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Cartas Vivas

19 May - 21 May


Cervantes Theatre



The letters between Elena Fortún and Carmen Laforet come to life on stage. Their writing, their ideas, their thoughts and their lives intertwine “like the melody of a musical piece” in this stage adaptation of their letters published by Fundación Banco Santander “De Corazón y Alma”, whose purpose is no other than to bring to light the two most important authors in 20th century Spanish Literature.

Carmen Laforet (1921-2004) is an internationally acclaimed Spanish novelist. She wrote Nada, one of the most important twentieth-century European novels. Laforet was highly sensitive; she had a great capacity for introspection and self-analysis and also for laughter and elation. Her relationship with authorship, that bridge between her and the world, was, however, very tense. Key to understanding this tension are the challenge to integrate family life and intellectual life as well as the burden of domestic chores along with the subsequent lack of time and space to healthily develop an authorial voice.

Elena Fortún (1886-1952) created the best known character in Spanish children and teenage fiction: Celia. The Celia and Her World saga started at the end of the roating twenties. Through the adventures and the growth of this girls from Madrid who wanted to become a writer, through her experiences and those of the other characters in the saga, Elena Fortún created a faithful historical account of the most difficult years of the Spanish twentieth century via the extraordinary vision of characters whom like their creator, never quite fitted in the modern world. The series defied Francoist censorship and have continued to be present until nowadays. Fortún’s life, hidden behind Celia, has been recently discovered and researched. It was difficult and intense. But significantly, thanks to her letters and to her writing on her homosexuality, it has become clear that Fortún is the link between pre- and post- civil war feminisms.


19 May
21 May
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Cervantes Theatre
Arch 26 Old Union Street Arches 229 Union Street
London, SE1 0LR United Kingdom
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