Speaks Franz Kafka in his story report for an academyof Pedro el Rojo, an ape who has received an education and makes a journey from his beast condition to something similar to man. This tour, but in reverse, return to animalityis the one that Alicante playwright Lola Blasco proposes in About the life of animals a text gestated from the novel elizabeth costello of the Nobel prize JM Coetzeewhich can be seen until January 15 at the Spanish Theater of Madrid.
“I had been thinking for many years that this novel could be adapted to the theater, especially the part that talks about animals,” says the National Award for Dramatic Literature 2016. Coetzee’s work is formulated as a kind of compilation of oeight lectures given by the writer Elizabeth Costello, alter ego of the South African author. Two of them are the ones that Blasco has especially focused on to give it a theatrical form, in a production that he directs. Pepa Gamboa and stars in actress Nathalie Sesena.
And it does so through an intervention offered in Madrid by this writer, in which she will not speak about literature but about the life of animals. «I am interested in some philosophical approaches that talk about recovering lost animality and I think it was the time to do it now because I think that they are beginning to legislate about animals, they are beginning to be considered sentient beings.”
For the writer, the pandemic was a turning point “Because many of us rediscovered nature, it was recovering its space, and that made me reflect on what kind of species we are.” And he affirms that the work “does not only talk about animals, it also talks about the evil of the human being».
He ensures that the debate goes beyond “to eat or not to eat meat” and is addressed not only to animalists, “who are already convinced”, but to people who “perhaps” have never reflected on this issue. «We want the general public to come and that reflects not on whether or not he eats meat but on where we human beings are headed and where we take the planet. People leave the theater moved and that is what is important ».
«The problem -he stresses- is that we have built our entire economic and political system on the basis of a thought that has to do with reasoning that is Western-based and that has led us to the disaster of climate change, the pandemic and to be another once immersed in a war… we don’t change, we return to the same thing and it seems that our system of thought based on reason is not reasonableat least as far as sustainability is concerned.”
Coetzee develops in his novel, through Elizabeth Costello’s speech, a metaphor with the nazi holocaust that Lola Blasco maintains in her play. “The crime of the Third Reich, says the voice of the prosecution, was to treat people like animals,” according to the conference. And the playwright points out: «Because slaughterhouses existed before, that system of extermination was used later».
The work is configured as a monologue, «but there is a lot of dream game; Costello leads us to his ideas of paradise and hell, and he is going to make us follow him so that we do not come out unscathed from that trip »that is«something contradictory, it is not a flat speech», affirms the writer who assures that there are also a reflection «on the idea of writing».
Lola Blasco he conceives the theater as a vehicle of commitment. «It is true that for me there is a responsibility and I try to always work on poetic commitment and with the world to send a message. I don’t mind saying that I’m interested in a theater that has to do with the inheritance we receive and what we leave behind; I think it is very important that we make this reflection because the system does not hold by itself and only sustains itself by enslaving others, and not just animals.”
For the author of works like My century, my beast, “It’s important to talk about this, although I don’t know if it will help much.” Now this work remains until mid-January. Then there will be a tour. “I think the work goes to Alicante».
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Lola Blasco dramatizes the return to animality