Isidora Aguirre Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Isidora Aguirre began her literary career writing stories and novels for children. In 1954, she began concentrating on drama, for which she is best known. She has also written for the cinema. She collaborated on the script for Alsino and the Condor (1982; Alsino y el cóndor, 1983), a Chilean film made in Mexico under the direction of Miguel Littin, which received international acclaim.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Critics of the Chilean theater recognize Isidora Aguirre as one of the most important figures among a group of dramatists who appeared on the national scene during the 1950’s. The members of this group, known as the Generation of the 1950’s , had as a common characteristic the rejection of the old naturalistic models that had dominated (and continue to dominate) the Chilean theater since the beginning of the twentieth century. Seeking new forms of aesthetic expression, these dramatists came in contact with the latest theatrical innovations in Europe, which were quickly assimilated into their plays. Aguirre’s works reflect these new aesthetic tendencies. In thematic, formal, and technical aspects, as well as in her inclination toward realism and expressionism, Aguirre reveals a close link to the theater of Bertolt Brecht.

Aguirre’s plays have enjoyed great popularity in Chile, making her one of the best-known dramatists of recent decades. She has also gained critical acclaim and won various national awards. La población Esperanza received the Golden Laurel Prize in 1960. Aguirre was given the Santiago Municipal Prize twice, for Los papeleros in 1966 and Ranquil in 1972. Aguirre won honorable mention for Ranquil from the Casa de las Américas in 1969, the Catholic University’s Eugenio Dittborn award in 1983 for Lautaro, and the prestigious award Casa de las Américas in La Habana in 1987 for...

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(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Andrade, Elba, and Hilde Cramsie, eds. Dramaturgas latinoamericanas contemporáneas. Madrid: Verbum, 1991. Anthology dedicated to the works and life of Aguirre and six other women playwrights. Contains an analysis of each of the plays reproduced in the volume and the playwrights’ individual responses to a series of questions dealing with their conceptions about theater. In Spanish.

Andrade, Elba, and Walter Fuentes, eds. Teatro y dictadura en Chile. Santiago, Chile: Documentas, 1994. Critical anthology that includes essays about representative authors, including Aguirre, and their plays that were written under the dictatorship of Chilean general Augusto Pinochet. It also includes the testimonies of the playwrights about the history of the Chilean theater during that controversial historical period. In Spanish.

Castedo-Ellerman, Elena. El teatro chileno de mediados del siglo veinte. Santiago, Chile: Andres Bello, 1982. Castedo attempts to characterize the Chilean theater during the 1980’s by categorizing playwrights (including Aguirre) and their works into six groups, which are related to the influence of a particular dramatist such as Henrik Ibsen, Tennessee Williams, and Bertolt Brecht, among others. In Spanish.

Hurtado, María de la Luz. Dramaturgia chilena, 1960-1973. Santiago, Chile: CENECA, 1983. The book offers a critical analysis of the theater written in Chile between 1960 and 1973. It focuses on plays and authors, including Aguirre, who depict in their works the social problems of the decade and suggest political solutions. In Spanish.

Piga, Domingo, and Orlando Rodríguez. Teatro chileno del siglo veinte. Santiago, Chile: Lathrop, 1964. Comprehensive overview of the development of the Chilean theater from 1900 to 1964. Authors such as Isidora Aguirre, Luis Alberto Heiremans, Alejandro Sieveking, and Egon Wolff are recognized as the most important playwrights of the decade of the 1960’s for their role as renovators. In Spanish.

Salas, Teresa Cajiao, and Margarita Vargas, eds. Women Writing Women: An Anthology of Spanish-American Theater of the 1980’s. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997. The first anthology in English dedicated exclusively to Spanish American women playwrights, including Aguirre. Includes eight plays by award-winning authors who have received national and international acclaim.