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March 05, 1922 - Image 5

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Benavente-and "Los Intereses Creados"
(By G. D. E.) with a high hand. They conduct lists, and there is nearly always a to a rich young lady and all turns out
Several weeks ago I discussed, in a themselves like nobles and have half sardonic man, however shabby or des- well. The roguery is forgiven and
paragraph or two, Jacinto Benavente, of the city kowtowing to them before titute, who speaks the truth, who general pollyannahs are exchanged as
they are exposed. But even then, Cris- pokes fun at morals, popular ideals, the play fnishes. Silvia, the beautiful
hearing chiefly in mind that the So- pin, the mere alert and fearless of the and current virtues. It is this constant young lady, spouts out the last few
ciedad Hispanica is shortly to give his two, does not lose his nerve and every- quality in the plays which allows us words about the divine quality of love,
"Los Intereses Creados" (The Bonds thing "comes out all right in the end." to recognize the real Benavente. So, etc. The Sociedad Hispanics will do
of Interest). Crispin is a most admirable char- along with the ideas which popular well to omit this address to the audi-
I have read the play several times acter, and he is Benavente himself, at prejudice demands, Benavente has his ence by Silvia.
both in English and in Spanish, and least in thought--or I have read Ben- own say, and In spite of the twists I urge my readers to go to this play.
in the main I think that it is a very avente's own epigrams for nothing. which he must make, his products They may not be able to understand
worth while roduction Its short- Crispin enmodies the artist in Bena- are works of art, and even when they Spanish but they cannot miss the im-
coming is the sortcoming of every vente. He looks on the world with fail somewhat the artist, Benavente, port of the play, the genial roguery of
Henavente play, the autc or's on- an eye so sharp that he can file has not changed. He himself is aloof Crispin, the timidity of Leandro, the
ienatn y for the theatre-goer, who, every act into its motivating pigeon- in his beliefs, a trifle scornful, and al- bombast and pathos of Arlequin and
in Spain, is anost as maudlin as the hole. He is disillusioned, and he has ways deep in the problems of life, the Captain, the poltroonery of Silvia's
theatre-goer in America. The Span- a cath -ic tongue. As the names, Harlequin and Colum- father, the cynicism of Dona Sirena.
tar -gs aeruler a. hi pa- iit iswhocomnensates.or bhine, suggest, the play is more or less In addition, Underhill's translation,
iard, as a rule, wants his "picaro," Crispi it is who compensates for fanciful, but not to any extreme. (Svribners) for all its faults, will pre-
his "blood and thunder," or he wants the sentimental streak In the play. Benavente is merely indulging in sar- pare you for a delightful and ap-
some sappy stuff about love and Those who would have Benavente casm when he says that its person- preciable play. Even if the acting be
ideals. bowing voluntarily before sentiment ages are not real men and women, that bad, which I much doubt, ("Zaragueta"
So one can see that Benavente has and romance will do well to consider the play is without any reality at all. was well given despite the loobiness
his troubles with the audience. The Crispin. Says he: I have actually known persons who of theme and other obstacles) the
popular superstitions of Spain, the "Intelligence is the conscience of have taken these statements of Bena- worth of the play cannot be disguised.
church with its medieval pishposh, truth and he who loses it among the vente seriousy. I prefer anytime to see such a
likewise lay on the actor and play- lies of his life is as if he himself were Well, Crispin marries his partner (Continued on Page 7)
wright with a heavy hand. But they lost, because he will never find nor -- ---
are not so influential as the public know himself again but will become
in general. There is scarcely a play in himself another lie." (This is my
by Benavente but what contains sonse translation and naturally not a very
folk and the Spanish Ladies' Aids. ment on Underhill who actually in-
In spite of the verbose tootings of serts sonse banal statement about be- hse
John Garret Underhill who has trans- ing "without compass or sail." Else
lated Benavente's plays into English, my Madrid edition of the play is
we cannot help but see that Bena- faulty.)" Have your Clothes Cleaned and Pressed
vents writes under a constant pres- How did you learn sq much?" Le-
sure from outside. Underhill says andro, Crispin's partner aks Expert Indian Cleaners
that Benavente does not write to the "I meditated for awhile in the gal- byExpertmIndiannCleaners
puhlic. Benavente himself says that leys," answers Crispin, "where this
he must compromise to a certain ex- conscience of my intelligence accused
tent. me of being more idiot than rogue.
But at heart the man is an artist; he With more roguery and less idiocy,
breathes irony and skepticism. Along in place of rowing I should have com - _
with his sentimentalizers one finds manded the galleys."
always a keen, alert character speak- In another place, Columbina, the
ing the truth with sardonic lips 1n- maid of Dona Sirena-both somewhat
loosing the words. Such a character disillusioned-makes the statement, Cleaning - Pressing
is Crispin in Los Intereses Creados, "It is as foolish to trust a man while he
such a character is Don Heliodoro in lives as a woman while she loves."
"The Evil Doers of Good," and thus (Here Underhill's translation is also
through nearly all of Benavente's bad but it is better than my own, so
better plays. Benavente in Germany I give his for want of something bet-
or in France would be dramatist as ter).
great as Ibsen. He has the same clear . Then consider the delightful irony
perspective of the world, of life, and in the speech of Arlequin who says,
he has the broad dramaturgical knowl- "Until today no one has dared any- HAVE IT DONE BY THE
edge which Ibsen himself had. In- thing against him; today we all dare
deed, Benavente himself has been an against him together. There is spirit-
actor, and a good one. edness, a moral quality in the crowd." DO E W A H =JA C N
And thus, on and on, not only
He has his faults, as I have said. through this play, but through nearly
Hut I do not condemn him as does all of Benavente's work. The char-
George Jean Nathan. On the other acters often shift, the theme often 426 THOMPSON ST. PHONE 2650-J
hand I do not fling the marshmallow differs, but there is always the irony
as does the idolating James Garret at the expense of morals and mora-
Underhill, to whom enavent appears
a modern Shakespeare. This Under-
hill fellow is 'more effusive than a
pet puppy. Not only that, but I find
his translations very bad, time and
again, and so, in the flnal/ analysis,
I see him for an almost useless fel-
low, a bad critic and an incompetent
But to give him some small due, it
musthe recognized that Benavente is The policy of this institution is to extend
a difficult man to translate. In suchTh poiy ftis n ttu on stoe e d
works as "The Governor's Wife" there to every customer, regardless of the size
is a constant play on words, a thing
frequent enough in his other plays. of his account, the very best we have in
What makes me laugh is the mannertcourtesya service
In which Underhill must have labored
and sweated in trying to work them
out. He might well have spared him- W e cordially invite every student in the
self, for the result is almost invariably
ridiculous. A footnote would have University to open an account with us i
done far better service. he has not aready done so.
Nor do I insist that a translator do
the business literally. Far from it!
But there is occasion when there was
utterly no use of Underhill changing
But hack to Los Intereses Creados. The Ann Arbor Savings Bank
The theme in general is that of Resources-Over $5,000,000.00
two destitute men, of half-rogues, of
shrewd, carefree men who, beset by
poverty and creditors, carry things


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