Isidora Aguirre Biography

Isidora Aguirre Tupper (March 22, 1919 – February 25, 2011). Writer and Playwright of Chilean origin, recognized for her work of social subject, which has obtained numerous recognitions, both in the Americas and in Europe.


She is considered one of the most important figures of contemporary Chilean theater, as well as one of the authors of the generation that was the creator of the Experimental Theater of the University of Chile.

His more than forty works, cover different theatrical genres such as Comedy, Drama, Monologue, Farsa, Tragedy, as well as Novels and Tales. His work La Pergola de las Flores is considered by the literary critic “one of the milestones of the history of Chilean theater”, corresponding to the last decades of the twentieth century.

Early life

Isidora Aguirre Tupper was born on March 22, 1919, in the city of Santiago, Chile, in the marriage between Fernando Aguirre Errázuriz and María Tupper Huneeus, who was dedicated to painting. His first studies were in his hometown, where he attended the College Jeanne D’Arc.

She wrote her first story at the age of six, which was titled The Eyeglasses of Pepito, however, she would not write again until she was fifteen, when she collaborated in the children’s magazine Familia, at the request of the publisher Marta Brunet, who was friends with the mother of Isidora.

At the age of eighteen, her artistic inclinations led her to dedicate herself between 1937 and 1939 to study Literature, Modern Ballet, Drawing and Piano. During this time, in 1938 he wrote a series of children’s stories, of which he went on to publish a compilation that year.

Two years later, in 1940, he married the Spaniard Gerardo Carmona, a refugee from the Civil War of his country, with whom he moved to the camp, where they remained for five years, before leaving for Europe, where they settled in Paris. During her stay in the French capital, Isidora studied Theatre and Film, while working as an Illustrator.

Beginnings in Dramaturgy

On his return to Chile, he met Hugo Miller, with whom he began in 1952 a dramaturgy course at the Chilean Academy of the Ministry of Education. Isidora Aguirre is kidnapped forever by the office of the Theatre, to which she gives herteto, even at the cost of the time she devotes to her family.

Belonging to the generation of playwrights of the fifties and sixties, it developed first in the environment of university theaters, which since the 1940s had set a standard in Chilean theater, departing from the commercial theater that was practiced in the country until that time, to develop a professional theater, inclined to an artistic and technical rigor.

Isidora is then part of the movement that led to the creation of the Experimental Theater of the University of Chile in 1941, as well as the Essay Theatre of the Catholic University in 1943. Isidora Aguirre debuts as a writer with her comedies Carolina and La Dama del Canasto, released in 1955. However, he would quickly change his themes, to delve into the works of social content, for which he makes use of the different theatrical genres.

Major works

In 1959 he premiered his first tragedy, written twice with the novelist Manuel Rojas, which was titled Población Esperanza. The following year, in 1560, his pen would give birth to his work La Pergola de las Flores, which is considered by critics his most important work, while having been performed numerous times.

Likewise, this work was brought to the cinema in 1965 by the film director Román Viñoly Barreto. Among his later works are Those who are left on the road, premiered in 1969; Lautaro, Epic of the Mapuche People (1982); Frederick Brother (1986); Los Libertadores Bolívar y Miranda (1993) and Rising… Last man! (2003).

Likewise, Isidora Aguirre excelled as a writer of novels, among whose titles are Doy for lived all that he dreamed (1987) in which he narrates the story of his mother’s life; Letter to Roque Daltón (1990) dedicated to this Salvadoran author and to the short love relationship they held during the award of this by the House of the Americas, of whose prize was jury Isidora.

Similarly, Santiago is found from December to December (1998) in which he narrates a love story that takes place during the government of Salvador Allende, as well as his last work, written in 2011, which he titled Guerreros del Sur, which has a prology or Andrea Jeftanovic.

Final years and recognitions

After the coup by Augusto Pinochet in 1973, Isidora remained in Chile. However, during the years of dictatorship, he moved to several Latin American countries, including Ecuador, Mexico and Colombia, where he taught several dramaturgy and theatrical management workshops.

Finally, he died in his native Santiago on February 25, 2011, due to pulmonary failure, at the age of ninety-two, an age at which he was still dedicated to writing. She was survived by her children, the product of her two marriages, the first two with the Spaniard Gerardo Carmona, and the two minors with the British Peter Sinclaire, from whom she also separated.

His work has been the subject of numerous recognitions such as the Prize of the Critics and Laurel of Gold (for Population Hope); the Critics’ Prize (for the Flower Pergola); the Luis Alberto Heiremans Award (for Theatrical Popularity); Municipal Award of Santiago 1964 (for those who are left on the road); Eugenio Dittborn Prize (for Lautaro); Casa de las Américas Award 1987 (for Altarpiece of Yumbel), as well as the Medal of Santiago for his contribution to National Culture. However, some Chilean critics and playwrights, such as Juan Radrigán, believe that Chile still owes this writer the National Prize for Literature.

Isidora Aguirre Biography
Source: Education  
August 14, 2019


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