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Automobile Graveyard


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AT: The Car Cemetery A: Fernando Arrabal Pf: 1961, New York; 1966, Dijon Pb: 1958 Tr: 1960 G: Drama in 2 acts; French prose S: Automobile junkyard, mid-20th c. C: 5m, 2f, extrasDila, a pretty 25-year-old woman, rings the bell for sleep in the automobile cemetery. Tiossido, a young sportsman, runs on, being coached by Lasca, a mature but tireless woman. The couple in Car 3 summon their valet Milos to order breakfast in bed. Milos forces Dila to visit all the occupants of the wrecked cars to kiss them goodnight. A knitting trumpeter, a clarinettist, and a dumb saxophonist come on and play. They contemplate becoming judges so that they can earn money killing people. The man in Car 2 orders Milos to bring him a woman, and Dila is forced to go. The trumpeter Emanou declares his love for Dila, and they make love, watched by the laughing car-dwellers, as they do every night. Dila is furious and now dominates Milos. She hurries off to save Emanou from the police, who seek him because he murders people who are bored. Tiossido and Lasca embrace, watched again by tittering onlookers. They book into Car 2 for the night. Dila manages to delay the police with her seductive charms. Tiossido and Lasca appear, dressed as police, and run off. Dila hands a chamber-pot from car to car. Lasca arrests Emanou, and the clarinettist claims his reward for betraying him. Emanou is whipped, and in Car 3 a newborn baby cries. Emanou, covered in blood, is wheeled in on a bicycle. Dila rings the bell for morning, and the same events begin to be repeated.

AT: The Car Cemetery A: Fernando Arrabal Pf: 1961, New York; 1966, Dijon Pb: 1958 Tr: 1960 G: Drama in 2 acts; French prose S: Automobile junkyard, mid-20th c. C: 5m, 2f, extras

In this absurdist piece, convention and logic are undermined at every turn: Milos is violently jealous but is amused by Dila having sex with another man; Emanou is an innocent but kills people; the junkyard is horribly desolate but is waited on by a smart valet. Arrabal appears to imply that, in the decay of contemporary civilization, outer form is preserved in the place of substance.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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