Pedro and the Captain
A Play by Mario Benedetti
Translated by Adrianne Aron
Prologue by the playwright, Mario Benedetti
First edition May 28, 2009
120 pages, 4 ½" x 7
About the Book
A gripping dialogue between a torturer and his victim, Pedro and the Captain takes place in an interrogation room, where lives are deconstructed by the violent hand of the terrorist state. Torture, the awesome force that mediates the action, never appears directly on the scene; likewise, the repressive state is never named. Benedetti captures the essence of this dehumanizing practice without assigning it precise location or time, which speaks to the universality of the abomination, whether in Uruguay's La Libertad or the USA's Abu Ghraib.
In this compelling story one man begins life as a decent fellow and is converted into a torturer, and another, an ordinary guy with leftist political ideals, rises to the stature of martyr, preferring death over betrayal of his comrades. Benedetti's play unpacks its deep political and psychological insights with intensity, delivering humor amid great sadness, beauty together with wretchedness, and amazing commentaries on the human condition that mark this as a work of great literature.