Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Apr. 19: José Echegaray, Spanish dramatist


José Echegaray (1832-1916) was one of the leading Spanish dramatists of the end of the 19th century, and received the 1904 Nobel Prize for Literature (shared with the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral) for reviving "the great traditions of the Spanish drama." After a career as a professor of mathematics and engineering, and another as a government minister (starting after the revolution of 1868 overthrew the monarchy, and ending when the First Spanish Republic ended in 1874), he indulged in what had always been the love of his life: drama. It is said that he replicated the achievements of his predecessors of the Spanish Golden Age, such as Lope de Vega. One of his greatest works, El Gran Galeoto, is based on the story of Paolo and Francesca in Dante's Divine Comedy, itself derived from the story of Lancelot and Guinevere. Echegaray was a prolific author; one catalog lists nearly 80 plays written from 1874, and nearly 30 works of non-fiction.


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