GREED, LUST, AND DEATH IN VALLE-INCLAN’S. ‘DIVINAS PALABRAS’. Divinas palabras, published in I, the same year as Luces de bohemia, appe. Divinas palabras (Divine Words) was first published in book form in This published version received favourable reviews from critics (Valle-Inclán 50 ). En el ambito de su Galicia natal, poeticamente recreada a traves de la alquimia del recuerdo, situa ValleInclan Divinas palabras (). Escrita con plena.

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Sex, death, cruelty, greed. Escape to the country, and revel in the madness and fun as you travel the rural highways and byways of Divinas palabras Divine Words.

Set in rural Galicia, Divinas palabras Divine Words paints a colourful dviinas of the lust, greed and vitality of its characters. The complex storyline shifts the dramatic perspective from one character to another, but much of the action focuses on Mari-Gaila, the beautiful but wayward wife of Pedro Gailo, sexton of the church of San Clemente. On Day One the event takes place that will enable Mari-Gaila to leave her family and go off into the countryside, drinking and socialising with whomever she pleases.

A beggar woman falls down dead at the side of a road. Her palabrzs leaves her son Laureano, an imbecilic dwarf cursed with a huge head, orphaned. When she learns that her sister-in-law has died, Mari-Gaila is eager that she and Pedro take responsibility for Laureano — and, of course, any money he might bring them. But Pedro has another sister, Marica del Reino, who is equally keen to adopt Laureano.

Here, as the man of the family, Pedro tries to resolve the situation. But it soon becomes clear that Pedro has little authority over his wife and that he is incapable of making a satisfactory decision. Eventually, the local mayor suggests that the two families share custody of Laureano. This satisfies all parties, and they drink to the deal, including the poor large-headed child, who shouts out nonsensically as his fate is sealed. Instead, as the action jumps back to Mari-Gaila, it is clear she has no intention of keeping the custody arrangement.

‘Divinas Palabras’: A Play for the People

vallw She has joined a group of itinerants and beggars who have arrived on the outskirts of the village of Viana for the annual fair. But she is not the only one who has been roaming the countryside in search of financial gain. Pedro initially defends Civinas, but avlle soon convinced that she is indeed destroying his reputation. He should leave her, Marica suggests. But poor Pedro sees only one way to get his pride back. He must kill Mari-Gaila, even if it means he ends up hanging from the gallows.


They meet secretly together to make love for the first time. The story then turns back to focus on Pedro, as he comes to terms with his newly-acknowledged hatred of his wife. Like Mari-Gaila, he is also feeling amorous. She resists him and is horrified at his murderous rage against her mother. However, death comes sooner to the family than they expect.

Ultimately, the alcohol proves fatal, and Laureano dies a horrible death. Those present agree to say nothing about how he died, so that when Mari-Gaila returns from her tryst, she is swiftly sent on her way to take the corpse back to San Clemente.

On her way home Mari-Gaila is accosted by a strange figure — half goblin, half goat. He teases her and inveigles her to dance. Despite her best efforts, she cannot escape him, and suddenly finds herself sitting on the goat goblin, holding onto his horns, while he flies through the air. It is the dead of night. Still feeling the effects of the drink, Pedro showers his wife with verbal insults. All agree that it is highly inconvenient: To add insult to injury, this oncelucrative asset will now require a funeral.

In this way, everyone will assume that the child died under her care and she will have to pay for the funeral.

Grotesque in life, he becomes an appetising feast in death. Initially, she and a horrified crowd of onlookers assume that Laureano must have been eaten alive during the night.

Pedro relents and takes responsibility for the burial. Ultimately, however, poor Laureano will pay for his own funeral, as his putrid and bloated corpse is left outside for days with a begging bowl. But by now Mari-Gaila has more interesting palabrs on her mind than burial costs. She tries to flee from the mob, but is cornered and has no option but to dance naked for the lascivious crowd. Vall does this defiantly — proud of her own body. The men lift her up, still naked, onto a cart to deliver her back to her husband.

‘Divinas Palabras’: A Play for the People – latimes

The baying crowd approach San Clemente, taunting Pedro for being a cuckold. His reputation is destroyed. Humiliated, he tries to take his own life by jumping from the church roof, but is amazingly unhurt in the fall.


Something has changed inside him, however, and as the play reaches its climax he becomes the focus of the dramatic action. The mob take him literally, and begin to stone Mari-Gaila. Pedro utters the phrase again. But this time he says it in Latin.

Instantly, the crowd disperses, placated by the divine power of the words. Pedro leads his wife into the church. To Mari-Gaila, it now looks like the head of an angel. These words, taken from the Gospel of John 8: In the central panel of this painting, two couples representing lust and pleasure, sit on top of a hay cart.

Divinas palabras Divine Words was first published in book form in However, it was largely ignored by the public, and the play was not performed in Spain until The nudity in the play, as well as its depiction of the greed and cruelty of its diverse cast of characters, continues to shock.

However, in the intervening decades the play was staged in a number of other countries, including Sweden inwhere a production was directed by the famous Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman. Maria Delgado points out the fact that the play was often better received internationally than it was in Spain, and Catalunya in particular Of this production, Delgado suggests:.

If Divinas palabras failed to convince, it may have been precisely because its reinvention and revision within the larger context of the country’s uneasy transition from dictatorship to democracy defied established bounds of traditional practice, dispensing with such wooly concepts of ‘fidelity’, ‘authorial intentions’ and ‘authenticity’ in favour of a re-imagining of the text in ways that the press corps clearly found unsettling.

David Ling, for example, argues that the characters behave in a vibrant and instinctive way which allows them to appeal to the audience, despite their avaricious and cruel behaviour.

Even though the crowd does not understand the Latin words, they are imbued with an authority that they cannot help but obey. Luces de Bohemiaeds. Anthony Zahareas and Sumner Greenfield. Publishing Company in Spanish.

Madrid, Espasa-Calpe in Spanish. No further publishing details. In Teatro selectoed. Entry written by Gwynneth Dowling. Last updated on 6 October You must be logged in to add tags. Please log in or sign up for a free account. You must be divijas in to post inclann comment.