Cara a Cara

Theatre Introduction


“With a permanent aspiration for aesthetic innovation and transgression, Alfonso Vallejo’s plays aim to overcome realism through analytical introspection and philosophy. The heterodoxy, the spirit to transfer human solitude onto the stage, the heterogeneity of his approach and development, and a structure defined by its multi-colours, no doubt formed by its visual dimensions, are other characteristics of his dramatic works. Alfonso Vallejo’s works have nearly all be published and performed in such countries as the USA, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Poland.”

Diccionario Akal de Teatro 1997,

“The most qualified author of our time who is able to make a bold defence of realism and finally to establish a clear and effective code of communication. Nothing less.”


“Sense of theater, a sense of synthesis, a sense of the expression, a sense of the image, poetic skills, capacity for humor, extent of the situations. Doctor, poet, playwright, humorist, painter. Sometimes doesn't seem man of this time Alfonso Vallejo. Sometimes it seems to be a humorist, escaped from the silence and meditation to voluntarily participate in the elucidation of social and human problems.”


“Alfonso Vallejo is the most high and important that you can be in the limelight dramatic: a poet of tragic context. A contemporary poet.”


“It may be a bitter laugh, but that is the only possible attitude to have towards Vallejo’s terrifying absence from some watered-down posters, which cling to the tired routines of imported successes or despicable surrender. All Vallejo needs now is the Nobel Prize. Once he receives it, the whole world, except his own country, will be perfectly familiar with his work. It is obvious that here, society is scared to death of the theatrical medicine Vallejo wants to administer.”


“And indeed, Alfonso Vallejo’s plays are clear, penetrating, probing, lucid, imaginative and poetic.”


“Vallejo is long in the big dramatic authors census.”


“Certainly, we are before a theater of the word.”


"Vallejo is a great writer. As important as music, dance, painting, or the uberfamous varieties of bodily expression are to the show, it is the word - the dramatic word born from epic and lyrical words - that makes up the very substance of the drama. Especially if one looks at Shakespeare or Moliere or Calderón or Vallejo."


"Realism, humor, imagination, fantasy. True luxuries to achieve an image of human existence. More logical than a logical image. With more purity than a pure image. As theatrical as all great theater. As literary as any literature.

And how is this achieved?."


"Alfonso Vallejo basically does it thanks to his fine system of character creation. I have also frequently referenced the theme of character theater. That is, “the great theater”."


"Alfonso Vallejo is important because his wise use of the character mechanism allows us to perceive inerrantly a conflict-facing attitude. By transforming the character into a personality, Vallejo creates theatrical figures charged with energy of potential."


"Places and people appear on the stage in imitation of reality in its most concrete aspects. So, what should be done, and what Vallejo does, is look at the stage as a world that aspires to be the whole universe."


"To disintegrate, Vallejo first has to integrate. Then he has to build, and around his characters he builds a system representative of the forces that move, block and guide us. This drastic reduction of the cosmos to microcosm needs to conserve and yet clarify the values of the universe that are barely visible in their natural but confused reality.


Enrique Llovet.

"The strength of this theater lies in its poetic aspect, capacity for synthesis, and expression of images. In Vallejo, as in Shakespeare and Lope de Vega, poetry becomes visual and audial, a plastic element."


Ursula Aszyk.

“A vigorous, entertaining and attractive theater. You leave the theater with the impression of having collided with a real writer.”

Michael Billington. The Guardian.

“An interesting writer and full of talent.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times.

“A high flying play.”

Ángel Fernández Santos- Diario 16.

“A writer that is beginning to have international recognition.”

Malcom Hay. Time-Out.

“One of our greatest playwrights.”

Diario de Barcelona.

“A fascination work. This is theatre.”

El Nacional. Caracas.

"When analyzing Vallejan drama, I refer to aspects of the reception of those works that have been performed. All of them achieve universality, probing the deepest and most mysterious parts of man as an individual and unique being."

"Alfonso Vallejo is a radically contemporary dramatist and, as such, he puts in order, takes things to their limits, deforms, transforms the signs of the reality outside of time, which reveal and sound the interiority of human beings, their interior reality, making the same nightmare out of both. The exterior and the private, the tangible and the imaginable, the quotidian and the visionary, they all blend and blur together in a coherent discourse that is cemented in the aesthetic of transgression."


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo.Teatro Contemporáneo: Alfonso Vallejo.UNED. Madrid 2001.p.18.

"Alfonso Vallejo, an "author who is an island": ....It is the language, the word, which are the essence of Alfonso Vallejo’ s plays. A poetic and crude word sometime with corrosive humour. And some images that at times suggest the profession of a neurologist and an author who is also a poet and a painter. This journey to no where is what we are all waiting as an only means to escape form society. This is a tragic ritual, a sarcastic descent to hell, a theatrical ceremony with its completely modern scenic language, in its aesthetics, current themes and in its richness of the subtext."


María José Ragué. El teatro de fin de milenio en España. Ariel. Barcelona. (1996) p. 194

Poetry Introduction


"The book entitled Blue Sun is a collection of poems, which, in spite of being a very different means of expression, turns out to be in tune with his theater. In both manifestations of his talent, his expression flees from realism, in contrast to the tendency most commonly found in post-war literature."


"And that’s not all. In the face of the plain-spoken diction and apparent linear simplicity of poetic writing in frequent use today, in the Vallejan impulse arises a baroque multitude of symbolic shots, constant gusts of an emotionalness expressed by its accumulation. All this causes us to experience his personality as one indifferent to fashion, to “what’s hot”, which in principle is a sign of authenticity. Vallejo has chosen the most arduous route to becoming an artist: paying attention to his own way of being, without feeling any obligation to twist or modify himself to fit external structures of easy success. And so, it isn’t doable for us to see anything here that could be called “poetically correct writing”, but rather writing that is faithful exclusively to an inner call."


"I can’t imagine a better way to reach what every poet strives for: being what he is. The target is there. The hunter is prepared for the task. The result is this daring and necessary book."

Carlos Bouseño. Blue Sun.


"Synthesizing the aforementioned, we can summarize the poetic preoccupations of Alfonso Vallejo in this list, in no particular order: death, surrealism, nature, time, tremendismo, violence. Plus another element, not mentioned, but present from the first verse to the last: a, shall we say, biological conception of the human being. The man Alfonso Vallejo refers to is obsessed with an impossible knowledge. “It is difficult to know,” he says in End of the Century and Fear Propagation. 

Distrust in the possibilities of a rational understanding; faith, however, in the emotional comprehension."


Óscar Pérez Barrero. End of the Century and Fear Propagation.


"In almost all of his poems, there is an analytical gaze that burns in its sharpness and honesty. An honesty that seems, when translated into poetic imagery, to be a disguise, but is no such thing. The poems of Alfonso Vallejo are as explicit as a dream interpreted by Dr. Freud. I like his way of expression, his manner of magnifying an ambiguity that covers everything, as if everything was transparent and explainable. In reality, nothing is, but poetry brings us so close to the heart of things that we think we perceive or are in the presence of their ultimate expression. Vallejo applies poetry to the explanation of his soul with a mysterious sharpness, like one who is well acquainted with the human heart, but not well enough with his own. That fight between Tobias and the angel is the poet’s ultimate message."


Francisco Nieva. Clarity in Action.


"The scientific and philosophical vocation of Alfonso Vallejo’s poetry is the fruit of his stance that, although it might seem a breach in the first pact between the world and the human being, as Martin Buber would say, you could not be and you are. And if we are scientifically, metaphysically, and statistically pure chance, “In truth, blessed chance.”.p.86.


“With Eternity at Every Instant, Vallejo’s writing inaugurates a new era, because in it the impossible is possible...”. p. 88.

Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Eternity at Every Instant.


“Without forgetting what came before, what’s real about Alfonso Vallejo’s poetry is its truly singular character. Vallejo’s style is Vallejo, which is in no way tautology. Nobody could accuse our author of not being authentically personal.” p. 123.


“This is not the time to draw a map of contemporary Spanish poetry and locate Vallejo’s verse on it, but it is fair and relevant to point out that in the rich panorama of our time, characterized by a polyphony of voices, Alfonso Vallejo’s is one of those that rings out most clearly. The fact that he has dared to cross territory up to now infrequently explored in poetry has undoubtedly contributed to this. From the Pain Unit of a hospital to phenomenological philosophy, from the brain’s intricate labyrinths to the macrospace of the universe or the microdimensions of Nuclear Physics. His probing of these varied spaces is a feast for our perceptive and cognitive curiosity.“


“The scientific and cultural world owes a debt to anyone who, in these times so unsupportive of lyric poetry, has been able to redefine and renovate the poetic language, and has managed to build up faith in life in the basic goal of creation.”

Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Astral Compass.


"We are before fundamental concepts of neurology and psychoanalysis, which Vallejo has incorporated with unquestionable talent to the poetic universe: divination, advancement, anticipation, intuition. What’s more, he invents the term trans-consciousness, which should apply to a higher level of feeling and recognition than can be reached through contemplation, attention and internal purification. These are now the inheritance of mysticism and Buddhism."

Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Trans-consciousness and Desire.


“Hence, we find ourselves before a personal vision of the World and being, expressed by one of the most singular voices of Spanish poetry, with no standard other than his own gaze, with which the author “has seen it”, and with the instrument of his powerful writing.”


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Escence and prereality.


“One day the rigor and conceptual density of Vallejo’s work will be appreciated in its fair measure, along with the profound aesthetic and expressive transformations he has introduced to the formalist and stylistic plane. Some organizations, the Real Academia Española among them, have given well-deserved recognition and laud to his work. Nevertheless, the cultural universe is still governed by provincialism (in the worst sense of the word), the Nativity, the ranch (also in its least positive meaning) and hairsplitting. Like Seneca, Vallejo knows that a good person never swerves from the right path, and, like the great philosopher Spinoza, builds the animus and “thrust” of some of his work’s most powerful engines.”


All of this corresponds to a perfectly formed and organized interior order, even if it seems that every poem goes its own way, that each of the mini-dramas or micro-stories take on a style and register of their own. Once more, memory is established as a basic element in the work of Vallejo, the memory of what has been experienced. It isn’t about a “search” for lost time, a la Proust, but a reconstruction of a poetic, philosophical and experiential diary. At the heart of Alfonso Vallejo’s being beats the need to analyze and define what “this new man” consists of, what needs to be done, far from so much hypocrisy, so much stupidity, so much political, ideological and cultural falsehood.”


“A trip, therefore, over the roads of literature and life with rhythm, grace, talent and power. Little to nothing escapes Vallejo’s attentive ear and penetrating eye, gifted with an out of the ordinary visual acuity. Philosophy, medicine, great scientific discoveries, modern technological systems, everything has a place in Vallejo’s poetry. In each of his books, the poems do not forget the teachings of the classics, but they also anticipate new formulas. Old words are charged with a new semantic density and the language is pulled back like a crossbow and shot to the center of the target. Sometimes the author tries to move the bull’s eye, with the intention of provoking and creating dialectic confrontation, but he always knows how to reveal, after the darkness and drowsiness of the night, the fresh air and light of the morning.“


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Fantasy and Irrationaly.




"New technology has broken spacial and even temporal barriers, and today phenomena of all sorts, especially the political, cultural or artistic, acquire from the moment of their creation a global dimension. This circumstance takes on a greater meaning in works with a vocation to universality, like those of Vallejo, which from early in his career anticipated a new era. Without losing the signs of deeply Spanish identity, his works transcended the Mediterranean to the Germanic thinking, the Hispanicism with Quevedesque and Cervantine roots to the French world of damned poets, the Spanish constructions in the styles of Goya and Valle-Inclán to the depths of Slavic literature and the finest resources of Anglo-Saxon art."


"The poetry of Alfonso Vallejo is part of a number of today’s preoccupations and most important poetic movements. The formalist and thematic analogies with some of the mentioned trends and authors confer on his verse a universal dimension rarely seen in any other contemporary Spanish author."


"The incorporation of such concepts in his work is not presented as an artifice or as something erudite, but as something simply natural, something human, splendidly human. This is not to say that behind every poem there is no elaborate process of construction, rather that Vallejo makes poetry when he talks, when he walks and when he works. Every action taken by Vallejo is a poetic action because it is never repeated, it is an unceasing “poiesis”, a continual process of creation. Alfonso Vallejo is not an artisan of the language in the sense of the merely mechanical, but in that he converts any reality to a work of poetry."


"When he writes poetry, Alfonso Vallejo can only exist concentrated in the “natural” expression of what is happening to him and to the society in which he lives. This is why his books of poetry, like his plays and paintings, are testaments to how he invents his life, hour by hour, in the surroundings it takes place in. Let us say it again: his masters are life and reality."


"For this reason there are social chronicles, memories, texts, fantasies, mini-dramas, micro-tales, love spasms, clinical references to cases he attends daily, critical statements of philosophy that he constantly reads, astronomical nibbles, metaphysical probes into the territory of belief, etc."


"Science always responds to concrete problems, but art continually creates problems that haven’t been expressed before. The brain’s capacity is absolutely astonishing. So we see that almost all the poetic titles have a philosophical formula. Enigma and Develation would be a good example, as well as the previous ones. The comment by a notable academic that Vallejo’s poetry is based on a reflection on life might reveal the profound character of it. Philosophy is an open territory which can be broached perfectly well through poetry. This is why poetic language can be any type of discourse that conforms to its ends. The same thing happens in Psychology, Astronomy, Physics, Medicine, History or the social chronicle, etc."


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Enigma and Develation.


"Each of Alfonso Vallejo’s works is a condensed encyclopedia. A synthesis of philosophy, physics, astronomy, besides being a construction formed in the finest literary workshops. A work without limits or borders."


"Transvivencia y Plenitud, besides its literary and scientific components, establishes a dialogue with the most important contemporary philosophical trends. A dialogue of great richness and complexity, lucid and strictly necessary, since the homogenizing efforts of our time - supported in part by new technology - has almost come to blur the differences between distinct trends and even between distinct individualities. “Transvivencia y plenitud, with its semantic rotundity, its aesthetic grandeur, and its profound philosophy closes a cycle but ends nothing. On the contrary, it opens the door to a universe populated with infinite worlds, which we are invited to cross, learn about and enjoy. It is not, however, a self-help book, but an indispensable work for distinguishing, through the various lines it follows, between life’s accessories and that which is clearly necessary.”


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Transvivencia y Plenitud.


"Alfonso Vallejo’s is a book that renovates the poetic language of our time, a beacon, a fully-formed book, a necessary book."


"Alfonso Vallejo’s poetry is universal in the themes it covers - and it covers every theme - and in the dimension it impresses upon them."


"Alfonso Vallejo is a tremendous poet, but no lover of abstract poetry. Only a few poems from only a few poets can seduce him."


"In another book, we situated his poetry in a universal context and considered it as one of the loudest voices. This was years ago and up to now, nobody has dared refute it."


"The book is, in a word, prodigious. The poet shows us, with all honesty and openness, a being who suffers, that he needs to write to live. And he writes and builds a structure different from all the others. His poetic theory and practice show points in common with other poets, but the differentiating traits, as structuralists would say, stand out in the works of our author."

Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Time, Silence and Truth.


"We can find in no other author such talented dives into issues as complex as those of the real, the physical, the material, the self."


"This book, like the entirety of his work, is a construction made with rage, with a shiver and without fear, with tension, with swipes at reality, always mindful and opportune. Vallejo is a force of nature, a volcano, pre-Socratic. An author in direct contact with the earth, the air, water and fire, and he transforms it all into poetic material."


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. La luz y la oscuridad.


"Alfonso Vallejo is a maker of worlds, of words and of images. Every new word he creates is not only an original element that he adds to the language but also a new notion with which he enriches our conceptual universe. Writers create both symbolic and real worlds, and the geniuses among them are those who, by questioning, observing themselves and proposing a constant faith in life know how to add a new reality to what is real."


"In synthesis, this book of books is a Utopia and reality that reaffirms the belief that we are much more than we imagine. Thanks to reading it we see that this raging stream we have inside ourselves, something inherited, that has nothing to do with the poor, exclusively rational world which we inhabit. All of this means we have to make epistemological cuts and hermeneutic turns, laying out challenges and reaching advances, with a clear awareness of the importance of reason, but also of the limitations of the exclusively cognitive world. Working and creating in this way means the possession of a privileged knowledge of what the world, science and art are for Alfonso Vallejo. There is nothing greater, more beautiful or more true."


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Utopía y realidad.


"Authenticity, truth, beauty, rhythm are some of the notes which comprise the wonderful symphony that is the poetry of Being, mind, and reality. Just when we thought we had reached a point not easily surpassed with light and darkness, Vallejo takes one step more and delivers us to an even higher peak. A summit among summits, that is Being, mind, and reality."


Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Ser, cerebro y realidad.


"With no beginning or end, it is a different, unique book, not only in the context of Spanish poetry but in that of Western culture."


"The poems in this book follow the Vallejan line of progression, always rising, constantly opening battlefronts, proving once again that the most solitary author of Spanish literature is the most solidarian with everything and the most attentive to everything, the one who has opened horizons for Spanish poetry that were unimaginable until now."

Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo. Sin principio ni final.


"I am dazzled by "Sin principio ni final". By the Bosons, the love of oxygen and hydrogen - or are they just friends? - by the flowers that take over in April, by everything non-digital, by green cheese and not green-backs, by the sky getting bluer for somebody who wanted to live, by the truth and by freedom."


Emilio Lledó.