A spacious manor house was the cradle of writer of the generation of 27. Today, the house is still owned by the family. Alejandro would choose the literary pseudonym Casona, evoking that house where his parents worked as teachers during his childhood.
He left Asturias behind to live in Palencia and Murcia, later going to Madrid to study at the Escuela Normal de Magisterio, and achieving the title of teacher of first normal education, section of letters in 1929. In the capital he would publish his first book, «El pilgrim with the flowery beard ”, by his friend Alfonso Hernández-Catá, director of the Mundo Latino publishing house.
He returned to Oviedo, in February 1931, already married to a fellow student Rosalía Martín Bravo. In 1930 his only daughter, Marta Isabel, had already been born.
Return to Madrid with the title of inspector of education and would take over the People's Theater commissioned by Manuel Bartolomé Cossío, president of the Board of Pedagogical Missions created under the auspices of the Second Spanish Republic. With this group he would travel a large part of deep Spain between 1932 and 1935, adapting short pieces of the Spanish classical theater (which would make up his "Jovial Retablo") and works of universal literature, aimed at both adults and children and young people. Following that line would obtain the National Prize of Literature by "Flower of legends", a set of fourteen narratives in which it collects myths and legends from the most diverse written traditions (Indian, Arabic, Greek, German, Scandinavian, etc.) with the intention of bringing them closer to children and young people.
Turned to one of the most praised authors of republican SpainAt the beginning of the Civil War he fled through Gijón and from there to Santander, San Sebastián and Irún. Months later, already in 1937, he would go to France. It began a tour of America: the company traveled through Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina from 1937 to 1939. That year established his residence in Buenos Aires, where he continues to write and collaborate with various publications and comes into contact with film and radio, adapting scripts for both media. He also has time to travel, both in America and Europe, attending performances of his works.
One of his masterpieces: "The House of Seven Balconies" raised the curtain for the first time in 1957.
Casona officially returned to Spain in 1962. He witnessed the premiere in Madrid of "La dama del alba" on April 22 at the Teatro Bellas Artes, which is received by the public with unanimous enthusiasm, which is repeated with the rest of his works " American ”.
Casona would die in Madrid in 1965, suffering from heart problems, after a surgical operation to try to solve them.
** The house cannot be visited as it is private property, but we can go to the Besullo Visitor Interpretation Center.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com