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Doña Clarines y Mañana de Sol

Hacienda
).During this period they labored desperately at writing, rising at dawnto get in some hours before the
office work began at eight. They foundeda weekly paper,
El pobrecito hablador
, which was respected andadmired, but was not a financial success. Their writing was done atfirst over
the signature
El diablo cojuelo
. In the
Autobiografía
they speak in feeling terms of the ten years of severe and unrewardedlabor which laid the foundation of
their later popularity. Before theappearance of
El ojito derecho
, their first hit, they had only threeplays produced in Madrid, all very ordinary farces. But they must
havebeen storing up material for future use, for in 1900 they declared[B]that they had 51 plays on hand
in manuscript. In 1897 the "entremés"
Elojito derecho
and the one-act comedy
La reja
attracted favorablenotice; 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 theyhave seen produced, between long and short, an
average of nearly five playsa year. In 1900
Los galeotes
, a four-act comedy, and their firstfull-sized piece, was crowned with the approbation of the
SpanishAcademy, but not until about 1904 do we find the brothers Quinteroaccepted on a par with
Benavente as entitled to rank among the chieffigures of modern Spanish literature. In 1907 they were
both presentedwith the cross of Alfonso XII. Don Serafín was elected to the Academyon March 27,
1913. The brothers spend their winters in Madrid, and theirsummers in the quaint northern town of
Fuenterrabía, where they findideal conditions for composition and rest.[C]
[Footnote B: In a letter to the
Heraldo de Madrid
. See
Ilustración española y americana
, 1900 (II) p. 258.]
[Footnote C: The Teatro Álvarez Quintero, which has recently beenfounded in Madrid, receives from them
only its name; they have neitherfinancial nor managerial connection with it.]
The collaboration of the two brothers has excited wonder in many, for itapproximates to mutual
thought. It is so intimate that it can hardly beimagined possible in any but two persons who have been
accustomed towork and think together from childhood. Their intellectual harmony is soperfect that on
one occasion, as a test, the younger composed a
copla
of four lines; the first two were then given to the elder, whocompleted the stanza with the identical
words of his brother. Their methodof composition is described by them as a continuous conversation.
They plantheir plays while walking out of doors, in the morning; thus theydiscuss characters, outline
the plot, division into acts and scenes, andeven dialog. When the whole and the details are well in
mind, the actualwriting is done by don Serafín. He reads the result to his brother as heproceeds, and the
latter comments or corrects. Details of style aresettled in the same viva voce way, better adapted to the
drama than toother forms of composition.
II
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