I have read about twelve of [Calderon's] plays; some of them certainly deserve to be ranked among the grandest and most perfect productions of the human mind. He exceeds all modern dramatists with the exception of Shakespeare. (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
About the Author
Pedro Calderon de la Barca (16001681), Spanish dramatist, last important figure of the Spanish Golden Age. His more than 100 plays were carefully contrived, subtle, and rhetorical. His finest work is in his more than 70 autos sacramentales (one-act religious plays), among them El divino Orfeo and A Dios por razón de estado [to God for reasons of state]. Of his philosophical dramas the best known are El mágico prodigioso [the wonderful magician] and La vida es sueño [life is a dream], which deals with the themes of fate, prognostication, and free will.
Gragary J. Racz is associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at Long Island University, Brooklyn. His translation of the mock-Renaissance farce Rigmaroles appeared in Three Comedies, his edited volume of plays by the contemporary Spanish dramatist Jaime Salom. Racz has published works by the Cuban writer Jose Lezama Lima, the Peruvian Eduardo Chirinos, and the Argentine experimental XUL group.