The inclusion in a single volume of two outstanding plays —a full length drama and a one-act tragedy—by the distinguished dramatist, Antonio Buero Vallejo, constitutes a distinctive feature of this text. Aventura en lo gris is one of the most modern, daring, transcendental, and structurally interesting dramas in Buero’s entire theater. But because its controversial theme deals with the thinking man’s moral responsibility to help prevent the conditions of war brought on by selfishness and lust for power, the play, both in its original and final versions, has had difficulty breaking through the barriers of Spanish political and social prejudice. An intensive study of this drama is necessary for the full appreciation of not only its literary merits but also the complicated symbolism of its broad, human message—a message as timely in this recently revised version as it was when Buero wrote the original drama in 1948. The one-act play, Las palabras en la arena, is a tragedy of unusual dramatic impact for so short a work. Buero Vallejo has created a powerful, literary counterpart of the biblical episode in which an adulteress is brought before Jesus. Keeping the episode of the Gospel as background for the dramatic action, the author contrasts Christ’s ethic of compassion and love with mans bigotry, hypocrisy, and ethic of vengeance.
The present editor has deliberately directed the Spanish “Introducción" to student interest. An analysis of Buero’s “estética dramática” through some of his major dramas, including a brief comparison with several works by Unamuno—the Spanish poet-philosopher whose “agonic protagonist” has much in common with some of Buero’s main characters—should probably […].