Dialectic and Drama in Compendio

Even though I’m only a quarter of the way through Dialogue 2, In Pacheco’s Compendio, his very heavy redaction of Carranza’s Philosophy of Arms, the contrast between it and Dialogue 1 is stark. I kind of feel a kinship with Carranza, because as formal as he is in the First Dialogue, he lets his inner playwright run rampant in the second. (As much as I do research and fact-based work, my true love lies with fiction and dialogue.) This is just an early analysis, a sort of feeling things out about the book itself, but I think there’s much to be learned from the differences in these two sections. The first hews pretty closely to dialectic teaching structures. The second, however, is much more dramatic, much more like what you might see on stage. Why would Carranza do that? Was it caprice? What might it achieve? Let’s look at dialectics … Read on!

Excerpt: Ep 3, Draft 1

Pukka: Is this what it’s supposed to be like? It’s not even a game, it’s a dance. Everyone knows their place, and there are songs and people move to them and sometimes a country gets an advantage and sometimes another, but nobody pushes really hard. No one starts a real war.

Neyu: It’s why Sami left. She knew things were going to get a lot worse. She wanted to help stop it.

Pukka: …She told you about that?

Neyu: She said we shouldn’t stop trying to do the right thing even if people told us to stop, even if no one else did it. But how do you know what the right thing is? If everybody’s doing something different, how do you know which one is right?