From Misa to Mise en Scène

From Misa to Mise en Scène

Fra Francesc Moner’s Prototype of the Spanish Sacramental Theater of the Fifteenth Century

by Peter Cocozzella

296 pages, 6" x 9", 4 halftones, 2 line drawings

  • Paperback
  • 9780866986403
  • Published: November 2020


As both layman and Franciscan friar, the Catalan writer known as Francesc Moner (ca 1463–1495) is one of the leading exponents of the bilingual (Catalan-Castilian) culture that flourished in Barcelona in the late 1400s. In his approach to Sepultura d’amor (Burial of Love), Moner’s longest poem, Peter Cocozzella focuses on the author’s ingenious version of a kind of parody that desacralizes but does not desecrate the celebration of the funeral Mass. Cocozzella discovers the aspects of Moner’s unconventional idea of a theater based on the dramatics of the monologue and on the transformation of the divine ritual into a human analogue of transubstantiation. This allegorical pattern validates the profile of the masterpiece in question as one of the earliest manifestations of the auto sacramental, the distinctive theatrical genre scripted in the language of Castile. The book includes the text of Sepultura and its translation.