Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

Agustín Gómez Arcos [1933–1998]

Date of Birth: 1933 Almería/Spain
Died: 1998 Paris (age 66)

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Spanish anarchist, dramatist and novelist, winner of the Prix Hermès and twice a finalist for the Prix Goncourt, who went into self-imposed exile in the 1960s. '[I]n his native country, [Gómez-Arcos] is still regarded by many as a kind of phantom figure of Spanish theatre history, a member of a lost generation of playwrights whose work was censored and prohibited during the years of the Franco dictatorship and whose rebellious cries have all but since been forgotten.' (Sharon Feldman, Allegories of Dissent, 9).

Time Table

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1933 Almería/Spain
Born in Almería, Spain, the youngest of seven siblings.
1951 Madrid/Spain
Studies Law in Madrid, but abandons his studies to devote himself to the theatre.
1960 Spain
Theatrical début with Elecciones generales, performed at the First Festival Nacional de Teatro Nuevo, where it was awarded a prize.
1962 Madrid
Awarded the premio Lope de Vega for Diálogos de la herejía. The prize is later withdrawn by the censors.
1964 Madrid
Diálogos de la herejía staged in Madrid.
1966 England
Owing to continual censorship of his works, the playwright goes into self-imposed exile in England.
1968 France
He leaves England for France, where he settles.
Feb 1969 Paris
Pre-Papá and Adorado Alberto (Et si on aboyait?) performed as a double-bill at the Café-Théâtre de l'Odéon, directed by Miguel Arocena. They run for 71 performances. Re-staged in 1972 and 1973.
1972 Paris
Cena con Mr. and Mrs. Q performed as Dîner avec Mr. et Mrs. Q. Gómez-Arcos takes part in events at the Sorbonne dedicated to new Spanish theatre. Other participants include Arrabal, Azaña and Elizondo.
1973 Athens
Goes to Greece to write his first novel in French, L'agneau carnivore.
1975 Paris
Wins the Prix Hermès for L'agneau carnivore.
1978 Finalist for the Prix Goncourt with his novel Scène de chasse (furtive).
1984 Paris
Finalist for the Prix Goncourt with Un oiseau brûlé vif.
1985 Paris/France
Becomes one of only four Spanish artists (including Alberti, Bergamín, and Picasso) to be named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Legion of Honour.
1986–1987 Paris
Interview de Mrs. Muerta Smith por sus fantasmas performed as Interview de Mrs. Morte Smith par ses fantômes.
22 Feb 1991 Madrid
Interview de Mrs. Muerta Smith por sus fantasmas performed in Spain, directed by Carme Portaceli.
Nov 1992 Madrid
Los gatos performed in its original, uncensored, version at the María Guerrero theatre (directed by Carme Portaceli), before touring Spain and travelling to Buenos Aires in 1993.
1994 Spain
Finalist for the Premio Nacional de Literatura Dramática with Los gatos.
7 Dec 1994 Madrid
Premiere of Queridos míos, directed by Carme Portaceli, at the María Guerrero. It runs until the end of January 1995.
1998 Paris
Dies of cancer.
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La escritura gomezarquiana o la cultura del desarraigo
Article by Rosa María Alonso Díaz and Beatriz Coca Méndez, Universidad de Valladolid.
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