 62

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 [62.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 [62.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 [62.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 9–10.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 [62.4] Ibid., 10.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 [62.5] Ibid.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 [62.6] Ibid.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 [62.7] Ibid.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 [62.8] Ibid., 11.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 [62.9] Ibid., 11–12.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 [62.10] Lessing refers to hybrid plays popular with traveling troupes in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, which featured great figures of the past and present. These serio-comic works condensed literary tragedies both domestic and foreign (including Spanish plays of love and honor), adding to them the improvisation and ribaldry of Italian commedia dell’arte. Such plays were irksome to eighteenth-century theatre reformers such as Lessing and J. C. Gottsched, and historians typically follow their lead, describing these works as bombastic, sensational, and gory, as well as comically obscene. Tr. note: the phrase Lessing uses here, “Staats- und Helden-Actionen,” is a variant on the more familiar label “Haupt- und Staats-Aktionen” [“head and state actions”]; the most common translation of this generic designation is “chief and state plays,” others include “main and state action,” “monarch and state action,” and “political action plays.”

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 [62.11] Lope Félix de Vega Carpio, commonly referred to as Lope de Vega (1562–1635): major playwright of the Spanish Golden Age.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 [62.12] Cristóbal de Virués (c.1550–c.1614): Spanish poet, playwright, and soldier.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 [62.13] See Vega, Rimas 375–7; The New Art of Writing Plays 31.

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 [62.14] Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616): renowned Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright; author of Don Quixote (1605, 1615). Lessing’s quotation is from the “Prologo al lector” [“Prologue to the Reader”] in Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nuevos [Eight New Plays and Interludes] (Cervantes 7).

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Essay 63

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 [63.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 [63.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 [63.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 13.

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 [63.4] Ibid.

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 [63.5] Ibid.

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 [63.6] Irene: a musician; the character never appears onstage.

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 [63.7] Coello 14.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 [63.8] Redondilla: Spanish four-line octosyllabic stanza with the rhyme scheme ABBA. Lessing provides the Spanish in his footnote below.

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 [63.9] For the song (the mote) quoted by Lessing in his footnote, see Coello 14; for the larger quotation (the glosa), see pages 14–15. Boscán and Garcilaso: Juan Boscán (Joan Boscà i Almogàver) (c.1490–1542) and Garcilaso de la Vega (1503–36), poets (Catalan and Spanish, respectively) whose works were published together posthumously in 1543; their naturalization of Italian verse forms had a lasting influence on Spanish Golden Age poetry.

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 [63.10] Coello 15.

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Essay 64

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 [64.1] Actually published winter of 1768.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 [64.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 [64.3] For the first part of the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 15; for the second, see page 16.

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 [64.4] Coup de théâtre: term connoting a sudden and surprising plot development.

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 [64.5] See Coello 16.

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 [64.6] Ibid., 17.

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 [64.7] Ibid., 18.

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 Essay 65

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 [65.1] Actually published in early 1768.

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 [65.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 [65.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 19.

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 [65.4] Ibid., 19–20.

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 [65.5] Ibid., 21–22.

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 Essay 66

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 [66.1] Actually published in early 1768.

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 [66.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 [66.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 23.

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 [66.4] An apparently treasonous letter written by Essex; actually intended to trap traitors plotting against the queen. See [61].

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 [66.5] See Coello 24.

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 [66.6] Ibid. 26. The final line belongs to Cosme, rather than Essex.

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 Essay 67

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 [67.1] Actually published in early 1768.

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 [67.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 [67.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 27.

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 [67.4] Ibid. 28.

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 [67.5] Ibid. 29.

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 [67.6] Ibid.

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 [67.7] Ibid.

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 [67.8] Ibid.

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 Essay 68

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 [68.1] Actually published in early 1768.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 [68.2] In [54], Lessing begins his analysis of The Unhappy Favourite: or, The Earl of Essex (1682) by John Banks; here Lessing continues, from [60], his extended synopsis and discussion of a “Spanish Essex” (Antonio Coello’s Dar la vida por su Dama, 1633). See [60.2].

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 [68.3] For the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Coello 31.

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 [68.4] Ibid.

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 [68.5] Ibid.

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 [68.6] Virginia (1750): tragedy by Spanish playwright and critic Agustín de Montiano y Luyando (1697–1764), proponent of the French neoclassical model and author of Discurso sobre las tragedia españolas [Discourse on Spanish Tragedies] (1750–53). In 1754, Lessing published a lengthy selection from Virginia in his Theatralische Bibliothek; the play is considered to have influenced Lessing’s tragedy Emilia Galotti (1772). See Nisbet 487.

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 [68.7] See Lessing, “Auszug aus dem Trauerspiele Virginia des Don Augustino de Montiano y Luyando” (“Excerpt from the Tragedy Virginia by Don Augustino de Montiano y Luyando”) in Part 1 of the Theatralische Bibliothek (pages 117–208).

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 [68.8] Moniano’s second tragedy was Ataúlfo (1753). Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–81): Spanish playwright and poet, considered, with Lope, the greatest of Spanish Golden Age playwrights.

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 [68.9] Decorum: the French neoclassical rule of bienséance (propriety), which called for civility and an adherence to perceived social norms of behavior.

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 [68.10] Hanswurst: see [18.6]. Generally, Lessing supported neither the mixing of genres, nor the antics of the German clown Hanswurst; here his (qualified) support of the “Spanish Hanswurst” allows him to criticize, as he does in this paragraph, both the “cold uniformity” of French neoclassical theatre and the aristocratically-dominated social structure it upholds.

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 Essay 69

75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 [69.1] Actually published in early 1768.

76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0 [69.2] Lessing continues his discussion, begun in [68], of the mixture of comedy and tragedy in Spanish Golden Age drama.

77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 0 [69.3] See [62].

78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 [69.4] Lessing appears to have translated this passage not from the Spanish, but from a French translation of Lope’s poem entitled Nouvelle Pratique de Théatre, accommodée à l’usage présent d’Espagne, adressée à l’Académie de Madrid e traduite de l’espangol de Lopez de Vega [The New Practice of Theater, accommodated to the current usage in Spain, addressed to the Academy of Madrid and translated from the Spanish of Lope de Vega]. See Robertson 299–300.

79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 [69.5] Old Comedy: Lope appears to refer to the classical comedy of both Greece and Rome; in contemporary usage, the term refers to ancient Greek comedy (c. 5th century BCE), considered synonymous with the work of Aristophanes (c. 450–c. 388 BCE). Lessing discusses Plautus’s Amphitryon at the end of [55].

80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 [69.6] Menander (c. 342–c. 292 BCE): Hellenistic playwright, chief representative of Athenian New Comedy. Plutarch criticizes Old Comedy through Aristophanes, its only extant representative, in “A Comparison Between Aristophanes and Menander” (extant only in fragments), for combining “tragic, comic, pompous, and prosaic elements, obscurity, vagueness, dignity, and elevation, loquacity and sickening nonsense” (465).

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 [69.7] Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger) (c. 4 BCE–65 CE): Roman orator, statesman, Stoic philosopher, and tragic playwright. Pasiphae’s minotaur: in Greek mythology, a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull; the offspring of Pasiphae, wife of the Cretan king Minos, and a bull.

82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0 [69.8] For the Spanish quoted in Lessing’s footnote, see Vega, Arte Nuevo de Hazer [sic] Comedias in Rimas 371–3. For an English translation see Vega, The New Art of Writing Plays 29–30.

83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0 [69.9] Lessing refers to Christoph Martin Wieland, see [15.7]. For the following passages, see Wieland’s novel, Geschichte des Agathon (1766–7) 2: 192–5; The history of Agathon 4: 1–5.

84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0 [69.10] Gothic taste: refers to the baroque style of the seventeenth century; although generally derided by eighteenth-century critics, its value would be readdressed at the end of the century by authors such as Wieland and Goethe. Haupt- und Staatsaktionen: see [62.10].

85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0 [69.11] Aristotle describes a plot as having two parts, the complication and the resolution; his term for the latter is lusis (λύσις), usually translated as “unraveling.” See Poetics (Part XVIII). Sliced through: reference to the deus ex machina of Greek theater.

86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 [69.12] The Hanswurst character, popularized by the Viennese actor and manager Joseph Anton Stranitzky (1676–1726), remained an important figure in the theater of Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, long after its popularity declined elsewhere.

87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 [69.13] Tr. note: Lessing cuts off midsentence for his parenthetical digression; he picks up his thought again at the beginning of [70].

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 [69.14] chew on the ***: part of the attraction of “trivial” novels of the time was their anonymity, which allowed the public the added entertainment of speculating about their authorship.

89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0 Essay 70

90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 [70.1] Actually published spring of 1768.

91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 0 [70.2] In [69], Lessing provides an excerpt from Christoph Martin Wieland’s novel Geschichte des Agathon [The History of Agathon] (1766–7), which (somewhat ironically) supports the mixing of tragic and comic genres, as a means of expanding on Lope de Vega’s defense of tragicomedy in his Arte Nuevo de Hacer Comedias [The New Art of Writing Plays] (1609). Lessing’s discussion of the mixing of genres in Spanish Golden Age drama begins in [68].

92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0 [70.3] Wieland was not only a novelist, poet, and translator, but also a professor of philosophy and literary critic; in 1773 he founded the literary periodical Der teutsche Merkur [The German Mercury].

93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0 [70.4] See Wieland, Geschichte des Agathon (1766–7) 2: 193; The history of Agathon, 4: 3.

94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0 [70.5] Haupt- und Staatsaktionen: see [62.10].

95 Leave a comment on paragraph 95 0 [70.6] Die Brüder, oder: Die Früchte der Erziehung [The Brothers, or, The Fruits of Education] (1763): five-act comedy by Karl Franz Romanus (1731–87), freely adapted from L’École des pères [The School for Fathers] (1705) by French actor and playwright Michel Boyron (Baron) (1653–1729). L’Oracle [The Oracle] (1740): one-act comedy by Germain François Poullain de Saint-Foix (1698–1776); the German translation used, Das Orakel, was most likely Schönemann’s, staged in 1747 and published in 1752 (J. G. Robertson 89–90).

96 Leave a comment on paragraph 96 0 [70.7] Adelphi (or Adelphoe) [The Brothers] (160 BCE): Latin adaptation of Menander’s Greek comedy of the same name. Micio and Demea are brothers of different temperaments. Demea, a country-dweller, is married and has two sons; his elder son, Aeschinus, has been adopted by Micio, who lives in the city. Aeschinus, raised indulgently by Micio, has impregnated (and promised to marry) Pamphila, the daughter of the widow Sostrata. Ctesipho, Aeschinus’s younger brother, despite having been raised strictly by Demea, visits the city and falls in love with a “music girl” (psaltria) belonging to Sannio, a pimp. Aeschinus, on his brother’s behalf, steals the girl from Sannio. Comedy ensues as both Aeschinus and Syrus, Micio’s slave, seek to hide Ctesipho’s involvement in the affair. Ultimately, however, Demea discovers Ctesipho carousing; initially enraged, Demea is soothed by Micio and vows to change. Aeschinus marries Pamphila, Ctesipho is allowed to keep the (now legally purchased) music girl, Syrus and his wife are freed, and Micio is convinced to marry Sostrata.

97 Leave a comment on paragraph 97 0 [70.8] L’École des Maris (1661); see [53]. Middle-aged brothers Sganarelle and Ariste have promised to care for Isabelle and Léonor, orphaned sisters; each of the brothers hopes to marry his ward. Ariste, near sixty, gives Léonor considerable liberty; Sganarelle, despite being twenty years his brother’s junior, keeps his own ward Isabelle under strict control. Isabelle, through various machinations, nevertheless manages to secure a marriage with a handsome young neighbor, Valère, and Léonor, disgusted by the young fools she has encountered, pledges to marry Ariste.

98 Leave a comment on paragraph 98 0 [70.9] In La Vie de Molière (1739); Lessing provides Voltaire’s comments in the final paragraph of this essay.

99 Leave a comment on paragraph 99 0 [70.10] Primus autem sapientiae gradus est falsa intelligere, secundus [vera] cognoscere: “The first step towards wisdom is to understand what is false; the second, to ascertain what is true.” An aphorism from the first book of the Divinae institutiones [The Divine Institutes] of (Lucius Caecilius Firmianus) Lactantius (4th c. CE), an early Church Father and Christian apologist known as the “Christian Cicero.” Lactantius, Divinae institutiones 94; The Divine Institutes 39.

100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0 [70.11] Lessing applies this polemical approach in his earlier writings, as well as in the Hamburg Dramaturgy.

101 Leave a comment on paragraph 101 0 [70.12] “Aristotle tends to look for a fight in his books. And he does this not rashly and by chance, but by a fixed method and with a plan, for [he does this] after others’ perceptions have become unsteady, etc.” According to J. G. Robertson (p. 345), this quotation is from Aemilius (Emilio) Portus’s commentary on Aristotle’s Rhetoric (Aristotelis Artis rhetoricæ, 1598).

102 Leave a comment on paragraph 102 0 [70.13] For this passage, see Voltaire, “L’École des Maris” in La Vie de Molière 419–20.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/hamburg/editorial-notes-essays-61-70/