Ugly Duckling Presse

The Errant Astrologers
The Errant Astrologers

Felipe Benítez Reyes

translated by Emily Toder

Theater | $14 $12
Buy"alien, mesmerizing"

This three-act play in verse by Spanish poet, novelist, and playwright Felipe Benítez Reyes, tracks the nonsensical, disorienting, and rather tragicomic journey of three monarchs lost in a boundless desert, on a long, dark, and endless night, in which the notions of power, place, and purpose are all tipped on their heads and crushed. In a paradoxically classic fusion of the chivalrous and postmodern traditions, the Astrologers is like waiting for Godot with Sancho Panza, all on the set of Ishtar, and told in the haunting, rich verse of Reyes’s own.

Excerpt ˇ


The blind night,
and the moon that is the eye of the blind night,
the eye that looks at me
with the white look of the blind,
because the night is blind,
and the moon is the blind eye that looks at me
and sees me not.
I wander blinded by the blind night.
I ?oat in the darkness
as the moon ?oats,
the blind eye,
and the blind night,
and the blind moon as well,
the useless eye,
and I wander blind,
invisible in this great dimness of blind theatre.
Close ˆ

About the Author

 Felipe Benítez Reyes
Felipe Benítez Reyes (1960, Cádiz), is a poet, novelist, essayist, and translator. The author of many highly-acclaimed works, he is one of the most influential voices in contemporary Spanish literature. He has earned various literary distinctions, among them, the Luis Cernuda prize, the Nadal Prize, and the National Book Award and the National Critics Award for his 1996 collection Vidas improbables (of which an English translation was published by BOA Editions in 2006). He lives in the town of Rota, Andalusia, with his wife, the translator Silvia Barbero.

About the Translator

Emily Toder
Emily Toder (1981, New York) has studied literary translation at the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UK), and at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona. She has translated the poetry and prose of Edgar Bayley, Laura Campmany, Luis Chaves, and Laura Fernández, among others. Her first poetry collection, Science, was published in 2012 by Coconut Books.