Una pieza a tientas: “4 Chemins 4”

A groping piece: “4 chemins 4”

Rodolfo Usigli

Edition: Ramón Layera y Octavio Rivera

México, 2011
235 p.

The trilingual edition of 4 chemins 4 —early work, written between 1929 and 1932, never premiered and published in the first volume of his Complete Works (1963) by the FCE— allows the reader to get closer to the starting stage of Rodolfo Usigli’s creative trajectory, a moment of learning and exploration of the playwriting technique, in transit towards his realistic works and towards a discourse of his own, which were both part of the foundation of a Mexican national theater. Originally written in French, in Usigli’s “French comedy” one can perceive elements of the pieces of French theater that were so widely represented during the first decades of the 20th century in Mexico, as well as the topics and characters in which the influence of Lenormand and Cocteau are visible, both of them modern European playwrights close to the heart of this Mexican writer.

A critical introduction by Ramón Layera and Octavio Rivera is included, who were also editors of the book. The introduction analyzes these topics and justifies the relevance of the edition translated into Spanish and English of the dramatic text; a personal testimony, “The Road”, by his daughter Nicole Usigli; the essay “Usigli, Theater Theoretician”, by Daniel Meyran; and a section of documents with 10 copies of the original manuscript and six photographs of the playwright