Antonio Gala

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Antonio Gala
Gala in 1989
Gala in 1989
BornAntonio Gala Velasco
(1930-10-02)2 October 1930
Brazatortas, Spain
Died28 May 2023(2023-05-28) (aged 92)
Córdoba, Spain
  • Poet
  • playwright
  • novelist
  • writer

Antonio Gala Velasco (2 October 1930 – 28 May 2023) was a Spanish poet, playwright, novelist, and writer.

Life and career[edit]

Antonio Ángel Custodio Gala y Velasco was born on 2 October 1930[1][2] in Brazatortas, Ciudad Real (Castile-La Mancha), although he moved very soon to Córdoba[3] and is widely considered an Andalusian.[4][5][6][7]

A graduate in law, philosophy, politics, and economics, he wrote in a wide variety of genres, including journalism,[3] short stories, essays and television scripts. He was awarded several prizes, not only within the field of poetry but also for his contributions to theatre and opera.[8]

Gala's work is more appreciated by his readership than by the critics, who find it hard to classify due to its particular blend of lyricism and epic. Gala's literature is marked by historic issues, which are used more to lighten the present than to deepen in the past.[9][10][7]

Among his most successful plays are Los verdes campos del Edén (The Green Fields of Eden, National Theatre Prize "Calderón de la Barca" 1963), Anillos para una dama (Rings for a Lady, 1973), ¿Por qué corres, Ulises? (Why do you run, Ulysses?, 1975), Petra Regalada (1980),[3] Samarkanda (1985),[11] Carmen, Carmen (1988)[12] and La truhana (The rogue, 1992).[13]

Among his collections of poetry are Sonetos de La Zubia (La Zubia Sonets),[14] Poemas de amor (Love Poems), Testamento Andaluz (Andalusian Will), Enemigo íntimo (Intimate Enemy, Adonais Prize 1959), and El Águila Bicéfala (Two-Headed Eagle, 1994).[8][3][15]

Gala started to write novels late in life, but he obtained an overwhelming success with El manuscrito carmesí (The Crimson Manuscript, Planeta Prize 1990), La regla de tres (The Rule of Three, 1996) and La pasión turca (Turkish Passion, 1993), adapted for the cinema by Spanish director Vicente Aranda and Más allá del Jardín (Beyond the Garden, 1995),[15][3] adapted by Pedro Olea.[16]

He was also the founder of the Antonio Gala Foundation in the city of Córdoba, Spain.[17][15]

Gala died in Córdoba on 28 May 2023, at age 92.[3]

Political views[edit]

During the Spanish transition to democracy (1976 to the early 1980s) Gala publicly defended leftist political viewpoints while not linked to a specific political party. In 1978 he called for a statute of autonomy for Andalusia.[18]

In 1981 he was named president of the Spanish–Arab Friendship Association, and fulfilled this role for the first years of existence of this association.[3][19]

Gala was the president of the civic platform that defended the "no" to Spain's permanence in NATO, in the 1986 referendum.[20] In July 2014, during Israel's military operation in Gaza, Gala was accused of antisemitism because of an article published in the newspaper El Mundo with the following quote:

No matter what the Jews call their civil or military leaders, they end up creating problems for everyone: it is ancient history. Now it is Gaza's turn to suffer their abuses [...] It's not strange that they have been so frequently expelled. What is surprising, is that they persist. Either they are not good, or someone is poisoning them. I am not a racist.[21]

The Comunidad Judía de Madrid (Jewish Community of Madrid) filed a lawsuit against him for discrimination, incitement to hatred and insult to the feelings of the members of a religious community and slander.[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (28 May 2023). "Antonio Gala, la pasión cordobesa por la palabra en todas sus formas". (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  2. ^ "2 de octubre de 1930: Nace Antonio Gala". IMER (in Spanish). 2 October 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hermoso, Borja (28 May 2023). "Muere Antonio Gala a los 92 años, el regreso del escritor a los verdes campos del Edén". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Antonio Gala, the best guide to Cordoba". Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Remembering Antonio Gala: Spain Bids Farewell to an Iconic and Provocative Writer". Softonic. 29 May 2023. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  6. ^ "The Spanish writer and theater author Antonio Gala dies at 92 – Jose A Martin". United States Press Agency News (USPA News) (in German). Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  7. ^ a b "World Theatre Day – International Theatre Institute ITI". Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Antonio Gala". Planeta de Libros (in European Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Antonio Gala: Biography of a Literary Master". Exploring your mind. 5 November 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  10. ^ González-Allende, Iker (2011). "Gala, Antonio (1936– )" (PDF). World Literature in Spanish: An Encyclopedia. 2: G-Q: 405 – via University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
  11. ^ Vicario, Miguel Medina (2003). Veinticinco años de teatro español, 1973–2000 (in Spanish). Editorial Fundamentos. p. 229. ISBN 978-84-245-0948-4.
  12. ^ Torres, Rosana (5 October 1988). "Antonio Gala define 'Carmen Carmen' como "un canto a la alegría"". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  13. ^ Padilla Mangas, Ana (1993). ""La Truhana": un hito hacia la carnavalización en el teatro de Antonio Gala". Boletín de la Real Academia de Córdoba 124, 101–115 (1993).
  14. ^ Plaza González, Pedro J. (2022). "Las imágenes que no cesan: Símbolos naturales comunes entre Miguel Hernández y Antonio Gala. Confluencias de "El rayo que no cesa" y "Sonetos de la Zubia"". Poéticas: Revista de Estudios Literarios (15): 119–169. ISSN 2445-4257.
  15. ^ a b c "La subdelegada del Gobierno en Córdoba lamenta la muerte de Gala, "un referente inequívoco de las letras hispanas"". Europa Press. 28 May 2023. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  16. ^ Holland, Jonathan (16 February 1997). "Beyond the Garden". Variety. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  17. ^ Córdoba, El Día de (29 May 2023). "La Fundación Antonio Gala, su mejor obra". El Día de Córdoba (in European Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Apertura del Congreso de Cultura Andaluza". El País. 4 April 1978.
  19. ^ "Inicio". Asociación de Amistad Hispano Arabe (in European Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  20. ^ Françoise Dubosquet Lairys, "Intelectual y prensa: Antonio Gala y El Independiente", Instituto Cervantes, accessed 9-April-2013.
  21. ^ Gala, Antonio (24 July 2014). "¿Los elegidos?" [The chosen ones?]. El Mundo (in European Spanish).
  22. ^ "La Comunidad Judía se querella contra Antonio Gala por racista y antisemita" [The Jewish Community sues Antonio Gala for racism and anti-Semitism]. Libertad Digital (in European Spanish). 25 July 2014.
  23. ^ "UPyD llevará a la Eurocámara la querella contra Gala de la Comunidad Judía" [UPyD to take the Jewish Community's complaint against Gala to the European Court]. La Vanguardia (in European Spanish). 26 July 2014.

External links[edit]