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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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JOSÉ ÁNGEL SAINZStaging Return: Max Aub’s Theatre of Broken Dreams 185


JOSÉ ÁNGEL SAINZ Staging Return: Max Aub’s Theatre of Broken Dreams los que nos fuimos ya no contamos, para eso mejor nos hubiésemos quedado — Aub 1994: 467 Remigio Morales Ortega, one of Max Aub’s fictional creations, who like him was exiled to Mexico after the Spanish Civil War, decided after two long decades away from his family to take a trip to Europe. His encoun- ter with his son in Cerbère, on the border with Spain, returned him to a painful reality: ‘Me desconoció, mirándome como extraño. Nos han desahuciado. ¿Volverme a Méjico? Pues sí… Ya no somos nadie, ni sabe nadie quienes fuimos […] nos han borrado del mapa’ (Aub 1994: 466). These laments summarize the life and work of Aub himself, both of which remained unknown for many years in Spain. The feeling he transmits to us via Remigio is a common denominator in his testimonial writing. The ef fect of this invisibility is little more than a foretaste of his future reality, which in turn represents symbolically the tragedy of Spanish Republican exile: ‘¿Por qué no reconocerlo? Lo hemos perdido todo, menos la vida. Es decir, no hemos perdido nada: todo queda por hacer’ (Aub 1998: 268). With the passing of time, Aub would become a victim of time, eclipsed in the historical and cultural map of the country he was forced to leave, and finally suf fering what José Ramón Marra-López defined as a ‘problematic return’ (1963: 127). During his...

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