Biography (Critical Survey of Drama, Second Revised Edition)
Antonio Buero Vallejo was born to Francisco Buero, a military engineer, and Cruz Vallejo. He studied art at the San Fernando School of Fine Arts in Madrid and later served as a medical corpsman on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War. After six years as a political prisoner, he was released in 1947 and started to write plays. In 1949, he won Spain’s major drama award, the Lope de Vega Prize, for Story of a Staircase, which he had submitted anonymously. This prize guaranteed the play’s performance.
During the era in which Francisco Franco controlled Spain, Buero Vallejo refused to make ideological concessions despite government censorship of many of his works. From his first work, he continued to write plays throughout his lifetime, often winning awards. The esteem in which Buero Vallejo was held by writers and scholars of varying persuasions was evinced by his election, in 1971, to the Royal Spanish Academy. Buero Vallejo made several trips to the United States and lectured at major American universities in the 1960’s. In 1978, he was elected an honorary fellow of the Modern Language Association of America and was honored with a special session at its annual meeting. He was also an honorary fellow of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Society of Spanish and Spanish American Studies, and the Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid.
In 1994, a two-volume collection of his works appeared, and he...
(The entire section is 262 words.)
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Antonio Buero Vallejo was born September 29, 1916, in Guadalajara, Spain, just east of Madrid. Buero Vallejo’s father, a military engineer, owned a sizable collection of plays and drama journals. These inspired the young Buero Vallejo to stage his own plays in which he mimicked imaginary battles dressed, for example, as D’Artagnan of Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers (1844), sang old ballads, and read and recited dialogue. Buero Vallejo and his friends progressed into constructing elaborate sets of complete towns with wooden boxes as houses and ‘‘actors’’ made of cardboard. Shifting the props, they acted out legends of the wild west, stories of outer space travel, or fairy tales. But young Buero Vallejo wanted to be a painter, partially from an intense interest in the great Spanish painter, Diego Velazquez (1599–1660). At eighteen, Buero Vallejo enrolled in Madrid’s San Fernando School of Fine Arts. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Buero Vallejo ceased study to enlist with the Loyalists as a medic. At the war’s end, in 1939, he was sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted, then reduced to six years. At twenty-nine, in 1946, Buero Vallejo was freed. He made a living, though meager, selling his paintings, but eventually switched to theater. By 1949, he had written several plays and had won two important awards. His one-act play The Words in the Sand won the Friends of the Quinteros Award and his Story of a...
(The entire section is 494 words.)