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Antonio Buero Vallejo: In the Burning Darkness (Hispanic Classics)


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Arguably Spain's leading playwright of the twentieth century, Antonio Buero-Vallejo published thirty original plays. In the Burning Darkness was the first play he wrote. The seminal, and lasting, significance of this play was confirmed when an extract from it was read over Buero-Vallejo's grave on the day of his burial. In the Burning Darkness describes a teaching centre for young people who are blind, where a false unity is maintained by a mixture of fear, coercion and diversion where, when persuasion fails, violence is the resort, and where education is seen to play a part in the regime's ideological apparatus and to encourage the acceptance of pleasant and reassuring myths. The play's principal protagonist is Iggy who, although blind like his classmates, is immediately seen to be different from the others because he carries a cane. When Iggy makes a move on Jane, part of the Centre's golden couple with her boyfriend Charles, he begins to challenge and destabilise the values cherished by the Centre. Buero-Vallejo described In the Burning Darkness as a work loaded with future, and that observation points the way to why it is being translated now. Although it emerged in 1950 onto a dreary and trivial theatre scene in Francoist Spain, its themes speak to modern audiences and have a universal, rather than merely parochially Spanish, resonance. It poses a transcendental question about whether or not violence can ever be justified. The teaching centre and the blindness of those within is symbolic of post-Civil War Spain, where anti-democratic abuses were overlooked. The play operates on literal, political and philosophical levels. Challenging audiences and seeking to change mind-sets was the stock in trade of Antonio Buero-Vallejo as a dramatist. As he once stated himself: Se escribe porque se espera (One writes because one hopes).

Book News Annotation:

Originally published in Francoist Spain in 1950, Buero-Vallejo's work addresses timeless undertones of social and political commentary that are still relevant today. This play follows the blind protagonist Iggy, whose differences come to challenge the government and ideology of the school for the blind where he has been placed. Introduced and translated by Johnston (Spanish, U. College Dublin), this play's English translation remains as faithful as possible to the idioms and names of the Spain of that time meanwhile undertaking changes only in the interest of clarity or of expanding readership of performability. This work is part of the Aris and Phillips Hispanic Classics series and comes with a select bibliography, introduction on the author and the play, and a notes section. Distributed in North America by The David Brown Book Co. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Buero Vallejo, Antonio
Aris & Phillips
Johnston, Philip G.
Johnston, Philip G.
Johnston, Philip G.
Continental european
European - Spanish & Portuguese
Literature-A to Z
Hispanic Classics
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Antonio Buero Vallejo: In the Burning Darkness (Hispanic Classics) New Hardcover
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Product details 156 pages Aris & Phillips - English 9780856688386 Reviews:
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