Capmany, Maria Aurèlia

Capmany, Maria Aurèlia
b. 1918, Barcelona; d. 1991, Barcelona
   Writer
   One of the most important women writers in twentieth-century Catalonia, Maria-Aurèlia Capmany published novels, plays and translations, particularly of contemporary French and Italian novelists. She was an essayist, and was involved in journalism, television and cultural politics. Her writings on feminism are especially important, and in the late 1970s she wrote a 45- part radio serial on the history of Catalonia. Capmany was an avid reader of fiction, and was especially influenced by Woolf, Joyce, Hemingway and Faulkner, as well as by Sartrean existentialism. Her own fiction highlights the role of history in the destiny of the individual, and evokes the way in which time and memory constantly change everything. Her best-known novel is Un lloc entre els morts (A Place Among the Dead), which was awarded the Sant Jordi Prize in 1968.
   Capmany's theatrical career dates from the late 1950s, when Tu i l'hipòcrita (You and the Hypocrite) was commissioned by the Agrupació Dramàtica de Barcelona (ADB) and performed at the Romea Theatre in Barcelona in 1959. In 1960 Capmany and Ricard Salvat founded the Escola d'Art Dramatic Adrià Gual (EADAG), which became the major Catalan Brechtian centre. The imprint of epic theatre is evident in Capmany's Vent de garbí i una mica de por (South-West Wind and a Little Bit of Fear), which was performed by EADAG in 1965. Preguntes i respostes sobre la vida i la mort de Francesc Layret, advocat dels obrers de Catalunya (Questions and Answers on the Life and Death of Francesc Layret, Lawyer of the Workers of Catalonia), written by Capmany in collaboration with Xavier Romeu, is one of the best examples of documentary theatre in Catalonia. It was performed clandestinely in 1970. In 1971, Capmany's version of the medieval Catalan classic Tirant lo blanc was performed in Valencia, the year in which the Grup d'Estudis Teatrals d'Horta (a Barcelona-based theatre group) performed what is probably her most important work, the historical drama L'ombra de l'escorpí (The Shadow of the Scorpion).
   Further reading
   - Various (1992) Maria Aurèlia Capmany i Farnés (1918-1991), Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona (commemorative volume).
   DAVID GEORGE

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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