Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Fragments of History, Before and After: Naufragios de Álvar Núñez o La herida del otro (1978–1991) by José Sanchis Sinisterra

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2017), 94, (6), 591–605.

Abstract

In Naufragios de Álvar Núñez begun in 1978 and published later, in 1991, in Trilogía americana, playwright José Sanchis Sinisterra submits the Spanish imperial past to an inquisitive and tragicomic process of deconstruction. Inspired by the homonymous sixteenth-century chronicle, Sanchis opens the stage to an explorer who is cast into an unspecified present period and deals with serious mental issues as a consequence of his long journey. This play recolonizes Spain’s post-Francoist present, raising questions about the historical discourse of the past by unmaking this very past at a time of political and economic uncertainty for the nation. Through post-modern techniques, the theatrical stage becomes a site for historical pastiche while unma(s)king historical discourse through humour and satire. This analysis explores the connection between the historical protagonist, his inner crises, and Spaniards, as well as the function of theatrical discourse and stage performance in the shaping of historical consciousness during the Transition.

En Naufragios de Álvar Núñez, obra empezada en 1978 y publicada en 1991, en Trilogía americana, el dramaturgo José Sanchis Sinisterra somete el pasado imperial español a un proceso de deconstrucción inquisitivo y tragicómico. Inspirado por la crónica homónima del siglo dieciséis, Sanchis abre la escena a un explorador que es relegado a un periodo presente indeterminado y que se enfrenta a problemas psíquicos graves como consecuencia de su largo viaje. Esta obra recoloniza el presente post-franquista de España, cuestionando el discurso histórico del pasado al deshacer ese mismo pasado en una época de incertidumbre política y económica para el país. Mediante técnicas posmodernas, la escena teatral se convierte en un lugar de pastiche histórico a la vez que desenmascara y deshace el discurso histórico con sátira y humor. El presente análisis explora la conexión entre el protagonista histórico, sus crisis y los españoles, como también la función del discurso teatral y la actuación escénica en la creación de la conciencia histórica durante la Transición.

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Sprinceana, Iulia