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Jorge Díaz

Personal information
Surname: Díaz
First name: Jorge
Commonly known as: Jorge Díaz
Other versions of the name: Jorge Díaz Gutiérrez
Born: 20 February 1930, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
Died: 13 March 2007

Jorge Díaz was of joint Chilean and Spanish nationality; he originally trained to be an architect, but began writing for the Chilean theatre company, ICTUS, in 1961.  He moved to Madrid in 1965 to dedicate himself to writing dramatic works.  He wrote over seventy plays, and was awarded the Spanish Tirso de Molina prize for literature, and the Premio Nacional de Teatro.  Díaz wrote extensively for theatre, including theatre for children, and for radio and television.


Jorge Díaz himself once commented that there are only three themes: sex, love and death but others which recurr in his work include solitude and deception.  He also repeatedly explores the failure of communication between human beings, existential anguish in a modern age, ritual and cyclical time.


Díaz has been linked to the European theatre of the absurd (Ionesco, Beckett).  However Díaz creates his own Chilean version of the absurd to critique and satirise Latin American political realities.   His work is marked by a black humour, which Díaz himself referred to as ’bufonerÍa  existencial’(existential clowning).    His work is also infused with irony and thwarted communication between his characters.  Díaz’s preoccupation with the impotence of language as a tool with which to communicate informs the style of his writing.

Plays in the database
Other works
  • Díaz, Jorge. 1961. El cepillo de dientes. In 9 Dramaturgos hispanoamericanos: Antología del teatro hispanoamericano del siglo XX, 3, ed. Frank Dauster, pp. 63-120. Ottawa, Ontario, Girol Books (in Spanish)

  • Díaz, Jorge. 1961. Réquiem por un girasol (Requiem for a Sunflower) (in Spanish)

  • Díaz, Jorge. 1961. Un hombre llamado Isla (A Man Called Island) (in Spanish)

  • Díaz, Jorge . 1967. El lugar donde mueren los mamíferos (The Place Where the Mammals Die) (in Spanish)

  • Díaz, Jorge. 1977. El Locutorio. (“Contrapunto para dos voces cansadas”) (in Spanish)

Useful reading and websites
  • Boling, Becky.  1990. ‘Crest of Pepsodent: Jorge Díaz’s El cepillo de dientes’Latin American Theatre Review, 24.1, 93–103

  • Salgado, María A. 1977. ‘El cepillo de dientes and El apartamiento: Two Opposing Views of Alienated Man’, Romance Notes, 17.3, 247–54

  • Walser, Leyland A.  1982.  ‘Ship in a Crystal Jar by Jorge Díaz: Communication Crisis in a Technological World’, Language Quarterly, 21.1–2, 7, 12

  • Woodyard, George W. 1969. ‘The Theatre of the Absurd in Spanish America’, Comparative Drama, 3.3, 183-92

Entry written by Gwendolen Mackeith. Last updated on 8 August 2011.

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