The Scruffy Scoundrels
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$32.95 Paper, 126 pp.
From one vantage point, The Scruffy Scoundrels would appear to be no more than a series of unrelated scenes and sketches grouped around a highly conventionalized and loosely structured love plot: the arrival of Pilucca and Tindaro in Rome, abounding in topical references; the appearance of the two ragged brothers, so arbitrarily related to the rest of the events of the play; the love squabble between two servants leading to Nuta’s memorably comic invective; the stock farcical routines of the Mirandola episodes; the long pathetic tale of Tindaro, so little of which actually takes place on the stage.
There is a sense, however, in which each scene contains its own ethos and milieu and hails from a particular comic genre, each with its own topoi and character types. This efficient management of plot is simply a measure of Caro’s comic genius.
Annibal Caro was born June 19, 1507, in Civitanova Marche. He was an accomplished poet, a skilful and elegant translator of Latin and Greek, an experienced collector of coins and archaeological rarities and a comic writer of enormous talent. He is the talented writer of this renaissance play, The Scruffy Scoundrels.
Donald Beecher, a graduate professor in the English Department at Carleton University, assisted in the translation of The Scruffy Scoundrels. His research has revolved around scholarly editing, a way of realizing the joys and conquests that come with restoring deserved authors from the Renaissance through critical and historical editions.
Massimo Ciavolella taught for many years at Carleton University and at the University of Toronto before coming to his present positions as professor and chair, Department of Italian, and professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also assisted in the translation of The Scruffy Scoundrels.