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Stages of Exile

Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance


Edited By Helena Buffery

This book brings together twelve specially commissioned essays that showcase current research on Spanish Republican exile theatre and performance, including work by some of the foremost scholars in the field. Covering a range of periods, geographical locations and theatrical phenomena, the essays are united by the common question of what it means to ‘stage exile’, exploring the relationship between space, identity and performance in order to excavate the place of theatre in Spanish Republican exile production.
Each chapter takes a particular case study as a starting point in order to assess the place of a particular text, practitioner or performance within Hispanic theatre tradition and then goes on to examine the case study’s relationship with the specific sociocultural context in which it was located and/or produced. The authors investigate wider issues concerning the recovery and performability of these documentary traces, addressing their position within the contemporary debate over historical and cultural memory, their relationship to the contemporary stage, the insights they offer into the experience and performance of exile, and their contribution to contemporary configurations of identity and community in the Hispanic world. Through this commitment to interdisciplinary debate, the volume offers a new and invigorating reimagination of twentieth-century Hispanic theatre from the margins.


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DUNCAN WHEELER ¿La película duende?: María Teresa León, Rafael Alberti and Alternative Traditions of Resurrecting Golden Age Drama 71


DUNCAN WHEELER ¿La película duende?: María Teresa León, Rafael Alberti and Alternative Traditions of Resurrecting Golden Age Drama1 El duende […] ¿Dónde está el duende? Por el arco vacío entra un aire mental que sopla con insistencia sobre las cabezas de los muertos, en busca de nuevos paisajes y acentos ignorados; un aire con olor de saliva de niño, de hierba machacada y velo de medusa, que anuncia el constante bautizo de las cosas recién creadas. — García Lorca 1994: 339 In 1978, the first Jornadas de Teatro Clásico in Almagro were organized by the then Director General of Theatre, Rafael Pérez Sierra, so as to provide a meeting place for academics and practitioners in the hope of revitalising Golden Age drama for the contemporary stage. In political terms, this was a contentious venture as Spanish classical drama tended to be associated with of ficial state culture from the time of the dictatorship (see Wheeler 2008a). The Franco regime provided a very literal realization of what Darko Suvin terms the metaphor of the modern thinker as exile (2005: 108); those who had been psychically but not physically displaced by the regime tended to dismiss playwrights such as Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina as reactionary and anachronistic. 1 An earlier version of this chapter was given at the Spanish Hispanic Exile Research seminar at the University of Birmingham. I would like to thank all those present...

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