Fernando Arrabal is a Spanish novelist, dramatist, film director and poet, born in 1932. He grew up in Melilla, off the coast of Morocco, which was at that time still part of Andalucia.
As a boy, his father was sentenced to life imprisonment under the fascist Franco regime for being a supporter of the rebellion and fighting in the republican International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. This loss profoundly affected Arrabal's later work and will lead him to write his famous "Letter to Franco".
In the 1950's, after a few years of University in Madrid, he established himself in Paris, France, and never came back to Spain...except once in 1967 when they arrested him for being "blasphemous" as soon as he stepped foot on his native soil. Luckily he was freed after months of world-wide campaign pressures and the precious help of Samuel Beckett.
Since then he has published hundreds of provocative plays, fourteen novels (illustrated by famous artists such as Dali, Magritte and Picasso) and quite a few poems and essays. He also directed seven films and co-founded the Mouvement Panique, in 1962 , with friends Roland Topor and Alejandro Jodorowsky. The trio had grown to find the Surrealists too controlling and "petit-bourgeois" for their taste, and thusly wished to diverge and create another sort of surrealism, one based on rebellious, chaotic or gory performance art designed to shock and bewilder. The collective was dissolved by Jodorowski in 1973 but became famous for its sacrilegious and flamboyant theatrics.
Given Fernando Arrabal's prolific imagination, this here is a small enumeration of his most famous works to this day ( with titles in English, for convenience ):