Five Plays ; Comedies and Tragicomedies by Federico Garcia Lorca ; translated by James Graham-Lujan and Richard L. O'Connell
London : Secker & Warburg, 1965. First British Edition. Hardcover. 246 pages ; 21 cm. 30 schilling dust jacket. Light water stain to the top page edge. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
Comedies and Tragicomedies by FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA
Translated by James Graham-Lujdn and Richard L. O'Connell
Federico Garcia Lorca's position as a rare genius of the modern theatre was firmly established in the English-speaking world with his Three Tragedies. Here, with an introduction by the dramatist's brother, Francisco Garcia Lorca, are five of his "comedies". These authorized translations include extensive revisions of earlier English editions, incorporating recent Lorca scholarship and conveying the sparkle, freshness and magic of the original Spanish.
The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife tells of a young beauty married to an old man, a theme that often concerned Lorca. The earnest shoemaker leaves home and comes back disguised as a puppeteer; although the treatment is lighthearted, pathos is underlying.
The Love of Don Perlimplin is also about a girl who weds someone much older, this time a bookish, 18th-century gentleman, who seeks an original but sardonic way out of the difficulties of the situation. "There is Spanish firmness behind the delicacy, a sort of hard, almost fierce, wit", says Eric Bentley.
Doha Rosita: "The outer gentleness and inner scorching of a girl in Granada who, little by little, turns into that grotesque and moving thing—an old maid in Spain" is how the author once described the theme of this play.
The Billy-Club Puppets and The Butterfly's Evil Spell have never before been published in book form in English. The former is a guignol-type farce with delicate wit; the latter is a very early theatrical experiment of Lorca's, an "insect comedy" in which a beetle-type poet aspires to be a butterfly.
FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA was already known as a brilliant poet and playwright when at the age of 37 he was killed near his native Granada soon after the outbreak of the Spanish civil war. Since then his life and personality have become legendary, while he has come to be recognized as a poet of genius and possibly the foremost poetic dramatist of our time.
JAMES GRAHAM-LUJAN and RICHARD L. O'CONNELL, the authorized translators of Federico Garcia Lorca's plays, met through their admiration for his work. Of Scottish and Mexican parentage, the son of the important poetess Rosa Luj&n with whom he first wrote poetry, Graham-Lujdn was teaching English literature at the University of Texas, while O'Connell, who had learned Spanish, partially to understand better Garcia Lorca's plays, was an instructor in the Drama Department there. Since then O'Connell has become a theatre director while Graham-Luj&n has become an important figure in the dance theatre, as a performer, choreographer and manager.
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