José Echegaray – Biography
José de Echegaray (1833-1916), son of a professor of Greek, was
born in Madrid. He went to an engineering school, studied economics, and had a
distinguished career in the Spanish Government. He was successively Minister of
Public Works and Finance Minister. At the height of his career he turned to the
stage, a passion that dated back to his youth. A mathematician, engineer, and
administrator, he built his plays with the same regard for exactitude and duty
that inspired his public life. Conflicts involving duty are at the heart of most
of his plays, and he upheld the idea with uncompromising severity. His exalted
romanticism appears in his choice of subjects. Like his great predecessors of
the Spanish Golden Age, Echegaray was a prolific playwright. His most famous plays
were: La esposa del vengador (1874) [The Avenger's Wife]; En el puño
de la espada (1875) [The Sword's Handle]; En el pilar y en la cruz
(1878) [The Stake and the Cross], a play defending the freedom of thought, which
aroused much controversy; Conflicto entre dos deberes (1882) [Conflict
of Duties], the title of which is programmatic for Echegaray's entire work; O
locura ó santidad (1877) [Madman or Saint]; and El gran Galeoto
(1881) [Great Galeoto ].
From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier
Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the
award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures.
The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.
To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.
José Echegaray died
on September 4, 1916.
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