Echegaray, José(hōsā` āchāgärī`), 1832–1916, Spanish dramatist, mathematician, physicist, economist, and politician. He taught science, practiced engineering, and devoted his later life to economics and politics, holding several cabinet posts. From 1874 to 1905, Echegaray wrote 68 plays, becoming the leading Spanish playwright of his day. He shared the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature with Frédéric Mistral. Among his best-known works are O locura o santidad (1876, tr. Folly or Saintliness, 1895) and El gran Galeoto (1881, tr. The Great Galeoto, 1895). Echegaray's early plays were chiefly romantic; as the realistic problem play came into vogue, however, he adapted his work to the prevailing style, and his melodramatic theater became satiric and sensational in tone.
Born Apr. 19, 1832, in Madrid; died there Sept. 16, 1916. Spanish dramatist.
Echegaray was a professor of mathematics and physics from 1854 to 1868. His early plays, for example, In the Hilt of the Sword (1875) and In the Bosom of Death (1879), are original reinterpretations of romanticism in Spanish dramaturgy. His later works, realistic plays about contemporary life, portray the pettiness and hypocrisy of bourgeois society; they include Madman or Saint (1877; Russian translation, 1891) and The Great Galeoto (1881; Russian translation, 1889). In these works, Echegaray established the principles of naturalistic drama. The influence of Ibsen is evident in his psychological plays The Son of Don Juan (1892) and The Senseless God (1900; Russian translation, 1915).
Echegaray received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1904.
WORKSTeatro escogido, 5th ed. Foreword by A. Z. Roz. Madrid, 1964.
REFERENCESAntóndel Olmet, L., and A. García Carrafa. Los grandes españoles: Echegaray. Madrid, 1912.
Young, J. R. José Echegaray: A Study of His Dramatic Technique. Urbana, 111., 1936.
Martinez Olmedilla, A. José Echegaray. Madrid, 1964.