Fernando Arrabal: Musings on Chess Today 01.11.2006 He is one of the most famous and prolific of Spanish playwrites, poet, novelist and director. According to a a Dictionary of Literature his theatre is "a wild, brutal, cacophonous, and joyously provocative world." Fernando Arrabal is also passionately interested in chess, and has sent us an essay on the game today. We publish it with reverence, as submitted. "ChessBase"
Fernando Arrabal is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet. He was born in 1932 in Melilla, Spain, but has been living in France since 1955. His father, an army officer, was sentenced to death at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War for being opposed to the right-wing military coup led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco. His sentence was commuted to hard labor for life.
Fernando Arrabal has directed seven full-length feature films, published over one hundred plays, fourteen novels, seven poetry collections, many essays, and his celebrated “Letter to General Franco” during the dictator’s lifetime. His complete plays have been published in a number of languages.
The Dictionary of Literatures in the French Language (Dictionnaire des littératures de langue française) writes: ‘’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.’’
Oil on canvas (116 x 88 cm)
By Fernando San Martín Félezafter a sketch by Fernando Arrabal, completed on October 6, 2006.
Seated: The chess champions Mikhail Tal (1936-1992), José Raúl Capablanca (1888-1942), Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941), Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900), and Bobby Fischer (b. 1943). Standing: Boris Spassky (b. 1937), the playwright Arrabal (b.1932), and Alexander Alekhine (1892–1946). On the right-hand side: Paul Morphy (1837-1884), François-André Philidor (1726-1795) and Ruy López de Segura (1530-1580). In photos on the left-hand side: Vasily Smyslov (b. 1921), Machgielis (Max) Euwe (1901–1981), Anatoli Karpov (b. 1951), Judit Polgár (b. 1976), Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984), and Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995). Click picture to enlarge.