BornFernando Arrabal Teran August 11, 1932 (age 83)Melilla, Spain (1932-08-11) OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet BooksEl cementerio de automoviles, The red virgin PlaysThe Architect and the Emperor of Assyria, And they put handcuffs on the flowers, Fando y Lis ParentsCarmen Teran Gonzalez, Fernando Arrabal Ruiz MoviesFando y Lis, Viva la Muerte, I Will Walk Like a Crazy Ho, The Guernica Tree, The Emperor of Peru Similar PeopleRoland Topor, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Juan Carlos Perez de, Andre Breton, Fernando Sanchez Drago
Interview to fernando arrabal italian subtitles
Fernando Arrabal Terán (born August 11, 1932) is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet. Arrabal was born in Melilla, Spain, but settled in France in 1955; he describes himself as "desterrado", or "half-expatriate, half-exiled".
Arrabal has directed seven full-length feature films; he has published more than 100 plays, 14 novels, 800 poetry collections, chapbooks, and artist's books; several essays, and his notorious "Letter to General Franco" during the dictator's lifetime. His complete plays have been published in a number of languages, in a two-volume edition totaling over two thousand pages. The New York Times theatre critic Mel Gussow has called Arrabal the last survivor among the "three avatars of modernism".
Arrabal's theatre is a wild, brutal, cacophonous, and joyously provocative world. It is a dramatic carnival in which the carcass of our 'advanced' civilizations is barbecued over the spits of a permanent revolution. He is the artistic heir of Kafka's lucidity and Jarry's humor; in his violence, Arrabal is related to Sade and Artaud. Yet he is doubtless the only writer to have pushed derision as far as he did. Deeply political and merrily playful, both revolutionary and bohemian, his work is the syndrome of our century of barbed wire and Gulags, a manner of finding a reprieve.
Fernando arrabal a multifacetted artist
Fernando Arrabal (Terán is his second family name) is son of the painter Fernando Arrabal Ruiz and Carmen Terán González. On July 17, 1936, when insurrections within the military were staged against the constitutional government of the five-year-old Second Spanish Republic, launching the Spanish Civil War, Fernando Arrabal’s father remained faithful to the Republic. As a result, he was sentenced to death for mutiny. His sentence was later commuted to thirty years’ imprisonment. Fernando Arrabal Senior was transferred between prisons, from Santi Espiritu in Melilla to Monte Hacho in Ceuta, where he attempted suicide, as well as Ciudad Rodrigo and Burgos. Finally, on December 4, 1941, he was sent to the Burgos Hospital, on the pretext of being mentally ill. Later research has implied that he feigned psychological illness in order to be transferred to a lower security prison. On December 29, 1941, Fernando Arrabal Senior escaped from the hospital in his pyjamas, despite three feet of snow covering the countryside. He was never seen again, despite extensive researches carried out years later.
His son Fernando Arrabal has written: “Without trying to compare what is incomparable, when I confront these twilight episodes (and quite often without any logical connection), I often think of that scapegoat, my father. The day on which the Uncivil War began, he was locked up by his “compassionate companions” in the flag room of the Melilla military barracks. He was meant to think carefully, since he risked a death sentence for mutiny if he did not join them in their insurrection (alzamiento). After an hour, Lieutenant Fernando Arrabal summoned his ex-comrades – already! – to inform them that he had pondered long enough. Today, because of this precedent, must I serve as witness, example, or symbol, as he did, of the most fundamental occurrences? I, who am a mere exile. If I am taken away from my beloved numerics, everything around me leads to over-the-counter confusion and disorder. I have no wish to be a scapegoat like my father, I only ask to die while still living, whenever Pan so wishes.”
Meanwhile, in 1936, Arrabal’s mother returned to Ciudad Rodrigo with little Fernando, and soon found a job at Burgos, then the capitol of the Nationalists and headquarters of General Franco’s government. In 1937 Fernando was enrolled in a local Catholic school until 1940, when after the end of the Civil War, his mother moved again, to Madrid.
In 1941, Arrabal was awarded the national prize for gifted children. He continued his studies at Las Escuelas Pías de San Antón, a church school whose distinguished pupils over the years also included Victor Hugo and Jacinto Benavente y Martínez. Later Arrabal also studied at another distinguished Madrid establishment, Colegio Padres Escolapios De Getafe. An avid reader, young Arrabal was also eager to experience life.
In 1947, when his mother ordered him to attend preparatory classes for entrance to the Academia General Militar, Arrabal reacted by playing hooky. As a result, in 1949 he was sent to Tolosa (Gipuzkoa) where he studied business at the Escuela Teórico-Práctica de la Industria y el Comercio del Papel. By 1950, he began to write several plays which have remained unpublished.
In 1951, Arrabal began work in the paper industry at la Papelera Española. He moved to Valencia where he passed his bachillerato, the first non-compulsory educational option in Spain for those wishing to go on to university. He later moved to Madrid, where he began legal studies. During these years he frequented the venerable cultural institution Ateneo de Madrid as well as poets from the Postismo school, while polishing his early play Picnic (then titled The Soldiers) and wrote El triciclo (at first titled Men with a Tricycle).
In 1954 Arrabal hitchhiked to Paris in order to attend a performance of Brecht’s Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder given by the touring Berliner Ensemble. in Madrid later that year he would meet Luce Moreau, who became his wife. In 1955 he was awarded a three months’ scholarship to study in Paris, during which time he lived at the Colegio de España at the Cité Universitaire. At this time he suffered a serious relapse of tuberculosis. He always considered this ailment as a "lucky mishap" which allowed him to move permanently to his "veritable homeland, that of Kundera and Vives, Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Picasso: exile."
Arrabal is often considered as anti-franquist and anti-communist, instead expressing an anarchist trend in cultural production. Actually, he appeared to be in good relationship with the Communist Party of Spain during his exile. A breaking off seems to have occurred in 1977 for reasons close to his professional activity. In particular, a conflict concerning the performance of his play The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria in Barcelona, involving artists reputed to be close to the Communist Party, seems to have been at the origin of the rupture.
Although he is one of the most controversial writers of his time, Arrabal’s work has been recognized throughout the world, with honors including the Grand Prize for Theatre of the Académie Française, the Premio Mariano de Cavia for journalism, the Nabokov Prize for novel writing, the Espasa Prize for Essay Writing, and the World Theater Prize.
Fernando Arrabal (who has been awarded the Premio Pier Paolo Pasolini for his contributions to cinema) has written and directed seven feature-length films (released on DVD by Cult Epics and Wanda Films).
1971: Viva la muerte; a co-production of Isabel-Films (Paris) and S.A.T.P.E.C. (Tunis), starring Nuria Espert, Ivan Henriques, and Anouk Ferjac.
1973: J'irai comme un cheval fou (I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse); produced by the Société Générale de Production – Babylone Films, starring Emmanuelle Riva, Hachemi Marzouk, and George Shannon.
1975: L'arbre de Guernica (The Guernica Tree); produced by C.V.C. Communication, Federico Mueller, and Harry N. Blum; starring Mariangela Melato and Ron Faber.
1982: The Emperor of Peru (also known as Pacific Odyssey); produced by Babylone Films, starring Mickey Rooney and Monique Leclerc.
1983: Le cimetière des voitures (The Automobile Graveyard); a TV film, co-production of Antenne 2 and Babylone Films, starring Alain Bashung and Juliette Berto.
1992: Adieu, Babylone! (Farewell, Babylon!); a production of Antenne 2-Cinecim, starring Lélia Fischer and Spike Lee.
1998: Jorge Luis Borges: Una vida de poesía (Borges, a Life in Poetry); a production of Alphaville/Spirali (Italy), starring Lélia Fischer and Alessandro Atti.
In 2005 a 3-DVD box set of Arrabal’s most renowned films was released by Cult Epics including Viva la muerte, I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse, and The Guernica Tree.
Several of Fernando Arrabal’s plays have been adapted for the screen, including Le grand cérémonial (directed by Pierre-Alain Jolivet); El triciclo (directed by Luis Argueta); El ladrón de sueños (directed by Arroyo), Pique-nique (directed by Louis Sénéchal), Guernica (directed by Peter Lilienthal), and Fando y Lis (directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky).
"'Viva la muerte' is an absolute masterpiece, one of the most astonishing I have seen in my lifetime" (André Pieyre de Mandiargues); "Arrabal is ferociously original" (John Parrack, Rolling Stone); "An audacious, paroxistic, and artistically successful work" (Amos Vogel, Village Voice); "I prefer Arrabal to Fellini or Ingmar Bergman... he is to cinema what Rimbaud is to poetry." (Raymond-Léopold Bruckberger, Le Monde)
1978: Sang et or (Blood and Gold); an Antenne 2 production, starring Edgar Rock and Joshua Watsky.
1990: Échecs et Mythe (Chess and Myth); an Antenne 2 production, starring Joël Lautier, Roland Topor, Julie Delpy, and Gabriel Matzneff.
On February 13, 2009, Arrabal’s opera “Faustbal” to music by Leonardo Balada will have its world premiere at the Teatro Real de Madrid, staged by the Comediants of Barcelona. Arrabal explains: “Faustbal is a woman who, in the third millennium, is the reincarnation of Alfred Jarry’s Doctor Faustroll, a new doctor Faust who asks God and Lucifer for words and prayers so that love and charity might be unified. Nothing can satisfy the hurricane of her scientific curiosity, nor calm the storms of her desires. A genius, very beautiful, and enriched by her transports and transfigurations, she vows a torrid love for her Amazon. She leaps between galaxies while the war to end all civilization rages, and moves through space at supersonic speed. Confronting her, Margarito, supreme leader of the armed forces, dons the armor of brutal, electronic repression. He is madly in love with Faustbal under the sky’s cupola. He tries to possess her through the torrent of his tower, employing the services of Mephistopheles himself. Jesús López Cobos, music director of the Teatro Real de Madrid, will conduct the world premiere, which will be sung by sopranos Ana Ibarra and María Rodríguez. The mezzo-soprano Cecilia Diaz will sing the role of the Amazon, while tenors Gerhard Siegel and Eduardo Santamaría will be the two Margaritos, bass Stefano Palatchi will perform the role of God, and baritones Tomas Tomasson and Lauri Vasar will be Mephistopheles.”
Four other operas with librettos by Arrabal have been staged, and the author describes them as “always having been as complex, yet suffering from as few complexes, as did Faustroll”.
Picknick im Felde, with music by Constantinos Stylianou.
Guernica, with music by Ostfiend Busing.
In October 1985, Arrabal made his debut as an opera stage director at the Opéra Royal de Belgique, where he directed Falla’s “La vida breve” and Granados’s “Goyescas” “Of course,” Arrabal comments, “under my direction the onstage chorus was nude, or to be more precise, panically covered with clay.”
In 1994 Chamber Made Opera produced the opera 'The Two Executioners'. Libretto by Douglas Horton and Music by David Chesworth. It ran for two seasons in Melbourne Australia 1994 and 1996 at the Matlhouse Theatre. "Easily the most impressive and memorable piece of music theatre in 1994..." The Independent Monthly. Australia.
Baal Babylone (1959) (Baal Babylon, ed. Grove Press, New York, 1960; ed. Luchterhand, Berlin, 1960; ed. Lerici, Milan, 1960; Ed. De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1972).
L'enterrement de la sardine, ed. Julliard, 1961 (The Burial of the Sardine, ed. Calder and Boyars, London, 1966; El entierro de la sardina, Barcelona, Destino, 1984).
Fêtes et rites de la confusion, ed. Alfaguara, Madrid, Barcelona, 1966. (Riten und Feste der Konfusion, ed. Joseph Melzer, Stuttgart, 1969).
La Tour prends garde, ed. Grasset, Paris 1983. (La torre herida por el rayo, Barcelona, Destino, 1983; Destino libro, 1984; Círculo de Lectores, 1984; A Torre ferida pelo Raio, ed. Inquirito, Lisboa, 1982; Hohe Türme trifft der Blitz, ed. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Colonia, 1986; The Tower Struck by Lightning, ed. Viking, New York, 1988).
La Reverdie, ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris, 1985.
La vierge rouge, ed. Acropole, Paris, 1986 (La virgen roja, Barcelona, Seix Barral, 1987; A Virgen Vermelha, ed. Dom Quixote, Lisboa, 1987; A Virgen Vermelha, ed. Nova Frontera, Botafogo, 1988; Die rote Jungfrau, ed. Steidl, Göttingen, 1990; The Red Virgin, Penguin Books, New York, London, 1993).
La fille de King-Kong ed. Acropole, Paris, 1988 (La hija de King Kong, Barcelona, Seix Barral, 1988.
L' extravagante croisade d'un castrat amoureux, ed. Ramsay, Paris, 1989 (La extravagante cruzada de un castrado enamorado, Barcelona, Seix Barral, 1990).
La tueuse du jardin d'hiver, ed. Écriture, Paris, 1994.
2008 Clitoris, poem with 56 translations (including the Czech version by Milan Kundera).
His books include:
1963: La pierre de la folie (Ed. Julliard, Paris).
1965: Cent sonnets (Ed. El Ultimo Parnaso, Saragossa).
1985: Humbles paradis (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
1993: Liberté couleur de femme ou Adieu Babylone, Poèmes cinématographiques (Ed. Rougerie, Mortemart).
Arrabalesques – Lettres à Julius Baltazar (Ed. Rougerie, Mortemart).
1997: Diez poemas pánicos y un cuento (Ed. Caja Sur y Rute, Córdoba).
In 2015, some of his poems has been adapted on music by artistic band Seagoat Bones on the etude album Phonèmes.
Arrabal has published over one hundred plays in nineteen volumes, performed around the world. His plays include, with selected translations noted:
Le toit (unpublished).
Le char de foin (unpublished).
La blessure incurable (unpublished).
Oraison (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (Plays, Vol. 1. (Orison, etc. Trad. de Barbara Wright, London, Calder and Boyars, 1962) (Orazione, etc., ed. Lerici, Milan, 1962).
Les deux bourreaux (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (The two executioners, tr. Richard Howard, New York, Grove Press, 1960) (Plays, Vol. 1. The Two Executioners, etc., tr. Barbara Wright, London, Calder and Boyars, 1962) (I due Carnefici, etc., ed. Lerici, Milan, 1962).
Fando et Lis (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (Plays, Vol. 1. (Fando and Lis, etc.) tr. Barbara Wright, London, Calder and Boyars, 1962).
Le cimetière des voitures (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (The Automobile Graveyard, tr. de Richard Howard, N. Y. Grove Press, 1960). (Plays, Vol. 1. The Car Cemetery, etc.). tr. Barbara Wright, London, Calder and Boyars, 1962) (Automobil Kirkegaarden, Ed. Arena, Copenhagen, 1964).
Guernica (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (Plays, Vol 2. (Guernica, etc., tr. Barbara Wright. London, Calder and Boyars, 1967).
Le labyrinthe (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (Plays, Vol 2. The Labyrinth, etc., tr. Barbara Wright. London, Calder and Boyars, 1967).
Le tricycle (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (Plays, Vol 2., The Tricycle, etc. tr. Barbara Wright. London, Calder and Boyars, 1967) (The Tricycle. Tr. David Herzberger, Modern International Drama, 9.2., 1976, 65–91).
Pique-nique en campagne (Ed. Julliard, Paris). (Picnic on the Battlefield, tr. James Hewitt, Evergreen Review 4.15, 1960, 76–90) (Pic-nic, etc. ed. Lerici, Milan, 1962) (Plays, Vol 2., Picnic on the Battlefield, etc., tr. Barbara Wright. London, Calder and Boyars, 1967).
La bicyclette du condamné (Ed. Julliard, Paris) (Plays, Vol 2.,The Condemned Man's Bicycle, etc., tr. Barbara Wright. London, Calder and Boyars, 1967).
Le grand cérémonial (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (Plays, Vol. 3, The Grand Ceremonial, etc., tr. Jean Benedetti,. London: Calder and Boyars, 1970).
Cérémonie pour un noir assassiné (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Cérémonie pour une chèvre et un nuage (Ed. Daily Bul).
Le couronnement (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Concert dans un oeuf (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
L'architecte et l'empereur d'Assyrie (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (De Architekt en de Keiser van Assyrië, ed. Uitgeverij de Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1969) (Plays, Vol. 3, The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria, tr. Jean Benedetti, London, Calder and Boyars, 1970) (The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria, tr. Everard d'Harnoncourt and Adele Shank. New York: Grove Press, 1969) (Der Architekt und der Kaiser von Assyrien, ed. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Berlin, 1971) (O Arquitecto e o Imperador da Assiria, ed. Desta, Sao-Paulo, 1976)
Les amours impossibles (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (Impossible Lovers, etc., tr. Bettina Knapp, The Drama Review 13, 1968, 71–86).
Les quatre cubes (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
La communion solennelle (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (First Communion, tr. Michel Benedikt, Modern Spanish Theatre, pp. 309–317. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968) (Solemn Communion, etc., tr. Bettina Knapp, The Drama Review 13, 1968, 71–86) (Plays, Vol. 3, The Solemn Communion, etc., tr. John Calder. London: Calder and Boyars, 1970).
Streap-tease de la jalousie (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (Striptease of Jealousy, etc., tr. Bettina Knapp, The Drama Review 13, 1968, 71–86).
La jeunesse illustrée (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Dieu est-il devenu fou? (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Le jardin des délices (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (Garden of Delights, tr. Helen Gary Bishop and Tom Bishop, New York, Grove Press, 1974).
Bestialité érotique (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Une tortue nommée Dostoïevski (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Théâtre choisi (4 volumes en japonais) (Ed. Shichosha, Tokyo).
...Et ils passèrent des menottes aux fleurs (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris) (And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers, tr. Charles Marowitz, New York, Grove Press, 1973).
L'aurore rouge et noire (Groupuscule de mon coeur; Tous les parfums d'Arabie; Sous les pavés la plage; Les fillettes) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Le lai de Barrabas (Le couronnement) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Happening at the Théâtre Plaisance in Paris in February (Grand-Guignol).
Ars Amandi (opéra "Panique") (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Dieu tenté par les mathématiques (opéra "Panique") (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Le ciel et la merde (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
La grande revue du XXe siècle (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Jeunes barbares d'aujourd'hui (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
La guerre de mille ans (Bella Ciao) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Sur le fil ou la ballade du train fantôme (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
La tour de Babel (Oyez Patria mi affliccion) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
La marche royale (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Une orange sur le mont de Vénus (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
La gloire en images (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Vole-moi un petit milliard (Théâtre Bouffe) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Le pastaga des loufs ou Ouverture Orang-outan (Théâtre Bouffe) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
Punk et punk et colégram (Théâtre Bouffe) (Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris).
L'opéra de la Bastille (opéra écrit pour le bicentenaire de la Révolution française).
Oeuvres Tome I (théâtre, poésie, roman) (Ed. Spirali-Vel, Milan).
Lully (Ed. Actes Sud).
Entends la nuit douce qui marche (Ed. Actes Sud).
Le fou rire des liliputiens (Ed. Actes Sud).
Comme un lis entre les épines (Ed. Actes Sud).
Théâtre complet (7 volumes en langue coréenne) (Ed. Coréenne, Séoul).
Lettre d'amour (Ed. Actes Sud).
Comme un supplice chinois (Ed. Actes Sud).
Théâtre complet (2 volumes en langue espagnole) (Ed. Espasa, Madrid).
For a list of performances, see Arrabal’s official website.
Fernando Arrabal has often described himself as a “frustrated painter”. He has produced around fifty canvases, a hundred or so drawings and collages, which have been exhibited in museums such as the Paris Art Center, Musée de Bayeux and The Villa San Carlo Borromeo Art Museum, Milano.
His approach to painting consists of close collaboration with artists who produce large-format oils based on detailed sketches which he provides.
In 1962, his first such painting was chosen for reproduction in the noted art publication, “La Brèche: Action Surréaliste Revue” by its founding editor, André Breton.
Currently Fernando Arrabal is collaborating with the sculptor/video artist Christèle Jacob, with whom he has created a dozen videos and photomontage series, including “Les artilleurs des échecs et de la littérature” (The artillery corps of chess and literature), inspired by an artwork by Henri Rousseau (1909).