Transversality, criminality, and the gypsy in Spanish baroque teatro breve

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This study uses Bryan Reynolds's interpretation of Félix Guattari's article Transversality to establish an alternative method of studying teatro breve in which the gypsy character type is constantly represented as an entertaining criminal who eschews hierarchical structures without necessarily subverting them. The figure is also tightly interwoven with a real-world tradition of contracting this supposedly dangerous figure for popular entertainment (as in danzas de gitanos) and thus criminal actions on stage cannot simply be interpreted as momentary comic relief or temporary carnivalesque permissiveness that are closed off by a surrounding comedia or the presence of authority figures in the audience. To rephrase Guattari's original claim for transversality, we may say that gypsies inhabit a dimension that tries to overcome both the impasse of pure verticality and pure horizontality. The first would be a top-down propagandistic model that marginalizes and suppresses outlaws, and the second is the equally problematic notion that interactions between criminals, actors, and audience members were the exclusive province of a limited subculture completely detached from a greater power structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-291
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Spanish Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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