Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Alejandro Casona began his career as a poet but published only two slim volumes, of no particular distinction. He earned the Premio Nacional de Literatura (national prize for literature) in 1932 for his collection of myths retold for children, Flor de leyendas (1933; flower of legends). Otherwise, aside from some desultory contributions to literary criticism and a few translations, Casona wrote only for the stage and screen. His film credits include versions of several of his own plays, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Et dukkehjem (1879; A Doll’s House, 1880), and original screenplays.

Alejandro Casona Achievements

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Alejandro Casona consistently enjoyed a rare combination of popular success and critical acclaim. His first performed drama, La sirena varada (the stranded mermaid), won for him the Lope de Vega Prize; moreover, Casona answered eighteen curtain calls at the premiere. Nuestra Natacha (our Natacha), a work of less artistic merit, had favorable reviews to go with its unbroken run of more than five hundred performances. Exiled during the Civil War, Casona took Latin America by storm. His old and new works played to packed houses from Havana to Buenos Aires, and he soon established himself as the most important dramatist in Argentina. His contemporaries hailed him for revitalizing the Spanish theater, and subsequent critics have confirmed that judgment. Casona, along with Federico García Lorca, deserves much credit for this dynamic resurgence, which continues to show its strength.

Alejandro Casona Bibliography

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Díaz Castañón, Carmen. Alejandro Casona. Oviedo, Spain: Caja de Ahorros de Asturias, 1990. A biography of Casona, covering his writings and life. In Spanish.

Lima, Robert. Dark Prisms: Occultism in Hispanic Drama. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995. In his discussion of the demonic pact in Spanish drama, Lima examines Casona’s plays Otra vez el diablo and The Boat Without a Fisherman.

Maio, Eugene A. “Mythopoesis in Casona’s La dama del alba.” Romance Notes 22 (1981): 132-138. An examination of Casona’s The Lady of Dawn.

Moon, Harold K. Alejandro Casona. Boston: Twayne, 1985. A basic biography of Casona that covers his life and works. Bibliography and index.