Original Title: Smrt Ligeje
Mislav Brumec (b. 1969) is a young Croatian dramatist whose play The Death of Ligeia was pronounced by the critics to be his best drama text. It is based on the motifs from two of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, The Fall of the House of Usher and Ligeia, and is a horror-melodrama in genre. The Death of Ligeia, which is permeated with powerful irony and constant dramatic tension, endeavours to uncover the shortcomings the system which allows Evil always to conquer Good.
The basic motif of the play is possessiveness which does not even shrink from crime in order to satisfy its passionate nature. The real drama unfolds on the level of the relationship between freedom and lack of it in a set family circle. In this play, Mislav Brumen accepts the poetic original so that Poe’s melancholy and mystic aura fully define the text. The author’s play with cinema genre stereotypes from the 1930s – Ligeia as a Vamp – and with various codes, from realism through fantasy to irony, make this drama not only an attractive text to read, but also excellent textual material for some future theatre performance.
The Death of Ligeia was first published in Plima magazine in 1993, and won the Zagreb University’s Chancellor Award and the AGM (publishers) award in the same year. The play was premiered as a co-production between the Zagreb Youth Theatre and the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek in 1995.
The book was printed thanks to support provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.