Effigies of return in Spanish Republican exile theatre and performance cultures

Thumbnail Image
Buffery, Helena
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Peter Lang
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This chapter deals with a particular stage of exile, that of return, ranging from the ways in which theatre was used to deal with its perceived impossibility, through theatrical responses to the experience of repatriation and the journey home, to recent reception and re-presentation of exile theatre on the Spanish stage. However, instead of just seeing theatre as a mode of representing exile and return, as in the case studies traced earlier by José Sainz and Francisca Montiel, there will be greater focus here on the way in which it presents, embodies and performs different stages of exile, constructing a space of encounter in which the limits of experience are inscribed and incorporated into the bodies of actors negotiating a theatre space that is somehow shared with an audience. Thus, though the material discussed will contribute to the study of how exile has been represented in literature, art and film, reflecting on the epistemological and ontological implications of these representations, it will also provide grounds on which to interrogate the assumptions underlying such an approach: namely, that literature, art and film (and within this theatre as 'literary' or 'dramatic' text) can only aim to represent, that their only status is as attempted 'places of memory' that might be considered to stand for a particular individual or group experience and, if recovered from the archive, stand in either metaphorically or synecdochically for national history or memory (Cándida Smith 2002: 11). The examples studied here could, on the whole, be approached from such a perspective, and have been to varying degrees by other critics. However, these cases can also be treated as documentary traces of the performance of exile and return, through focus on their status as orature and on their performativity, on the way in which they open a space for remembrance, providing windows onto environments of memory.
Exile , Memory , Effigy
Buffery, H. (2011) 'Effigies of return in Spanish Republican exile theatre and performance cultures', in Stages of Exile: Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance. Bern : Peter Lang, pp. 229-247