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House of Bernarda Alba

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ISBN-10: 1934768081

ISBN-13: 9781934768082

Edition: 1936

Authors: Federico Garc�a Lorca, Borja Rodriguez Gutierrez

List price: $20.00
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Description:

As he wrote La casa de Bernarda Alba, Federico Garcia Lorca explained: drama is poetry that escapes the book and becomes human. And as it is being made it talks and shouts, cries and despairs. Lorca saw in theatre the most perfect means to reach peoples souls, more immediate and effective than poetry, and he kindled this possibility even amidst difficult times. Lorca is, mainly, a poet, and as so his plays possess great visual as well as linguistic virtue. The last of the rural tragedies Bernarda Alba was preceded by Bodas de sangre (1933) and Yerma (1934) was finished in June 1936. It was meant to open in Buenos Aires in October, played by the Margarita Xirgu company, but Lorca was murdered in July. War events postponed the opening until 1945, but in Spain the play would stay banned until 1964. The plot is deceivingly simple: Bernarda Alba exerts a tyrant control upon her daughters, who live as prisoners within her house walls. The conflict is deprivation of freedom, blown up to tragic proportions by the death of Bernarda Albas second husband and her decision to impose eight years of strict mourning. But this mourning goes far beyond the usual black clothing: during the following eight years no one will leave the house, and no man will enter. The reclusion is the results of them being women of a certain social position. The authority/freedom conflict is visible through the submission of the feminine condition the subtitle Drama of women in the towns of Spain highlights this. Freedom is stifled by the prejudices of a social class enslaved by appearance and tortured afraid by gossip. Lorcas theatrical experience is highly noticeable in his way of highlighting the conflict without superfluous details: lighting, costumes, text and language, and the actresses movements, everything is measured to the last millimeter. And the closing words of the main character become a remarkable premonition of what would shroud Spain during many following years And I do not want sobbing. Death must be stared in her face Silence, silence I have said! Silence! Professor Borja Rodriguez-Gutierrez adds to this edition a clear introductory essay that dismantles Garcia Lorcas clockwork mechanism, while introducing annotations that allow the reader to fully grasp the meaning of this influential cornerstone of Hispanic letters.
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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 1936
Publisher: Stockcero, Incorporated
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 140
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.462

Garcia Lorca is perhaps the best known of modern Spanish writers, partly because of his brutal execution outside Granada by Franco's army at the beginning of the civil war, but primarily because of his genius for poetry and drama. In 1928 Lorca published Gypsy Ballads, which won him immediate success and is considered one of the most important volumes of poetry of the century. Attracted to the gypsies for their exotic folklore, sexual vitality, and their status as a group on the fringe of Spanish society, Lorca enlarged the gypsy people and their traditions to mythical proportions. Nature takes on human form while reality acquires a dreamlike quality in this powerful transformation of the world into a myth. The verse is colorful, rhythmic, dramatic, symbolic, and suggestive. Lorca visited New York in 1929, experiencing a deep despair about a mechanical and dehumanized society; he saw in blacks the only hope for revitalization of that world. The volume Poet in New York (1929) shows the influence of Negro spirituals and the poets Walt Whitman and T. S. Eliot. Although Garcia Lorca was interested in drama throughout his life, he did not produce much of significance until the 1930s. Most important is his trilogy of Spanish rural life, Blood Wedding (1933), Yerma (1934), and The House of Bernarda Alba (1936), all tragedies with women as protagonists. In each play, the fall of the heroine, and of those around her whom she pulls down, is caused by frustrations produced by society. Blood Wedding demonstrates the sterility of the traditional code of honor. Yerma reveals the emptiness of a traditional marriage in which the woman must bear her husband children to prove her fidelity, and The House of Bernarda Alba dramatizes the destructive nature of Bernarda's dictatorial rule over her house, a microcosm of Spain. The Butterfly's Evil Spell (1919) is Lorca's first play; The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife (1931) and Don Perlimplin (1931) are farces; The Billy-Club Puppets (1931) is a puppet play.