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echegaray y eizaguirre

José Echegaray

[e-che-gah-rahy]

José Echegaray y Eizaguirre (April 19, 1832 Madrid, SpainSeptember 14, 1916) was a Spanish civil engineer, mathematician, statesman, and the leading Spanish dramatist of the last quarter of the 19th century.

Along with the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1904, making him the first Spaniard to win the prize. His most famous play is El gran Galeoto, a drama written in the grand nineteenth century manner of melodrama. It is about the poisonous effect that unfounded gossip has on a middle-aged man's happiness. Echegaray filled it with elaborate stage instructions that illuminate what we would now consider a hammy style of acting popular in the 19th century. Paramount Pictures filmed it as a silent with the title changed to The World and His Wife. His most remarkable plays are Saint or Madman? (O locura o santidad, 1877); Mariana (1892); El estigma (1895); The Calumny (La duda, 1898); and El loco Dios (1900).

The Echegaray street named after him in Madrid is famed for its Flamenco taverns.

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