Journal of Undergraduate Research


Peruvian theater, english translation, No hay isla feliz, Sebastián Salazar Bondy




Comparative Arts and Letters


No hay isla feliz (1954) is a significant part of Sebastián Salazar Bondy’s repertoire and a valuable work of Latin American literature that deserves to be known to the English-speaking world. The play’s author was one of most influential Peruvian authors of his time and a North American audience would benefit from getting to know his brilliance. I was instantly intrigued by No hay isla feliz , with a captivating plot full of social commentary about modern Peruvian life and compellingly tragic characters. However, I found that this play had not gotten much attention: it had neither been translated into English, nor had much analysis or commentary been written about it in English or Spanish. Having been so impacted by the play myself, I decided to undertake the translation of this lesser well-known work and bring it to light. I have found through my study of the play, that while No hay isla feliz illuminates the life of provincial Peru during the mid-1900s, the themes of the play, such as problems of alcoholism, domestic abuse, cultural clashes, and family crises, have universal applications. This translation of the text will be valuable for the English-language audiences because these themes can be easily applied to a North American audience and would be of cultural benefit by introducing one of the great playwrights of the Latin American world.