1st Edition

Antígona by José Watanabe A Bilingual Edition with Critical Essays

By Cristina Pérez Díaz Copyright 2023
    172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Winner of the ASTR Translation Prize 2023. 

    Winner of CAMWS' 2024 Bolchazy Pedagogy Award.

    This book brings to English readers, in its entirety for the first time, a translation of José Watanabe’s Antígona, accompanied by the original Spanish text and critical essays.

    The lack of availability in English has resulted in the absence of Antígona from important Anglophone studies devoted specifically to the reception of ancient Greek tragedy in the Americas. Pérez Díaz's translation fills this gap. The introduction provides the performative, political, and historical contexts in which the text was written in collaboration with the actress Teresa Ralli, from the Peruvian theater group Yuyachkani, who also originally performed it. Following the bilingual text, a critical essay provides an analysis of textual aspects of Antígona that have been disregarded, situating it in relation to Sophocles' Antigone and in conversation with relevant moments of the vast traditions of reception of the Greek tragedy. An appendix briefly surveys some notable productions of the play throughout Latin America.

    This comprehensive volume provides an invaluable resource for readers interested in José Watanabe's work, students and scholars working on classical reception and Latin American literature and theatre, as well as theatre practitioners.

    1. Introduction; 2. Antígona: Versión libre de la tragedia de Sófocles (Bilingual Text); 3. Angles of Memory in Antígona: An Aesthetic Reading; Appendix: Productions of José Watanabe’s Antígona.


    Cristina Pérez Díaz translates from Ancient Greek, Latin, and Spanish and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Classics at Columbia University.

    "Cristina Pérez Diaz's translation and remarkable essays analyze José Watanabe’s Antígona, as distinct from its original performance by Teresa Ralli of the Peruvian theatre group Yuyachkani, to offer a rich interpretation of this unique theatrical collaboration." - Helene P. Foley, Claire Tow Professor of Classics, Barnard College, Columbia University

    "Pérez Díaz's impassioned essays array a dizzying spectrum of political and cultural referents, while her translation follows Watanabe's lead in constructing a timeless Sophoclean world that foregoes explicit reference to anything local, in our place and time, or his: the battle against a culture of oblivion exists everywhere and never ends."- Esther Allen, Baruch College, City University of New York

    "Cristina Pérez Díaz’s beautiful translation of José Watanabe’s Antígona brings this modern classic of Latin American theater to an English audience for the first time. This volume offers a critical introduction to this poignant play; written in the aftermath of Peru’s long civil conflict (1980–2000), it thematizes the country’s process of truth and reconciliation, thus engaging enduring themes of memory and politics that have characterized Latin American theater of the past fifty years. Watanabe’s play was created in collaboration with Peru’s premiere theater company, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani; Cristina Pérez Díaz demonstrates how this version of the classic Antigone story thus engages complex dynamics of adaptation and embodiment. This critical edition of the play is a most welcome addition to scholarship on Latin American theater, and will be of interest to students and scholars in the field as well as readers of contemporary drama." - Jill Lane, New York University

    "Cristina Pérez Díaz’s critical edition of José Watanabe’s Antígona is quite simply a fantastic accomplishment. In addition to its excellent translation, which will make Watanabe’s text available to Anglophone audiences for the first time, the edition’s accompanying materials are noteworthy contributions the study of Antigone and its reception." - New England Classical Journal

    "..what Pérez Díaz’s accented translation of Watanabe’s text offers us is a beautiful, anti-assimilationist, undomesticated, and unbelonging experience in “postcolonial languaging.” - Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    “Cristina Pérez Díaz's book offers an important contribution to artistic and academic approaches to Latin American re-imaginings of Sophocles' Greek classic… Her careful treatment of Watanabe's text is evident in the way she tries to convey his poetics—clear and down-to-earth, yet transcendental in his philosophic ruminations on the human condition—in the English version.” - Leticia Robles-Moreno, Latin American Theatre Review