Nelson Rodrigues and the Invention of Brazilian Drama

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9781450715829: Nelson Rodrigues and the Invention of Brazilian Drama
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Nelson Rodrigues and the Invention of Brazilian Drama considers the links between the playwright's tragic life story and his multifaceted career as playwright, journalist, novelist and scriptwriter. The principal aim is to explain that his 17 plays, written over a span of five decades, constitute dramatic murals depicting Brazilian urban society. Nelson Rodrigues was the only Brazilian playwright of his time to do what the European Expressionists had done decades earlier: he exploded the veil of consciousness and reason and exposed the mysteries and hidden zones of the subconscious. By examining taboos, perversions, racism, and both the abuse of power and the powerlessness associated with social class, he opened society's abscesses and attacked its violent sexual repression. His assault on convention and hypocrisy made his drama subversive in the eyes of Brazil's moral guardians. A thread running through the entire project is the rejection of Nelson Rodrigues's drama both by moralizing conservatives and leftwing theatre companies, followed by the posthumous recovery of his theatrical legacy. The most decisive factor in this recovery were the stagings of Antunes Filho. His productions brought Rodrigues's plays into a new light by revealing their archetypal and mythic complexity. Antunes served as a model for other directors in realizing the stunning visual potential of the playwright's work.

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