When coming to the world, a August 12, 1866, in Madrid convulso of the time, it was difficult to predict that the child, the youngest of the three children of the renowned pediatrician Mariano Benavente, would end up being the second Spanish to get a Noble Prize for Literature.

It was in 1922, a few years before, in 1904, José Echegaray had been the first to achieve it. The history of literature, not always just, has engulfed many authors, and Echegaray has been relegated, despite the award, to the background. Fortunately, this has not been the case Jacinto Benavente, that son of a doctor who wrote some of his best lines for the theater.

Benavente studied law at the Central University of Madrid, fulfilling the wishes of his father, although, upon his death, he abandoned them to devote himself to travel -especially for France and Russia- and, above all, he began to unleash his great passion: Literature.

For some time, however, it was circus businessman and, even, it has been written that at that time he drank the winds by an English trapeze artist named Bella Geraldine – the biographies of many well-known characters almost always include some surprising chapter.

His first works were a book of poems, Verses, a storybook, Villains, and a work of criticism, Letters from women, all published in 1893. Four years later, he premiered his first play, The alien nestwhat was Crushed by criticism. In fact, only Azorín, he valued it.

This bumpy debut in the theater, convinced Benavente that the situation of the Spanish scene of the time advised leaning for works closer to the taste of the general public instead of committing to a style, perhaps more demanding, but inevitably minority and misunderstood.

The great contribution of Jacinto Benavente is that, despite everything, was able to modernize the theater that was made in Spain. Names like D'Annunzio, Wilde, Ibsen and Bernard Shaw, They triumphed on the stages of half Europe, and their gateway to the peninsula was through their influences on the works of the Madrid-born author.

His theater breathes variety, is a full gallery of human types. He tackled almost all genres: tragedy, comedy, drama, sainete. And he also dared with all kinds of environments: the rural and the urban, the commoner and the aristocrat.

All of them, described from a sharp social satire, with live and dynamic dialogues. Works as Saturday night (1903), scenic novel impregnated with poetry; The vested interests (1907), skilful combination of satire and humor; o Señora Ama (1908) and La Malquerida (1913), both rural drama, are just some examples of their ability to jump from one style to another.

With barely thirty years old he was already a well-known author and, after fighting with Valle-Inclán, another one of the greats of the Spanish theater of the time, in the Café Madrid gathering, formed his own at the Cervecería Inglesa de la Carrera de San Jerónimo. Member of the Royal Spanish Academy, he also got involved in politics – he held a seat in the Congress of Deputies in 1918 – and in 1933 he co-founded the Association of Friends of the Soviet Union.

Man of strong and controversial personality, was able to ingratiate himself with the Popular Front Government during the Civil war, who honored him on several occasions. And precisely because of this, after the Franco victory, his proximity to the Republican side during the armed confrontation led him to be observed with magnifying glass by the dictatorship.

It even went so far as to allow the staging of his works but without indicating that they were his. He happened to be, simply, «the author of La Malquerida».

Over time, and after that Benavente It will be seen in the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, in the great demonstration in favor of the 1947 regime, Francoist authorities gave a surprising twist to his vision of the Nobel Prize who became "our illustrious theatrical author." As he says Crispin, the protagonist of Vested interests, "in life more important than creating affections is to create interests"

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