Books on reserve: Impossible theater

Translated by Caridad Svitch. Smith and Kraus, 2000.

The title of this anthology echoes the 1964 manifesto Impossible theatre by American theatre director Herbert Blau. The poems are from Poeta en Nueva York, and the plays are the “impossible” or experimental works Buster Keaton takes a walk, Chimera, The maiden, the sailor, and the student, The love of Don Perimplín for Belisa in the Garden, and As five years pass. The volume includes interpretive essays and commentary by translator Caridad Svich as well as María Delgado, Sarah Wright, James Carmody, Erik Ehn, Colin Teevan, Paul Julian Smith, Lisette Camacho and Frederic Amat, writing on the silent film Trip to the moon Lorca wrote in New York.

Not included in this volume are the screenplay for this film or the text of El público, the play that along with Así que pasen cinco años Lorca called “irrepresentable” or “impossible.” It is, however, a fascinating volume since it centers on some of Lorca’s most interesting, and also most neglected work.

We have a copy on reserve in the library but it is also worth owning, to refer to. The book is out of print but available new and discounted at Barnes & Noble. I have noticed that it is more expensive used on Amazon than on some other used book sites, like Abe Books.

A complete list of Lorca’s writing for the theatre can be found here, and Daniel James Tyler wrote a thesis on the staging of Lorca’s “impossible” theater at the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2011, that we can read.

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