Cover image for The golden thread, and other plays.
The golden thread, and other plays.
Carballido, Emilio.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Works. Selections. English
Publication Information:
Austin : University of Texas Press [1970]
Physical Description:
xvii, 237 pages ; 24 cm.
Introduction, by M. S. Peden.--The mirror.--The time and the place: Dead love, The glacier, The wine cellar.--The golden thread.--The intermediate zone.--The clockmaker from Coŕdoba.--Theseus.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ7297.C2482 A27 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Emilio Carballido (1925-2008) was one of the most innovative and accomplished of Mexico's playwrights and one of the outstanding creators in the new Latin American theater. By his mid-forties he had already produced an impressive body of works in two very different veins. On the one hand, he mastered the techniques of the "well-made play." On the other, he developed a richly rewarding vein of fantasy, sometimes poetic, sometimes comic, sometimes macabre--and sometimes all three.

The plays in this volume are in the latter vein, ranging from surrealist farce in "The Intermediate Zone" to the grotesqueries of "The Time and the Place," from tragicomedy in "Theseus" to the dreamlike permutations of "The Golden Thread." But even at his most fantastic, Carballido never loses his remarkable gift for characterization: his peevish Minotaur, his raffish Nahual (were-jaguar) are wholly believable monsters.

Author Notes

Emilio Carballido is known primarily as a playwright and one of the leaders of a movement that revitalized Mexican theater during the 1950s and 1960s. Previously, Mexican theater had been derivative of European models. Carballido is responsible for breaking from the traditional realistic drama and introducing a surrealistic, fantastic world (one to which the Mexican novel had already turned) into the theater. At the same time, Carballido probes the nature of reality and of human responsibility.

The play Theseus in the volume The Golden Thread (1957), is a twentieth-century version of the Greek myth, in which Theseus takes full responsibility for his actions. Theseus willfully neglects to put up the white sail of victory on his return from killing the Minotaur so that his father will hurl himself from the Parthenon and he will become king. The Clockmaker from Cordoba is a wryly comic vision of the fallibility of justice and the weakness of humankind. Like all Carballido's work, ultimately The Clockmaker from Cordoba expresses an abiding faith in a weak but essentially striving humanity.

(Bowker Author Biography)