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Saturday, March 7, 2020


Here in Madrid I saw a Lorca play, "Diálogo del Amargo," last night.  Ian Gibson was there, so I got to meet him, along with the director and the actors. Anyway, the Lorca text on which this was based is very short, so to make a play of an hour with it involved repeating the text three times and adding material to it, much of it from other Lorca works, and making it a play about Lorca's own death (big surprise). Gibson seemed to like the idea of making it about historical memory.  That is his thing, of course.

I didn't say anything to anyone there, but I tend not to like making Lorca's work about Lorca's own death. Paul Julian Smith talks about this tendency. I also don't like padding Lorca texts with other Lorca texts to complete them. It ends up as a kind of pastiche, right? I saw another play like this in Feb. of 19 that does a similar thing. The added bits will be un-Lorca like and sentimental, and the bits from other Lorca texts will be de-contexualized. What's wrong with putting a phrase from Ode to Walt Whitman into Bodas de sangre?  Everything, I would say. Would you put extra material from Waiting for Godot or Watt into Ohio Impromptu? Doesn't a work by Lorca have as much integrity as a work by Samuel Beckett?

The director is a good one, and the actors did a good job with what they were given. I just happen to disagree with the entire premise.

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