Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

Julio Alejandro [1906–1995]

Date of Birth: 27 Feb 1906 Huesca
Died: 21 Sep 1995 Jávea/ Spain (age 89)

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Poet, dramatist and screenwriter who returned to Spain in the 1940s, before settling in Mexico in the 1950s.

Time Table

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1906 Huesca
Born in Huesca.
1922 Enrols in the Naval Academy.
1924 Shanghai/ China
Travels to Shanghai as a midshipman.
1932 Publishes his first book of poems, La voz apasionada, with a prologue by Antonio Machado. Very few copies sold.
1932 Madrid/Spain
Enrols at the Universidad Central to study Philosophy and Letters. Taught by José Ortega y Gasset, José Gaos, Dámaso Alonso, Américo Castro, Xavier Zubiri, José Fernández Montesinos and others. Fellow students include Soledad Ortega, Luis Rosales, the Panero brothers, Luis Felipe Vivanco, Germán Bleiberg and other members of what becomes known as the Generation of 1936.
1934–1936 Back in the navy, he serves as right-hand man to José Giral (Minister of the Navy) and then Indalecio Prieto (Minister of Marine and Air forces). As a Republicanist, he is appalled by the armed forces' insurrection against the legitimate government. Wounded, he is flown to Toulouse, where he becomes a university lecturer.
1939 Lisbon/ Portugal
Manila/ Philippines
Manages to cross Spain to Lisbon. Boards a Japanese ship which takes him to Manila. After a brief period with the Franciscan monks, he starts to teach at the Universidad de Santo Tomás.
1940–1945 Mexico
San Diego/USA
Manila/ Philippines
Imprisoned by the Japanese in Manila, in terrible conditions. Granted a visa to the USA, washing dishes in exchange for his passage on board ship. Rejects US citizenship on arrival in San Diego and moves to Mexico.
1946 Buenos Aires
Santiago de Chile
Moves from Mexico to Santiago de Chile and then Buenos Aires, where he embarks for Spain.
1949 Madrid
Shanghai-San Francisco performed at the Teatro Lara.
1950 Madrid
Barriada performed at the María Guerrero theatre. The staging of the play was considered to be ahead of its time and was critically well-received.
1950 Madrid
Performance of El termómetro marca 40 by Catalina Bárcena's theatre company. It was a critical failure.
1951–1977 Mexico
Moves to Mexico, intending to stay for six months. Works as a teacher and writes screenplays, including a number for director Luis Buñuel: Abismos de pasión (1953 - from Wuthering Heights); Nazarín (1958); Viridiana (1961) and Tristana (1970).
1955 Mexico
Wins the Premio Ariel al Mejor Argumento Original for his screeplay, El gran autor, written in 1953, and the Premio Ariel a la Mejor Adaptación for Feliz año, amor mío (an adaptation of Stephan Zweig's Carta a una desconocida).
1985 Returns definitively to Spain.
1995 Jávea/ Spain
Dies in Jávea.
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Las adaptaciones de obras de teatro español en el cine y el influjo de éste en los dramaturgos
By Juan de Mata Moncho Aguirre. Contains information about a number of dramatists, including Julio Alejandro, and their activities in the cinema.
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