Title

Memory, Metatheater, and Intertextuality in La Madrugada by Juan Tovar

Subject Area

Spanish American Studies

Abstract

In this work I explore the concepts of temporality, memory and history in the play La madrugada (1979) by Juan Tovar presented through the use of metatheatrically within the dramatic text and intertextuality with works such as Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo and various historical corridos. Through a structure that jumps temporally and thematically, La madrugada offers a reconstruction of the events that lead to the assassination of Pancho Villa and the effects from the loss of the ideals of the Revolution since that time. Essentially a tragedy written in form of a corrido, the preface indicates how, as a historical play, its preoccupation is as much the past as the present in that “[r]epasar el pasado es repasar el presente. Contamos historias viejas por ir corriendo la nueva, como la máscara nos otorga cara con qué mirarnos a la luz del sol que es otro cada día.” In this analysis the processes through which official history is constructed are shown in contrast with collective memory that endures in the corrido, the “authentic” voice of the people. The lies associated with the assassination of Villa serve as an allegory for a long series of abuses committed by those that affirm to carry on his ideals, suggesting that the only possibility for redemption is found in popular memory, a space where one can learn from history in order to rectify the mistakes of the past whose impact in politics and society is felt to this day.

Brief Bio Note

Brian Chandler is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he teaches courses on Spanish American Literature, Spanish language, and Hispanic cultural studies. His research focuses on contemporary Mexican literature, with an emphasis on narrative and theater.

Keywords

Mexican Literature, Theater, Pancho Villa, Corrido, Intertextuality, Metatheater

Location

Room 210

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-24-2017 5:35 PM

Embargo

11-4-2016

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Mar 24th, 5:35 PM

Memory, Metatheater, and Intertextuality in La Madrugada by Juan Tovar

Room 210

In this work I explore the concepts of temporality, memory and history in the play La madrugada (1979) by Juan Tovar presented through the use of metatheatrically within the dramatic text and intertextuality with works such as Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo and various historical corridos. Through a structure that jumps temporally and thematically, La madrugada offers a reconstruction of the events that lead to the assassination of Pancho Villa and the effects from the loss of the ideals of the Revolution since that time. Essentially a tragedy written in form of a corrido, the preface indicates how, as a historical play, its preoccupation is as much the past as the present in that “[r]epasar el pasado es repasar el presente. Contamos historias viejas por ir corriendo la nueva, como la máscara nos otorga cara con qué mirarnos a la luz del sol que es otro cada día.” In this analysis the processes through which official history is constructed are shown in contrast with collective memory that endures in the corrido, the “authentic” voice of the people. The lies associated with the assassination of Villa serve as an allegory for a long series of abuses committed by those that affirm to carry on his ideals, suggesting that the only possibility for redemption is found in popular memory, a space where one can learn from history in order to rectify the mistakes of the past whose impact in politics and society is felt to this day.