chapter  14
17 Pages

Paraguay between dictatorships

El Edificio, an unknown play by Josefina Plá 1
WithYasmina Yousfi López

Paraguay's cultural revitalisation in the 1940s was promoted by a group of young intellectuals, writers such as Julio Correa, Herib Campos Cervera, Ezequiel Gonzalez Alsina, Augusto Roa Bastos and Josefina Pla. This group wanted to bring Paraguayan literature closer to the contemporary trends by moving away from the post-Romantic works that idealised Paraguayan reality and by assimilating new techniques and social themes. The performative elements of the play have a very important dramatic function. The wealth of stage directions, clothing indications, gestures, stage movements, illumination and acoustic effects, all contribute to enhance the atomised nature of the scenes and help to improve the dramatic intensity achieved through the dialogue. The dialectic between love and impassibility, between the poet's utopia and the dystopia of the Building, as well as the manipulation of a collective by means of strong censorship and the mechanisms of resistance to an authoritarian regime rendering the ending both apocalyptic and foundational.