Famous People from Aragon

July 2nd, 2013

Aragon has produced more than its share of famous and creative people; here are just a few to prove the point.

It’s like when a friend demands I re-cast a sentence for them or come up with the perfect phrase on the spot – I freeze up and can’t think of anything good. If I didn’t have all these degrees and paying translation services jobs, I’d suspect I was a sham.

My little saying comes into play whenever people imply that all the famous and notable people in the world come from, say, America, or English-speaking countries. This is usually due to the domination of the English language in the entertainment industry, and I like to remind people that there have been plenty of famous folks from small, even humble areas.

Aragon is no exception: A small region of Spain that was once a mighty kingdom on its own has given the world many very important figures. Here’s just a few, to prove my point.

Luis Buñuel

Luis Buñuel remains one of the most celebrated film-makers in cinema history, though his films were often strange, sometimes disturbing, and certainly were never big international hits. What they were, however, were films as art, films seen as transformative experiences. Often in partnership with Salvadore Dali, Buñuel created some amazing images.

His most famous film, perhaps, is El Ángel Exterminador (The Exterminating Angel) which has one of the most affecting premises I’ve ever heard: At a dinner party attended by the rich and famous, the servants abandon their employers and the guests find they cannot leave the party. They aren’t prevented from leaving, they simply cannot. If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you do – it is a deeply affecting piece of art – from an Aragonese!

Francisco de Goya

The famous painter Francisco de Goya was from Aragon, and is today regarded as one of the greatest painters in history – an artist who straddled the past, regarded as one of the last Old Master, as well as the future, regarded equally as one of the first truly modern painters. He was the court painter of the Spanish monarchy, which meant his subjects and themes were often very conservative and reactionary, but he imbued his work with subtle subversion and bold new techniques that “flew under the radar” of the times, slowly revealing him as a true genius.

Ramón J. Sender

Ramón J. Sender, also known by his full name Ramón José Antonio Blas Sender Garcés, was an internationally known novelist. His novel La tesis de Nancy is still read today by Spanish students, and he authored more than a dozen novels in his life and remains one of the most celebrated writers in the world.

There are many more examples; Aragon has long been a centre for creative and passionate people and will no doubt continue to produce people who have international impact as time marches on.

Image courtesy informador.com.mx

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