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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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MARIA JOSEP RAGUÉ ARIASMyth and Exile in the Work of José Martín Elizondo 125


MARIA JOSEP RAGUÉ ARIAS Myth and Exile in the Work of José Martín Elizondo Like many other twentieth-century Spanish dramatists, above all those writing under the Franco dictatorship, José Martín Elizondo drew on the power of myth in his theatre. Greek mythology has a central role in his early Antígona y los perros (which was first performed as Antígona entre muros) and in a number of other plays. But as well as classical myths, Elizondo evoked other historical or aesthetic figures, ef fectively mythologizing them in his plays. Though he spent most of his life in France and by the end of his life had no intention of returning to Spain, he nevertheless returned constantly in his work for the stage. Yet he has had little wider impact on Spanish theatre, receiving only a few prizes and seeing a single important premiere as well as two or three other stagings of his plays in Spain during his lifetime. This chapter will interweave analysis of the principal myths employed and developed by Elizondo in his dramatic writing with con- sideration of his experience of exile and the way in which it pervades his work, attaining a mythical frame of reference. Myths, understood here as stories which are able to maintain both geographical and historical universality alongside a degree of adaptability, were used repeatedly in twentieth-century Spanish theatre (see Ragué Arias 1990; 1991; 1993; 1994; 2004). During the Franco regime, it was above all Troy which was mined...

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