Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

María Zambrano [1904–1991]

Date of Birth: 22 Apr 1904 Vélez-Málaga
Died: 6 Feb 1991 San Lorenzo de El Escorial (age 86)

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Major Spanish philosopher and writer influenced by Ortega y Gasset.

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1904 Vélez-Málaga
Born to Blas Zambrano García de Carabante and Araceli Alarcón Delgado, both teachers.
1908 Madrid. Calle de la Redondilla, 8
The family moves to Madrid.
1909 Segovia
The family moves to Segovia, when her father is appointed professor of Spanish Grammar at the Escuela Normal. Her father joins and becomes president of the Agrupación Socialista Obrera. He also founds the newspaper Segovia and the magazine Castilla.
1911 Segovia
Her sister Araceli is born.
1913–1921 Segovia
Attends Secondary school at the Instituto de Segovia.
1919 Segovia
Antonio Machado comes to Segovia to teach History of Spanish Literature at the Instituto de Bachillerato, and becomes very friendly with María's father.
1921 Madrid
Studies Philosophy and Letters at the Universidad de Madrid.
1924 Madrid. Plaza del Conde de Barajas
Madrid. Plaza de los Carros
The rest of María's family moves to Madrid.
1927 Madrid
She is taught by Ortega y Gasset and Xavier Zubiri at the Universidad de Madrid.
1929–1936 Madrid
Becomes close friends with Jiménez de Asúa and Fernando de los Ríos.
Aug 1930 Madrid
Appointed assistant lecturer of Metaphysics at the Universidad Central and teacher at the Instituto Escuela. Works on what will become her doctoral thesis, La salvación del individuo en Spinoza.
1931–1936 Huesca
Takes part in the Misiones Pedagógicas. Becomes friendly with Luis Cernuda, Rafael Dieste, Ramón Gaya, Miguel Hernández, Camilo José Cela and Arturo Serrano Plaja.
1932 Madrid. Calle Carretas
Madrid. Alcalá 60
Starts attending the tertulias at the Café Pombo, the Café de la Granja del Henar, and at the Revista de Occidente.
Sep 1932 Madrid
Replaces Xavier Zubiri as professor of Metaphysics at the Universidad de Madrid.
1933 Madrid
Publishes her first essay, Por qué se escribe, in the Revista de Occidente.
1934 Writes the women's section for newspapers El Liberal and Libertad.
1935 Madrid. Calle de la Pasa 6
The tertulia at Zambrano's home on Sundays becomes well-established. It is attended by intellectuals and writers such as Dieste, Bergamín, Maruja Mallo, Chacel, Ricardo Gullón, Miguel Hernández, Neruda, Lorca, and Cernuda.
18 Jul 1936 Signs the Manifesto of the Alianza de Intelectuales para la Defensa de la Cultura.
14 Sep 1936 Madrid. Calle Toledo
Marries Alfonso Rodríguez Adarve.
Nov 1936–Jun 1937 Santiago de Chile
Travels to Santiago de Chile, where her husband has been appointed secretary to the Spanish embassy. Meets José Lezama Lima during a stopover in Havana.
Jun 1937 Madrid
Returns to Madrid on the day that Bilbao is taken by the Nationalists. Becomes a member of the editorial board of Hora de España. Appointed Consejera de Propaganda and Consejera Nacional de la Infancia Evacuada by the Republican government.
Jul 1937 Valencia
Takes part in the II Congreso Internacional de escritores para la defensa de la cultura. Becomes a close friend of Emilio Prados, Simone Weil, César Vallejo and Octavio Paz.
Jan 1938–Jan 1939 Barcelona. Diagonal, 600
Stays in Barcelona. Gives a course on Philosophy at the University of Barcelona. Writes articles for the newspaper La Vanguardia.
29 Oct 1938 María's father dies.
Jan 1939 Le Perthus
Crosses the border on foot with Antonio Machado, her mother and sister.
26 Jan–5 Feb 1939 Mexico D. F.
Waits for her husband to join her in a small town near Perpignan. After short stays in Paris, New York and Havana, they arrive in Mexico.
1 Apr 1939–1 Jan 1940 Morelia
Appointed lecturer at the University of Michoacán.
Jan 1940 Havana/Cuba
Lectures at the University of Havana at the invitation of José Lezama Lima.
1940–1943 San Juan/Puerto Rico
Travels occasionally to Puerto Rico, to give courses and conferences.
1943–1945 San Juan/Puerto Rico
Lives in Puerto Rico. Lecturer at the University of Ríos Piedras.
Aug 1946–1948 Paris
Travels to Paris, where her mother has died. She fosters her sister, who has been tortured by the Gestapo and whose husband has been killed by the Francoist authorities after being extradited by the Gestapo. Becomes friends with Malraux, Sartre, Beauvoir, Char, Camus, Bergamín and the publisher and bookseller Juan Soriano.
1949 Mexico D.F.
Stays briefly in Mexico City.
1949–1953 Havana/Cuba
Returns to Cuba, where she teaches Philosophy.
1954–1964 Rome. Piazza Popolo
Rome. Piazza Flaminio 60
Settles in Rome, where she often meets with other exiles, such as Diego de Mesa, Tomás Segovia, Jorge Guillén, Rafael Alberti and Ramón Gaya, as well as other Italian intellectuals like Alberto Moravia, Elsa Morante and Cristina Campo.
1955 Rome
Writes for the journal Botteghe oscure.
Sep 1964–Sep 1972 Jura/France
Leaves Rome. Settles in a small town, La Pièce in the Jura, near the French border with Switzerland.
Feb 1966 Zambrano's work begins to be recognised in Spain, with the publication of J.L. Aranguren's Los sueños de María Zambrano in the Revista de Occidente.
1973 Rome
Returns to Rome.
1974–1978 Jura/France
Returns to La Pièce. Writes Claros del bosque and corresponds with Agustín Andreu.
1978–1980 Ferney-Voltaire
With her health declining, she moves to a small town near Geneva.
1980 Geneve. Avenue de Secheron 3
Moves to Geneva. Named Hija Adoptiva del Principado de Asturias, her first official recognition in Spain.
1981 Awarded the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Comunicación y Humanidades. The Ayuntamiento de Vélez-Málaga also names her Hija Predilecta.
19 Dec 1982 Málaga/Spain
Awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad de Málaga.
20 Nov 1984 Madrid. Calle Antonio Maura, 14
Returns to Madrid, where she will spend the last years of her life.
28 Feb 1985 Named Hija Predilecta de Andalucía.
1987 Vélez-Málaga
The María Zambrano Foundation is established in Vélez-Málaga.
1988 Awarded the Premio Cervantes.
6 Feb 1991 Madrid
Dies in Madrid. She is buried in her home town of Vélez-Málaga.
16 Aug 1992 Mérida
Zambrano's La tumba de Antígona performed at the Teatro Romano de Mérida.
25 Apr 2002 Málaga/Spain
Named Hija Predilecta de la Provincia de Málaga.
27 Nov 2006 Málaga/Spain
The central train station in Málaga is named after her by the Ministerio de Fomento.
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María Zambrano Foundation
Website of the Foundation María Zambrano, in Vélez-Málaga (Málaga), which also hosts the 'Centro de Estudios del Exilio'. Apart from keeping Zambrano's legacy, the foundation holds regular conferences and congresses and publishes books on exile. The website provides full information on María Zambrano's life and works.
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