Doña Clarines y Mañana de Sol by Serafín y Joaquín Álvarez Quintero


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Page 1

As no critical writing worth mentioning has yet been directed toward the
brothers Quintero, notwithstanding their great popularity in Spain and
Italy, the introduction is perforce in the nature of pioneer work.

I wish to express my very sincere gratitude to the authors of these
comedies, who first gave their courteous authorization to reprint, and
then extended their generosity so far as to furnish information which
would have been wholly inaccessible otherwise. Without their graciously
manifested kindness, this book could obviously never have appeared.

Various colleagues have helped in the interpretation of difficult
idioms; to all of them I convey my hearty thanks, and in particular to
Professor Schevill and Professor Bransby of the University of


February, 1915.


collaboration. They are among the most popular and prolific playwrights
of the day in Spain. Neither qualification is necessarily flattering,
but the comedies of the Quinteros[A] have many permanent beauties which
speak well for the taste of the contemporary Spanish audience. Even in
their farces they are never vulgar, never coarse, and they are not to be
confounded with the many amusers of the crowd in Madrid, the Ramos

a distinction and color which lift it into the realm of literature.

Spaniards seem to prefer "los Quintero".]


The brothers Quintero have never made public the details of their
private life, and no article of importance seems yet to have been

sources, the following facts have been gleaned:

1873, in Utrera, 20 miles from Seville. To this capital the family moved
"when the two boys together measured a yard in height", and there they
attended the Instituto. Their dramatic talent appeared at the earliest
possible age, and they composed and acted plays in the _patio_ of
their own house before any other stage could be provided. Their ages were
16 and 15 when _Esgrima y amor_, a farce, was produced at the Teatro
Cervantes in Seville (Jan. 30, 1888). Their father took them to Madrid
in October of the same year, in order to give their talents a broader
field. Success did not come at once. For nine years, to provide a
livelihood, they held positions in the Treasury department (_Hacienda_).
During this period they labored desperately at writing, rising at dawn
to get in some hours before the office work began at eight. They founded
a weekly paper, _El pobrecito hablador_, which was respected and
admired, but was not a financial success. Their writing was done at

they speak in feeling terms of the ten years of severe and unrewarded
labor which laid the foundation of their later popularity. Before the
appearance of _El ojito derecho_, their first hit, they had only three
plays produced in Madrid, all very ordinary farces. But they must have
been storing up material for future use, for in 1900 they declared[B]

ojito derecho_ and the one-act comedy _La reja_ attracted favorable
notice; they were both in the vein which has given them most popularity,
namely, the depiction of Andalusian customs. In 1898 a musical comedy,
_La buena sombra_, completed the victory, and since that date they
have seen produced, between long and short, an average of nearly five plays
a year. In 1900 _Los galeotes_, a four-act comedy, and their first
full-sized piece, was crowned with the approbation of the Spanish
Academy, but not until about 1904 do we find the brothers Quintero
accepted on a par with Benavente as entitled to rank among the chief
figures of modern Spanish literature. In 1907 they were both presented

on March 27, 1913. The brothers spend their winters in Madrid, and their

ideal conditions for composition and rest.[C]

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sat 18th Jan 2020, 18:26