The Raw, The Cooked, and the Rotten (Lo crudo, lo cocido, lo podrido) *
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Chile
translated by Prof. Charles Philip Thomas
CAST: 3 men, 2 women
Marco Antonio de la Parra, Chilean playwright, short story writer, novelist and psychiatrist, began to establish his reputation as a writer in 1978 with his work, Lo crudo, lo cocido, lo podrido, which caused a scandal when the Catholic University banned its performance one day before the official debut. They considered the play to have "elements which attacked the spirit of the university and Catholicism." After several months, the original director of the play, Gustavo Meza, "who also cut, cut again, added, did over, and worked very hard on the play", finally mounted the production in his Imagen theatre. The play ran for about eight months and received great critical acclaim. The work was described in a 1988 New York Times Book Review article: ``Looking for metaphors to describe the 15 years of military rule, Chile's writers have likened the country to...a restaurant in which a group of waiters controls the country by dictating its table manners; the maitre d' commits suicide at the end.''
The waiters are awaiting the arrival of "the last link in the chain of great men who governed the country." They're waiting to kill him. Hernán Vidal, in a critical introduction to the play in a 1982 anthology, makes the following observations about the waiters, maitre d', and cashier: (...they repeat games and routines in order to pretend that their lives and the restaurant are full of activity and life. They imitate noble citizens; they pretend that they ask the waiters for important advice; they practice ways of serving which evolve into ballet movements; they stylize the French pronunciation for the elusively served items on the menu. With this, they reveal a highly hierarchic mentality which disregards individual expression in order to carry out the servile function which one expects of them.)
Marco Antonio de la Parra
Works in Translation