‘Scene Galdós: Texts and representations’ is an ambitious project in which researchers from various countries have been involved, with the intention of letting the work of Benito Pérez Galdós. The director of the initiative for ten years, is the professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and member of the Spanish Academy of Performing Arts, Carmen Márquez.
In the absence of being approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Spain, the digital program is now developed with the co-financing of the Ministry of Culture of the Gran Canaria Council and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, around the contents of the title ‘Santa Juana de Castilla’, the play written by the Canarian novelist, premiered at the Teatro de la Princesa in Madrid in 1918.
What ‘Scene Galdós’ proposes with this theatrical piece aims to extend to the entire production of the celebrated realist author, within the framework of the commemorative program called ‘Canarias, the land of Galdós’, with which this year 2020 is remembered the centenary of the death of the famous Canarian novelist. “Santa Juana de Castilla, being a digital project, will allow us not only to read his work but also to travel through it. While we read, we will be able to stop at the premiere photographs or consult the criticism made by the press at that time. We will even have the chance to see some excerpts from the performance that, exactly one hundred years ago, produced under the direction of Nacho Cabrera, the Theater School of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, on May 8, 2018, coinciding with the date and almost the same time that ‘Santa Juana de Castilla’ was released, explains Carmen Márquez.
Researchers from five countries
Researchers from at least five countries are involved in this important multimedia initiative. “What has been done is a study of the text analyzing the language and discourse of Benito Pérez Galdós, as well as a study of the subject and its relationship with history from multiple perspectives,” added the teacher.
In the Canary Islands, the director of the House is part of ‘Scene Galdós’.Pérez Galdós Museum and researcher, Victoria Galván, the documentary filmmaker of said center, Ana Isabel Mendoza and the linguist Miguel Ángel Perdomo. Carmen Márquez does not forget the young researchers, whose work is essential for the director, as is the case of David Loyola, specialist in nineteenth-century literature, Salvadora Luján, whose thesis was on the pedagogy that is perceived in the Galdosian universe and who is the first Spanish researcher to be awarded the Peter Bly International Prize, in Boston, or Verónica Alonso Torres, focused on the relationship of women in Galdós.
The scene’s point of view is analyzed by Manuel Viéitez, director from the Galician School of Dramatic Art and from the magazine ADE-Teatro. The professor of the University of Dante in the Faculty of Political Sciences, Laura Durante, is responsible for the political theme in Galdosian literature. Claudia Villegas, a theater scholar at the University of Arizona, the largest public university institution in the United States, also participates in this macro project.
“The intention is that every year we can face a translation of a Galdós work, and thus be able to put it at the service of scholars and the general public in English, Italian, French and Portuguese. Curiously, there is not a single Galdosian in Portugal”, Márquez points out, for which he has the participation of María Fernanda de Abreu, professor at the Nova University of Lisbon and academic of Number of the Royal Spanish Academy, through which he will attempt the great opening of Galdós in the neighboring country. The University of Bucharest in Romania is also present in this company. From there, Nihai Enachescu, a polyglot researcher interested in studying the Galdós language of the 19th century, will carry out some translation facilitating the entry of Benito Pérez Galdós in the aforementioned country.
Galdós behind the scenes
This project, which will be ready in two months, will allow us to discover Galdós behind the scenes, “a man who knew Spain very well, who chose in ‘Santa Juana de Castilla’ a historical moment that defined the country very well,” says Márquez. . “Galdós locates the play at the moment in which Isabel la Católica died, when the division of the territory was not real and that after the death of the monarch it was divided again. A moment in which Fernando betrayed his own daughter , Juana, and that in collusion with Felipe El Hermoso, a Central European monarch, confines her to distribute power, “says the teacher.
“Juana — whom Galdós calls Santa in her work — was the heir. The Canarian writer stopped at that period when a woman could not exercise power. For this reason, Galdós puts in Santa Juana’s mouth the thought of a great governess, who wanted the development of the country, the thought of the generation of ’98, free education, the need for training … that Galdós thinking of the country from a tremendously constructive position of unity, which we now need so much “, he concludes Carmen Márquez.
Carmen Marquez Montes
Full Professor of ULPGC, she has published ten books, two monographs in magazines, one on Hispano-American theater and the other on Canarian theater; in addition to a hundred chapters of books and articles in Spain, Cuba, USA, Venezuela, France, Argentina or Portugal on Spanish and Latin American theater.
With this same theme, he has participated in a hundred international conferences in Europe, Latin America and the United States. She is an Academic of the Academy of Performing Arts of Spain. Member of the Association of Theater Authors, of the Association of Stage Directors of Spain, of the Collegiate Association of Writers of Spain and of The European Writers’ Congress, as well as of other academic and professional associations.
In the 2014-2015 academic year, he started the “Galdós a Scene” project with the ULPGC Theater Classroom, in which three Galdós plays have been worked on. He collaborated in the edition of the collection of the four volumes of Galdós theater. Márquez has also published articles on the application of Galdós’ work to the teaching of Spanish.