Benet I Jornet, Josep M. 1940-
BENET I JORNET, Josep M. 1940-
Born 1940, in Barcelona, Spain.
Writer, playwright, and actor. Has appeared as an actor on television, including the programs Rosa, la lluita, and Rosa, punt i a part, both 1996.
Marc i Jofre; o, Els alquimistes de la fortuna (play; title means "Mark and Wilfred, or the Alchemists of Fortune"; produced in Barcelona, 1969), foreword by Joaquim Molas, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.
Fantasia per a un auxiliar administratiu. Cançons perdudes (plays; second play title means "Lost Songs"), foreword by Xavier Fàbregas, Editorial Moll (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1970.
La nau (play; title means "The Ship"; produced at the Teatre Romea, Barcelona, 1970) Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1977.
Berenàveu a les fosques, Edicions (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.
Desaparaició de Wendy i altres obres, afterword by Feliu Formosa, Edicions (Barcelona, Spain), 1974.
Revolta de bruixes: text dramatic, foreword by Joan Castells i Altirriba, S. Serres (Mataro, Spain) 1976.
Supertot; precedida de Taller de fantasia: la nit de les joguines (children's theatre; title means in part "The Night of the Toys"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1976.
El somni de Bagdad, Edicions Don Bosco (Barcelona, Spain), 1977.
Descripció d'un paisatge i altres textos (play; title means "Description of a Landscape"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.
Quan la ràdio parlava de Franco, o, Vides de plexiglàs (play; title means "When the Radio Used to Speak of Franco, or Plexiglass Lives"; produced at the Theatre Romea, Barcelona, 1979), with contributions by Terenci Moix, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1980, reprinted, 1995.
Una Vella, coneguda olor: comèdia en tres actes (three-act play), Editorial Milla (Barcelona, Spain), 1980.
Elisabeth i Maria: inspirada lliurament en Schiller (two-act play), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1982.
(Adapter) Angel Guimera, Maria Rosa, Edhasa (Barcelona, Spain), 1983.
Dins la catedral (Josafat) seguit de Rosa o el primer teatre, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.
El Manuscrit d'Alí Bei, foreword by Enric Gallén, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.
Helena a l'illa del baró Zodiac, music by Pere Puértolas, Milla (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.
(Editor, with Josep M. Carandell) Vito Pandolfi, Història del teatre, translated by Jaume Fuster, Institut del Teatre, Diputacio de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), 1989–1993.
Ai, carai!, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1990–93.
Fantasia per a un auxiliar administratiu: obra en dues parts (opera), Milla (Barcelona, Spain), 1990.
Historia del virtuoso caballero Tirant lo Blanc, translated by Sergio Mustieles Rebullida, Ediciones Antonio Machade (Madrid, Spain), 1990.
Desig, foreword by Sergi Belbel, Jordi Castellanos i Enric Gallén, E. Climent (Valencia, Spain), 1991.
Una Vella, coneguda olor; Revolta de bruixes, introductory essay by Enric Gallent, E. Climent (Valencia, Spain), 1991.
Malícia del text: lectures de narrativa i teatre català, Curial (Barcelona, Spain), 1992.
Fugaç, Editorial Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.
E.R., postfaci de Carle Batlle, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.
Descripción de un paisaje; seguida de, Fugaz, Editorial Fundamentos (Madrid, Spain), 1994.
El gos del tinent, foreword by Enric Gallén, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1997.
Precisament avui; seguida de, Confessió, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.
Legacy (Testament) (play), translated by Janet De-Cesaris, Estreno Plays (New Brunswick, NJ), 2000.
Olores; Eso a un hijo no se le hace; Deseo, La Avispa (Madrid, Spain), 2002.
Habitació del nen: les tretze de la nit, foreword by Miquel M. Gibert, Edicions (Barcelona, Spain), 2003.
Salamandra, Proa (Barcelona, Spain), 2005.
Author of prologue to El teatre de Joan Olliver, by Miquel M. Gilbert, Institute del Teatre, Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), 1998; works have appeared in anthologies, including 3 Catalan Dramatists, edited by George E. Wellwarth, Engendra Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1976.
Author of numerous screenplays for television and the movies, including television series Vídua, però no gair, 1982; Digui, digui, 1984; Poble nou, 1994; Rosa, 1995; Pedralbes centre, 1995; Nissaga de poder, 1996; Laberint d'ombres, 1998; Rías Baixas, 2000; Cor de la ciutat, El, 2000; Mirall trencatm, 2002; Amar en tiempos revueltos, (and creator), 2005; and Ventdelplà, 2005; author of screenplays, including Actrius (from his play E.R.), 1997; Amic/Amat, also released as Beloved/Friend (based on his play Legacy (Testament)), 1999; and Night of the Brother,
Josep M. Benet i Jornet is a Catalan playwright and author whose work is recognized as going beyond the provincial or parochial concerns that are usually the focus of other Catalan writers. The versatile author has written for both adults and children.
In his play La nau, or "The Ship," Benet i Jornet presents a ten-part play that "employs the conventions of science fiction with a Brechtian realism," as noted by Albert M. Forcadas in World Literature Today. The ten plays revolve around a factory worker telling his fellow workers a story about a spaceship taking a million people into the outer galaxies. The play presents a Biblical allegory within the story, with God giving the spaceship crew a book of rules to follow after being angered by their attempt to understand the secrets of the universe. Forcadas noted that the play is also "a very well devised parable of the Franquist Catalan and Spanish establishments."
Descripció d'un paisatge i altres textos, which means "Description of a Landscape," takes place in a desert country and features a series of horrific deeds as narrated by an Emir's subordinate named Funcionari. Also on hand are two exiled daughters of an archenemy of the Emir, and they have returned to seek revenge. Peter Cocozzella, writing in World Literature Today, noted: "By virtue of Benet's consummate handling of the plot, the dramatic momentum builds up with a compelling logic of its own."
Benet i Jornet ponders the fall of the Spanish dictator Franco in his play Quan la ràdio parlava de Franco, o, Vides de plexiglàs, which means "When the Radio Used to Speak of Franco, or Plexiglass Lives." The author recounts the various aspects of Franco's long regime while also telling the story of two couples, one at the movies and another in their apartment. World Literature Today contributor Forcadas referred to the play as a "very well constructed … chronicle of the period 1939-75 as it pertains to Catalonia."
Elisabeth i Maria: inspirada lliurament en Schiller is a two-act historical play based on the play Maria Stuart by Schiller. The story revolves around Queen Elizabeth of England and Mary Stuart. Forcadas, writing once again in World Literature Today, noted that the play reveals the author's "genius for characterization and expression of human psychology." In Legacy (Testament) the author tells the story of a dying professor and a male student, who is a prostitute and has impregnated another professor's daughter. Despite this discovery, the professor treats the student as a son and bequeaths to him the legacy of his final scholarly work. Howard Miller, writing in the Library Journal, noted the play's "scenes of raw anger, passion, and exploitative sex." Benet i Jornet also adapted Legacy (Testament) as the film Beloved/Friend. also known as Amic/Amat. Writing in the New York Times, Stephen Holden noted that the movie "goes where no film has gone before."
In addition to his works for adults, Benet i Jornet has also written successful children's plays. Several of these plays are contained in Supertot; precedida de Taller de fantasia: la nit de les joguines. The title in part means "The Night of the Toys," and the two-part book contains seven plays, including five continuous ones. The continuous plays revolve around toys coming to life at night after everyone else in the house is asleep. Writing again in World Literature Today, Forcadas noted that the author creates "a 'magical realistic' world aided by appropriate visual effects." The other part of the book, "Supertot," which means "Super-everything," features a Superman-like character, which Forcadas referred to as "an original Catalan dramatization of an enduring American comic-book hero."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, July, 2000, Howard Miller, review of Legacy (Testament), p. 89.
New York Times, December 10, 1999, Stephen Holden, review of Amic/Amat.
Primer Acto: Cuadernos de Investigacion Teatral, Irè Sadowska, "Tres españoles en Francia," pp. 143-145
Translation Review Supplement, July, 2000, review of Legacy, p. 7.
Vanidad, April, 1996, review of Testamento, p. 22.
World Literature Today, autumn, 1978, Albert M. Forcadas, review of La nau, p. 610; winter, 1978, Albert M. Forcadas, review of Supertot; precedida de Taller de fantasia: la nit de les joguines, pp. 99-100; spring, 1980, Peter Cocozzella, review of Descripció d'un paisatge i altres textos, p. 269; winter, 1981, Albert M. Forcadas, review of Quan la ràdio parlava de Franco, o, Vides de plexiglàs, p. 85; spring, 1983, Albert M. Forcadas, review of Elisabeth i Maria: inspirada lliurament en Schiller, p. 274.
Associacio D'Escriptors en Llengia Catalana,http://www.escriptors.cat/ (June 10, 2006), biographical information on author.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (June 10, 2006), information on author's film and television credits.*