Ramon Vinyes i el teatre (1904-1939)

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis

Abstract

"Ramon Vinyes and the Theater (1904-1939)" studies the trajectory of this Catalan writer (Berga, 1882-Barcelona, 1952) who was immortalized as "The Wise Catalan", one of the characters in Gabriel García Márquez' novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.The study focuses on his activity as a playwright, paying special attention to the period from 1925 to 1939, during which he was a prominent figure in Catalonia.The first chapters examine his origins against the background of the "Renaixença" (Catalonia's nineteenth century literary renaissance) and the social, political and ideological environment of Berga, his hometown. Starting in 1904 when his first plays were staged, came into light his work is analyzed in connection with the theatrical theories defended by the last generations of Catalan Modernism and the first ones of the movement that followed it: the"Noucentisme". In this period of transition Vinyes chose a style of tragedy inspired by Ibsen, D'Annunzio, Hauptmann, Maeterlink..., which were models to the Modernists, defying thereby many of the esthetic and commercial guidelines followed by the theatrical community and the critics in Barcelona around 1910.
Next, the study delves into the literary climate that determined Vinyes' emigration to Colombia in 1913, where he settled in Barranquilla the following year. The thesis deepens on the leading role as a theoretician that Vinyes played in that country between 1913 and 1925. This section devotes mainly to the study of the Barranquilla's magazine Voces (1917-1920), which he promoted and which became one of the main platforms for the avant-garde in Latin America. Vinyes' positions regarding literary esthetics and dramatic arts are emphasized. Despite the geographical distance Vinyes followed Catalan and European culture very closely. The study points out the thought-provoking impact that Voces had on Colombian authors opposed to any academic, esthetic or moral restriction on the literary act.
The core of the thesis, developed in chapters 5 and 6, analyzes the production and reception of Vinyes' staged, edited and unpublished plays, during the productive 1926-1939 period, establishing links with his numerous critical positions. This survey is placed in the context of Catalan Literature, particularly after the opening of Llegenda de boires (1926), which represented his controversial return to Barcelona's theater scene.The study emphasizes the influence on his work of groundbreaking foreign models: German Expressionism -Bertolt Brecht- or Jean Giraudoux' lyrical mode, for instance. The expectations aroused by his talks and writings of 1928-29 are fulfilled in plays such as Viatge (1927), Qui no és amb mi...(1929), Peter's Bar (1929), or Ball de titelles (1936), an anti-bourgeois farce which is deemed to be one of his strongest suits in the creative field. In the Spanish Republican period, the thesis delves into the political leanings of Vinyes' work, emphasizing his commitment during the years of the Civil War. The timeliness of his articles as a critic behind the lines who was paying attention to Erwin Piscator's perspectives besides the opening of plays such as Comiats a trenc d'alba (1938) and Fum sobre el teulat (1939), confirm his implication in the historical moment, consistent with anti-bourgeois stance of preceding years.
Lladó emphasizes in his conclusions Vinyes's role in Catalan theater, midway between the tragical principles of the beginning of the century and the expectations of modernization that his literary proposals represented during the 20's and 30's. The study concludes with an extensive appendix featuring significant theoretical and critical texts written between 1917 and 1939, as well as a vast bibliography that catalogues the author's entire literary production. The bibliography includes the unpublished writings archived in the "Ramon Vinyes Foundation" at the "Arxiu Comarcal de Berga" (Berga's regional records), the result of a donation by the writer's heirs to which the author of this thesis also contributed.
Date of Award28 Nov 2002
Original languageCatalan
Awarding Institution
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
SupervisorJordi Castellanos Vila (Director)

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