There has been lots of coverage – none in English, that I can find – about an event that took place in
He published the play in 1968 and won an award for it from the Cuban writers’ union (UNEAC), but as soon as the play opened, it was censored because it was interpreted as being too critical. As this summary of Arrufat’s career notes (it precedes a recent interview of him on the
It is based on a play be the same name by Aeschylus, involving a conflict between two brothers, both nephews of Creon, the king of
Drawing on my very slim knowledge of literature, I can say that this story line – especially the play Antigone and adaptations of it – has been a vehicle for exploring the conflict between the individual and the state, and in Antigone’s case, the decision of a strong and defiant woman to obey a higher imperative than the one set forth by her uncle the king.
There’s plenty of commentary out there about the revival of Arrufat’s play and what it means for the Cuban cultural sector, for censorship, etc. Juventud Rebelde’s review says that the play is about a conflict between “individual ambitions and collective interests,” and that the performance “settles an old debt.”
What I want to know is, what is it about his version of Seven Against Thebes that was so incendiary back then, and viewed as so critical of the system?
[Photo from Juventud Rebelde]