Storni, Alfonsina. Romano, Evelia (translator).

Published by The Edwin Mellen Press,, 2004
ISBN 10: 0773462708 / ISBN 13: 9780773462700
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Text in English & Spanish. Peach photo-illustrated cloth, 269 pages. This book is in very good shape overall; slightly cocked, but otherwise clean & bright internally with a strong binding. Text in English & Spanish. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: This English translation of Alfonsina Storni gives scholars and students in the fields of Latin American literature, women's studies and world theater the opportunity to study rare examples of theater written by a woman on very controversial and progressive issues at the beginning of the twentieth century. In Polyxena and the Little Cook, the intertext is Euripides' tragedy Hecuba. The note "tragic farce" refers to this play, since it is the only one combining parodic humor and tragic denouement, in opposition to the happy ending of Cymbeline. The Little Cook takes her own life. The scene of the suicide is a clear example of meta-theater; the parodic performance -- theater within the theater-- of Polyxena's sacrifice as described by Euripides tragicomically coincides with the "real" self-sacrifice of the Little Cook as the primary fiction of the farce. All this, of course, provokes the effect of mise en abime, tearing down the limits between reality and fiction. As Dr. Romano explains in her note, the play was written with Berta Singerman in mind; she was an Argentine actress well known for her reading of poetry on stage. Dr. Romano concludes that this fact "signals the poetic quality of the play. At times, the farce becomes a dramatic poem because of its intensity and rhythm". Such poetic quality adds to the challenges posed by the dramatic characteristics of this play for the translation. On another line, from the staging perspective, the role of Euripides can be an enriching element for performance, so long as it is based on a liberal interpretation of the original text by Storni. The value of Two Pyrotechnic Farces is not confined to being a simple test of dramatic innovations or an important document of women's history in Argentina at the beginning of the twentieth century. The excellent translations that follow will make these plays accessible to all interested in Storni's work. Let's hope that they will also motivate theatrical producers to finally bring them to the stage. Dr. Nora Parola-Leconte Maitre de Conferences Universite de Paris XII Val-de-Marne.

About the Author: Dr. Evelia Romano completed her undergraduate studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and earned her Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literature at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1992. She is currently professor at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Dr. Romano specializes in contemporary Argentine literature. She has translated the only other play by Storni; published in English, The Master of the World. She is preparing a volume on Argentine women playwrights of the twentieth century.

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Bibliographic Details

Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press,
Publication Date: 2004
Book Condition: Hardcover. Very Good+.

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