Crueldad, simulación, absurdo y amenaza: Barbarie del drama moderno y tradición hermética en los esperpentos de Ramón del Valle-Inclán

Barbara Safille, Florida International University


The purpose of this dissertation is to demonstrate that the esperpentos by the Spanish playwright Ramón del Valle-Inclán (1866–1936), represent a culminating moment of theatrical precepts of modern European drama, while perpetuating the ancient esoteric traditions of the Iberian Peninsula. Focusing on four plays—Los cuernos de Don Friolera (1920), Luces de Bohemia (1921), Las galas del difunto (1926) y La hija del Capitán (1927)—the research elucidates how this interpretation furthers understanding of the process that embraces the anti-realistic clamours during the initial decades of the XX century, up to the subsequent climax of the aesthetics of Cruelty, Absurdity, Simulation, and Menace. In search for an ideal scenic language capable of reflecting the grotesque character and mystical essence of the esperpentos, this project examines the most significant works of philosophers from the hermetic tradition such as Plato, Pithagoras, Aquinas, and Flamel. Other important authors are Éliphas Lévy and H. P. Blavatsky, two personalities of great preponderance in the spiritual effervescence and occultist apotheosis at the turn of the 20th century. Finally, the mystical ideas of Spanish philosopher Roso de Luna and the psychological works on alchemy and magic by Jung find their conceptual correspondence in Valle-Inclán's aesthetic manifesto, La lámpara maravillosa. The ultimate objective of this dissertation is to provide a proposal for a mise en scène of the esperpentos, aesthetically based on the simultaneous scenarios of the New Stagecraft and conceptually inspired by the mystical principles of the hermetic tradition. The comparative approach of this study establishes a dialogue between modernity and the esoteric tradition that results in a new Koncept for their representation, providing a simultaneous scenario, far from realistic theatre, and more coherent to house the magical substance of the esperpentos.

Subject Area

Romance literature|Theater|Language

Recommended Citation

Safille, Barbara, "Crueldad, simulación, absurdo y amenaza: Barbarie del drama moderno y tradición hermética en los esperpentos de Ramón del Valle-Inclán" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3165164.