Buero Vallejo: A Dreamer for the People : Antonio Buero.

Posted by 2018  •  article

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From one side The Sleep of Reason is a study in imperial repression. But more importantly, the work explores the effects of repression, threat, and intimidation on individuals, most importantly in this case, on Goya. The painter lives in fear of the political consequences of his affiliations, and as a direct or indirect result, exhibits a number of symptoms—from increased insecurity accompanying diminished sexuality, to auditory and visual hallucinations. Buero Vallejo’s play is a timeless case study situated in political and psychological history.

Buero Vallejo’s success exposed him to the hostility and censorship of critics aligned with the Fascist government of Francisco Franco. Buero Vallejo experienced difficulty in getting some of his plays by the censors, especially those with political themes. Examples of such plays include Adventure in Grey, an allegory of the Spanish Civil War written around 1949 but not performed until 1963, and a history of police torture, The Double Case History of Doctor Valmy, which, though performed in England, was not performed or published in Spain until 1970. Buero Vallejo’s trouble with censors dogged him, even though his target was the Spain of over one hundred years ago.

It is December 1823 and Spain’s King Ferdinand VII is in Madrid. Ferdinand discusses past, present, and future with his advisor, Francisco Tadeo Calomarde. Ferdinand has just been restored to the throne with help from the French, and he and Calomarde discuss what to do with his political enemies, the Liberals. Of special note is the letter that the king’s men have intercepted. It is from Francisco Goya to a friend. The letter contains words against Ferdinand, and for this Calomarde wants Goya hanged. Ferdinand appears calm and instructs Calomarde to arrange two meetings: first, with the commander-general of the Royal Volunteers, the king’s army/police; second, with Don Jose

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Antonio Buero Vallejo: A Dreamer for the People.

Posted by 2018  •  article

 
 

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