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Revolutionizing Greek Tragedy in Cuba: Virgilio Piñera’s Electra Garrigó

Andujar, Rosa; (2015) Revolutionizing Greek Tragedy in Cuba: Virgilio Piñera’s Electra Garrigó. In: Bosher, K and Macintosh, F and McConnell, J and Rankine, P, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas. (pp. 361-379). Oxford University Press: Oxford, United Kingdom. Green open access

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Abstract

This chapter examines Virgilio Piñera’s Electra Garrigó, written in 1941 but staged in Cuba before and after the revolution led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. The play features Greek tragedy’s choral structure alongside distinctive Cuban elements: Aegithus kills Agamemnon in a ritual that mimics a cockfight, Orestes poisons Clytemnestra with a papaya, and the chorus sing to the tune of the ‘Guantanamera’. I discuss the ways in which Piñera’s unique mixture of Cuban and classical unsettles the original Greek text, and the manner in which he challenged the notion and relevance of a ‘classic’ for modern Cuban theatre. Though reviled in its initial performance, Electra Garrigó, which depicts a young generation that engineers the death of its parents, was later upheld as a powerful symbol of the revolution and consciously re-performed before foreign luminaries such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir as being emblematic of the transformed nation.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Revolutionizing Greek Tragedy in Cuba: Virgilio Piñera’s Electra Garrigó
ISBN-13: 9780199661305
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199661305.013.022
Publisher version: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199661305.d...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472440
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