María Lejárraga, the writer that Walt Disney stole

María Lejárraga (San Millán de la Cogolla, La Rioja, 1874 – Buenos Aires, 1974) was one of those brilliant and pioneering women of the Silver Age of Spanish literature. Writer, essayist, MP, teacher, editor, translator and avowed feminist, she struggled to exercise her vocation; She was a friend of Juan Ramon Jimenez, Manuel de Falla or Federico García Lorca and lived in the forefront of important events of the last century: the literary Madrid of the Twenties, the Paris of the Belle Époque, the political struggle of women during the Second Republic, exile after the Civil War, the occupation of France by the Nazis or the glamor of Hollywood’s golden age, where he was able to premiere his works on Broadway…under a pseudonym, of course.

All that said, the name we read on the covers is that of her husband: Gregorio Martínez Sierra, who received praise inthe premieres of “Canción de Cuna” or “El amor brujo” andThe Triangular Hat” while the author and librettist waited at home. When she married Gregorio, she decided to hide behind his name and the two formed one of the most prolific artistic couples of the time. He was responsible for the direction of the works and who won the glory of the premieres. Maria took on the role of shadow. He was so dependent on her that rehearsals stopped because Maria was writing the last act of the play signed by him. Everyone knew that Lejárraga was her successful husband’s “negro”, so much so that Gregorio came to deliver the feminist speeches his wife wrote for him.

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