Valle-Inclán Plays: One
Edited by Maria M. Delgado
(Methuen Drama, 1993)
A collection of three plays by one of Spain's most adventurous and radical playwrights.
This volume of translations contains Divine Words, a play that draws on pagan, Celtic traditions of the playwright's native Galicia and the repressive Catholicism of Spain to present a distorted picture of rustic life at its cruellest and most hypocritical; Bohemian Lights, the play which first expounded Valle-Inclan's theory of the grotesque (esperpento) and Silver Face, the first in the trilogy of Savage Plays, distinguished by a similar sense of anarchy and amorality.
"Ramon del Valle Inclan (1866-1936), the most pioneering Spanish dramatist of this century... anticipates most of the key movements in modern drama. He is notoriously unclassifiable but was both an Expressionist and an Absurdist before the event. He created a genre he called esperpento which broadly means grotesque tragi-comedy, and what is fascinating is that he anticipates Beckett, Ionesco, Genet and Arrabal without in any way sacrificing his own radical utopianism. He is one of the seminal figures in modern drama: erotic, anarchic and a Galician poet of the grotesque."
Michael Billington, Guardian