BIOGRAPHY and BIBLIOGRAPHY
CURRICULUM VITAE OF FERNANDO ARRABAL
by Ante Glibota
WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD 2000 17th Edition
|The Spanish author Fernando Arrabal was born in Melilla (Spanish Morocco) on August 11, 1932, shortly before the Civil War was to tore his country apart. His father, officer of the Spanish Army , is sentenced to death at the beginning of the Civil War for being opposed to the military coup. His sentence is commuted to hard labour for life. He is transferred to different jails, escapes from the last one on November 4, 1941 and disappears forever.
The trauma created by this tragedy marks Fernando Arrabal 's life and work "... the knowledge brought by Arrabal is tinged with a moral light which belongs to the very substance of his art".
Fernando Arrabal has published 12 novels (among which the autobiographical Baal Babylone - Viva la muerte in 1959), 6 collections of poems, nearly 70 plays (till now, his complete theater has been published in 19 volumes in France), 16 essays and epistles (among which the famous Letter to General Franco, published during the dictator's lifetime), nearly 150 books for bibliophiles and poems illustrated by Dalí, Picasso, Saura, Olivier O. Olivier, Dorny, Cortot, Pouperon, Fassianos...
He has directed 7 full-length films, the last one of which devoted to Jorge Luis Borges and entitled Jorge Luis Borges - Una vita de poesia, has just been released .
In 1962 Fernando Arrabal founds the "Panic Movement" together with Roland Topor and Alexandro Jodorowsky. "Panic" comes from the God Pan, the All. The "Panic" man was a man of total refusal, refusal of all danger, he did not expose himself and did not die a hero's death.
Although he is one of the most "controversial" writers, he has received many international prizes and distinctions. His work has been translated in most languages (he is notably one of the French speaking authors that is the most translated in Europe). The sun never sets on his plays among the most performed in the world.
His multiple activities are also expressed in the plastic arts. He has been exploring these through a profusion of sculptures, paintings, collages, drawings, of which many exhibitions and retrospectives have been held in galleries and museums in different countries.
"Merrily playful, rebellious and unconventional, Arrabal's work is the syndrome of our century of barbed wires and camps. : a way to keep in reprieve".
When he is not travelling all over all the continents to give lectures, to attend performances of his plays, "to take note" of the world's state and to defend human rights where they are flouted, Fernando Arrabal lives and works in Paris.
Detailed chronolgy of Fernando Arrabal by Ante Glibota
Birth of Fernando Arrabal Teran on August 11 in Melilla (Spanish Morocco) where his father, Officer of the Spanish Army, is temporarily settled.
Arrabal's father is arrested because he refuses to join the military coup. He is sentenced to death and is then transferred to the Burgos jail. Fernando Arrabal, his brother Julio, his sister Maria del Carmen and their mother leave Melilla to settle in Ciudad Rodrigo in the home of the maternal grand-father.
Arrabal's family settles in Madrid.
Arrabal enters the Escolapios Fathers' school in Getafe near Madrid. This high school is famed for the quality of its literary teachings
His father escapes from jail in mysterious circumstances and is never heard of again.
He starts writing short scenes inspired by family life and poems in the manner of the Romantics.
He goes to Tolosa to enter the Paper Industry School.
He passes the Baccalaureate examination at Valencia, while working in a paper factory.
Back in Madrid he frequents the Ateneo and founds an Academy where he reads his first works : The Roof, The Hay Waggon, The Incurable wood (unpublished).
First signs of tuberculosis appears with fever.
He meets his future wife, Luce Moreau, for the first time.
He receives a three months scholarship to study in Paris and settles on the students' campus, but he falls ill and has to be sent to the Bouffemont sanatorium. He considers this event as a stroke of chance,which allows him to stay definitely in Paris.
Fernando Arrabal marries Luce Moreau, a Spanish literature teacher who starts translating his work into French. Publication of his plays Orison, The Two Executioners, Fando and Lis, The Automobile Graveyard, (Julliard Ed., Paris). He writes Baal Babylone (Viva la muerte), his first autobiographical novel. He settles in an apartment at 62 rue de la Pergolèse in the 16th district of Paris.
His first important play : Picnic on the Battlefield is performed for the first time in France, in Paris. He leaves for the United States where he receives a scholarship, as a writer, from the Ford Foundation and receives the "Recipient Award Ford Foundation", in New York. He travels through the United States. Publication of his novel Baal Babylone (Viva la muerte), (Julliard Ed., Paris).
First meeting with Topor and Jodorowsky.
Publication of his plays Guernica, The Labyrinth, The Tricycle, Picnic on the Battlefield, The Condemned Man's Bicycle, (Julliard Ed., Paris) and of his novel The Burial of a Sardine , (Julliard Ed., Paris).
With Topor and Jodorowsky he founds the "Panic Movement" (a name evoking the Greek God Pan). With Jean Benoît, he often sees André Breton's surrealist group.
In Sydney, Australia, he gives his famous lecture about the Panic Man. In collaboration with three Spanish figurative painters : Arnaiz, Crespo and Felez, he begins a series of dreamlike paintings illustrating his life. Miró visits him and he meets César and the artists from the "Nouveau Réalisme".
Victor Garcia very successfully stages several plays by Arrabal, followed by Jorge Lavelli, Peter Brook, Jérôme Savary, Georges Vitaly... He begins seeing Salvador Dalí who suggests to him that they write together a cybernetic play...
Publication of his plays The Grand Ceremonial, Ceremony for a Murdered Black, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris), and Ceremony for a Goat on a Cloud, (Daily Bul Ed.) and of his collection of poems A Hundred Sonnets, (El Ultimo Parnaso Ed. Saragossa).
He leaves his flat rue de Pergolèse and settles boulevard de Strasbourg. Christian Bourgois becomes his regular publisher and publishes The Crowning and Concert in an Egg. Publication of his novel Feasts and Rites of Confusion, (Alfaguara Ed., Madrid, Barcelona). Yukio Mishima invites him to Japan to attend the unique performance of his antihitlerian play Hitler was right.
He goes to Spain where he is arrested after writing a dedication considered "blasphemous" to the government on a copy of his book Arrabal Celebrating the Ceremony of Confusion. International protest by, among others, Beckett, Mauriac, Ionesco, Miller.. soon leads to his release.
Publication de ses livres Le Panique, (Ed. Union Générale d'Edition, Paris) et Le New-York d'Arrabal, (Ed. Balland, Paris).
Publication of his plays Garden of Delights, Erotic Bestiality, A Tortoise named Dostoevski, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris). He travels in Mexico with Jim Morrison. He participates in the sit-in at the "Théâtre de l'Odéon" and the Spanish Pavilion in Paris during the "May events".
Publication of his plays ...And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers, Dawn : Red and Black (Groupuscule of my Heart; All the Perfumes of Arabia; Under the Pavement the Beach; The Little Cages), The Lay of Barabbas (TheCrowning), (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris). Banning of his plays in Spain by Franco's Police. Friendship with Pier Paolo Pasolini and long discussions on theater.
Birth of his daughter Lélia on January 14. Filming of Viva la muerte with Nuria Esperts and Anouk Ferjac.
Enthusiastic about Viva la muerte, John Lennon, goes to meet him at the Cannes Festival, whistling the music of the film. Pablo Picasso paints a work for him entitled Viva la vida and asks Luis Buñuel to bring this gift to Arrabal. He moves and settles 2 rue de Vienne in the 8th district of Paris.
Birth of his son Samuel on July 15.
Publication of the books The Panic , (Union Générale d'Édition, Paris) and Arrabal's New York, (Balland Ed.,
He travels to Japan where one of his play is performed at the No Theater. He then goes to the United States and gives many lectures in American Universities (in California, at the Cornwell University, at the State University of New York...).
Filming of his third full-length film : The Guernica Tree with Maria Angela Melato and Ron Faber.
After the death of Franco, Arrabal is among the six Spanish personalities prohibited from entering their own country, together with Rafael Alberti, Santiago Carrillo, La Pasionaria, El Campesino and Lister.
First performance of Steal me a Million, the first of the three vaudevilles constituing his Theater Bouffe. He gives a series of lectures at the Toronto University.
Publication of his plays The Tower of Babel (Oyez Patria mi affliccion), The Royal March, An Orange on Mount Venus, The Pictorial Glory, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris), of his collection of Theater Bouffe including Steal me a Million, The Pastaga of the Loufs or Orangoutan Opening and Punk and Punk and Colegram, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris) and of his book Letter to the Spanish Communist Militants, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris).
Publication of his play Inquisición, (Don Quijote Ed., Granada).
Publication of his plays My Devastated Sweet Kingdom, The King of Sodome, Heaven and Crap II, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris), and of his book Libertarian and Fairy Chess (Chronicles from the magazine L'Express), (du Rocher Ed., Monaco).
Filming of his fifth full-length film : The Automobile Graveyard with Juliet Berto and Alain Bashung.
Publication of his plays The Crazy Success of Jesus Christ, Karl Marx and William Shakespeare and Stand up and Dream, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris).
Publication of his play The Mare Horse or Tribute to John Kennedy T., of his novel The Tower Struck by Lightning, (Grasset Ed., Paris) and of his book Letter to Fidel Castro, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris).
Publication of his plays Love Breviary of a Weight Lifter, Apokalyptica and The Centaurs' Charge, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris), of his novel The Reverdie, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris) and of his collection of poems Humbles Paradises, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris).
In Ciudad Rodrigo he makes a speech presenting the author of tales of chivalry, Feliciano De Silva, as one of those who inspired Cervantes for his Don Quichotte. Publication of his novel The Red Virgin, (Acropole Ed., Paris).
He starts lecturing in Spain.
Publication of his plays The "Cucarachas" from Yale, A Virgin for a Gorilla, The Red Madonna and The Crossing of the Empire, (Christian Bourgois Ed., Paris) and of his novel King Kong's Daughter, (Acropole Ed., Paris. He meets Garry Kasparov in Paris.
Publication of his play The Crazy Crusade of an Obese Revolutionary, (Phi Ed., Luxembourg) and of his novel The Crazy Crusade of a Castrato in Love, (Ramsay Ed., Paris).
Publication of his plays Night is Also a Sun and The Wheel of Misfortune, (Actes Sud Ed.) and of his opera The Bastille Opera (written for the bicentennial of the French Revolution).
Simultaneous publications in five languages of his book
He directs his 6th full-length film Goodbye Babylon!, with Spike Lee and Lélia Fischer.
Publication of his collections of poems Freedom Colour of Woman or Goodbye Babylon Cinematographic Poems, (Rougerie Ed., Mortemart) and Arrabalesques (Letters to Julius Baltazar), (Rougerie Ed., Mortemart) and of his books Genios y Figuras, (Espasa Calpe Ed., Madrid) and Carta a José María Aznar (con copia a Felipe González), (Espasa Calpe Ed., Madrid). He receives the "Prix de Théâtre de l'Académie Française", (France).
Ante Glibota publishes an important monograph of 542 pages including 1810 illustrations, entitled Arrabal Espace, which sums up all the artistic and literary creation by Fernando Arrabal until this date.
He receives the First prize "Théâtre de la Roseraie" (France),
Publication of his play Like a Lily Among Thorns, (Actes Sud Ed.) and of his book A Slave named Cervantes, (Espasa Calpe Ed., Madrid and Plon Ed., Paris).
Publication of the Complete Theater, (2 volumes in Spanish), (Espasa Calpe Ed., Madrid) and of his collection of poems Diez poemas pánicos y un cuento, (Caja Sur y Rute Ed., Cordoba).
Publication of his plays Lettre d'amour et Comme un supplice chinois, (Ed. Actes Sud).
BECKETT'S LETTER TO THE JUDGES OF SPAIN IN DEFENSE OF ARRABAL IN 1967
(text edited in the book: GLIBOTA Ante, Arrabal Espace, París P.A.C., 1993)