PERSONAL: Male. Hobbies and other interests: Spanish cinema, seventeenth-and twentieth-century Spanish theatre.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author's Mail, Oxford University Press, Great Clarerdon St., Oxford OX2 6DP, England.
MEMBER: Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Anales de la Litertura Espanola (member, advisory board), Romance Studies (member, advisory board), Liverpool Monographs in Hispanic Literature (member, advisory board).
(Editor) Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Los cabellos de Absalon, Pergamon Press (Oxford, England), 1973.
The Prison and the Labyrinth: Studies in Tragedy, University of Wales Press (Cardiff, Wales), 1978.
The Discreet Art of Luis Bunuel: A Reading of His Films, Marion Boyars (London, England), 1982.
Dramatists in Perspective: Spanish Theatre in the Twentieth Century, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1985.
(Translator) Tirso de Molina, The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest, Aris and Phillips (Warminster, England), 1986.
(Translator with Peter Luke) Federico Garcia Lorca, Three Plays, Methuen (London, England), 1987.
Lorca: The Theatre beneath the Sand, Marion Boyars (London, England), 1987.
(Translator) Francisco Ors, Sastre, Jaime Salom, Antonio Vallejo, Burning the Curtain: Four Revolutionary Spanish Plays (contains Contradance, Tragic Prelude, Two Sides to Dr. Valmy's Story, and Almost a Goddess) Marion Boyars (London, England), 1995.
Indecent Exposures: Bunuel, Saura, Erice, and Almodovar, Marion Boyars (London, England), 1995.
(Translator) Federico Garcia Lorca, Blood Wedding, Methuen (London, England), 1997.
(With Ken Haas) Flamenco! Thames and Hudson (New York, NY), 2000.
Almodovar: Labyrinths of Passion, Peter Owen (London, England), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Gwynne Edwards is a research professor, an author, and a scholar of Spanish theatre and film. In addition to translating many Spanish playwrights such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Lope de Vega, and Tirso de Molina into English, he has also published numerous critical books on Spanish theatre and film in general. Outside of the academic world, Edwards frequently lends his expertise to theatre productions.
The author began his varied career in 1973 editing the Pedro Calderon play, Los cabellos de Absalon. He published The Prison and the Labyrinth: Studies in Tragedy in 1978, a study of six Calderon plays that examines the role of chance in the lives of the plays' heroes and heroines. Edwards observes that seeming accidents result in large complications for Calderon's characters, while their actions play a somewhat lesser role. One reviewer writing for Choice commented, "Both major and minor characters are closely studied through the dramatic action and dialogue to show the interplay of human nature (or identity) and chance or accident in bringing about the labyrinth/prison that ensnares the tragic individual(s)." Melveena McKendrick, writing about the book for Modern Language Review, noted, "I cannot . . . see that Dr. Edwards's book makes anything but a very positive contribution to Calderon studies."
Edwards' next work, The Discreet Art of Luis Bunuel: A Reading of His Films, published in 1982, provides biographical information on the acclaimed Spanish film director and surrealist Luis Bunuel and discusses thematic elements in Bunuel's oeuvre.
Dramatists in Perspective: Spanish Theatre in the Twentieth Century, published in 1985, provides overviews of a series of Spanish playwrights and their work. The book asserts that such dramatists as Lorca, Buero Vallejo, Sastre, Valle-Inclan, and Alberti chose to turn away from the commercial theatre and follow a more European model. Joan T. Cain, reviewing the book for World Literature Today, observed, "Edwards has achieved his stated goal. My only criticism is that at times he seems to be straining to attain it; the result is one of unnecessary repetition." However, a reviewer in Choice wrote, "Edwards' clearly written text offers a highly informative introduction to a national theater remarkably little studied in the English-speaking world."
Edwards' next two publications were translations. The first was Tirso de Molina's The Trickster of Seville and The Stone Guest 1986, and the second, Three Plays (1987), which includes Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding, Dona Rosita the Spinster, and Yerma.
Lorca: The Theatre beneath the Sand, published in 1987, includes detailed descriptions and discussions of the entire body of Lorca's work. The book describes Lorca's political views as well as his biography, illustrating how his personal experiences influenced his theatrical writings. A childhood fascination with marionettes provided lifelong inspiration. Although a reviewer writing for Choice claimed, "In fact, Edwards leans rather heavily on Lima, Nadal, and other critics for his own analytical observations," Edward F. Stanton in an article for World Literature Today explained, "Yet this book is so scrupulously composed that it will be useful to anyone who opens its covers, especially to those interested in staging Lorca's plays." Published in 1995, Burning the Curtain: Four Revolutionary Spanish Plays features translations of Francisco Ors' Contradance, Jaime Salom's Almost a Goddess, Sastre's Tragic Prelude, and Antonio Vallejo's Two Sides to Dr. Valmy's Story. Edwards' fifth book, released the same year, Indecent Exposures: Bunuel, Saura, Erice, and Almodovar, surveys the lives of four celebrated filmmakers.
Gwynne drafted a second translation of Lorca's Blood Wedding in 1997 and, two years later, completed translation of three Lope de Vega's plays, Fuenta Ovejuna; The Knight from Olmedo; Punishment without Revenge.
Appearing in 2000, Flamenco! describes the history of the fiery Spanish flamenco dance and provides information on the various cultures that influenced the dance's changing face over several centuries. Patricia Griggs, contributing a review to American Music Teacher, commended, "This book would appeal to the connoisseur and the aficionado of flamenco history and music."
Edwards' next effort, Almodovar: Labyrinths of Passion, discusses each film produced by Spanish director and Academy Award winner Pedro Almodovar. Films Tie Me up, Tie Me Down!, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Flower of My Secret are discussed. The book provides samples of Spanish reviews of Almodovar's films as well as behind-thescenes stories concerning budgets, film plots, and thematic discussions. The book also provides a biography of the artist. In a review for Library Journal, Adriana Lopez noted, "A handy filmography, bibliography, and index make this book an important, up-to-date study for both devotees and newcomers to Almodovar's over-the-top dramas."
Edwards, a research professor at the University of Wales, has been involved in many professional translations. He continues to assist in actual stage productions.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Music Teacher, June, 2001, Patricia Griggs, review of Flamenco! p. 108.
Choice, November, 1985, S. L. Gaggi, review of Dramatists in Perspective: Spanish Theatre in the Twentieth Century, p. 460; April, 1981, review of Lorca: The Theatre beneath the Sand, p. 1106; September, 1979, review of The Prison and the Labyrinth: Studies in Tragedy, p. 843.
Library Journal, March 15, 2002, Adriana Lopez, review of Almodovar: Labyrinths of Passion, p. 82.
Modern Language Review, October, 1980, Melveena McKendrick, review of The Prison and the Labyrinth: Studies in Tragedy, p. 916.
World Literature Today, 1981, Edward F. Stanton, review of Lorca: The Theatre beneath the Sand, p. 439; 1987, Joan T. Cain, review of Dramatists in Perspective: Spanish Theatre in the Twentieth Century, p. 255.*