René Marqués

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René Marqués was an important Puerto Rican playwright. He was born on October 4, 1919 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  He died on March 22, 1979 in San Juan.  Critics say he is the most important Puerto Rican playwright of the 20th Century.[1]

Life[change | change source]

He studied at the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. He earned a degree in agronomy in 1942. He studied drama at the University of Madrid in 1946 and Columbia University in New York in 1949. Family. He married Serena Velasco in 1942. They divorced in 1957. He had two sons and one daughter.[2]

He had many jobs. He worked as an agronomist for the Department of Agriculture (1943-46). He managed a department store from 1946 to 1949. He was also a college teacher and a journalist in San Juan in the 1950s. He founded the Experimental Theater of the Atheneum in 1951.

He won a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1949.[3] He also won many literary prizes in Puerto Rico.[2]

Theatrical works[change | change source]

He wrote theater plays, short stories, and essays.   His most famous play is "The Oxcart (1956)" or "La Carreta" (which means "The Wagon").[4] It is the story of a Puerto Rican family who move from Puerto Rican countryside to New York City for a better life. The family has a hard time becoming like their neighbors. They go back home to live on a farm in Puerto Rico, but they find it is hard to go back to the way they were.[5]

In 1959, he published three plays in one book. The book was called Teatro ("Theater"). The first play was La muerte no entrará en palacio ("Death Will Not Enter the Palace"). This play was about a governor who betrays his ideals. The second play was called Un niño azul para esa sombra ("A Blue Child for That Shadow"). The third play was the most successful, Los soles truncos ("Maimed Suns"). Los soles truncos tells the story of three sisters who do not like modern life.[4]

He influenced later Puerto Rican playwrights, such as Luis Rafael Sanchez (author of Antigone), Pedro Pietri (author of The Masses are Asses), and Lin-Manuel Miranda (author of Hamilton). He influenced the Puerto Rican writer Giannina Braschi[6] (author of Yo-Yo Boing!).

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Gussow, Mel (1983-05-26). "Theater: 'The Oxcart,' by Puerto Rican Troupe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Marqués, René | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  3. TheBiography.us; TheBiography.us. "Biography of René Marqués (1919-1979)". thebiography.us. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Oxcart | work by Marqués". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  5. "The Oxcart (adapted/translated from Rene Marquez) | New Play Exchange". newplayexchange.org. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  6. Poets, philosophers, lovers: On the Writings of Giannina Braschi. Stavans, Ilan; O'Dwyer, Tess. Pittsburgh, Pa. 2020. pp. 5–10. ISBN 978-0-8229-4618-2. OCLC 1143649021.CS1 maint: others (link)