José María Pemán

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José María Pemán

José María Pemán y Pemartín, KOGF (8 May 1897, Cadiz - 19 July 1981) was a Spanish journalist, poet, novelist, essayist, and right-wing intellectual.

Originally a student of law, he entered the literary world with a series of poetic works inspired by his native Andalucia (De la vida sencilla, A la rueda, rueda, El barrio de Santa Cruz, and Las flores del bien). In the 1930s he became a journalist. In 1935 he joined the Real Academia de la Lengua, of which he was the director from 1939 to 1940 and 1944 to 1947.

Pemán often blurred literary genres, and developed a unique style that may be as equidistant between classicism and modernism.

As a dramatist, he wrote historical-religious verse (El divino impaciente and Cuando las Cortes de Cádiz y Cisneros), plays based on Andalusian themes (Noche de levante en calma), and comical costume dramas (Julieta y Romeo and El viento sobre la tierra).

Pemán adapted many classical works (including Antigone, Hamlet, and Oedipus). He displayed his narrative skill in a series of novels and short stories (including Historia del fantasma y doña Juanita, Cuentos sin importancia, and La novela de San Martín). He was also a noted essayist.

In 1955 he received the Mariano de Cavia prize for journalism. In 1957, he won the March de Literatura prize. He was the personal advisor to the Count of Barcelona from 1969 until the title's dissolution. In 1981, a few months before his death he was named Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Pemán was one of the few prominent intellectuals to support Francisco Franco and the Falangist movement. This ensured his professional success during and after the Civil War, but damaged his international reputation.

Pemán was commissioned to write new lyrics for the Marcha Real, which Franco reestablished as Spain's national anthem in 1939. His lyrics remained in use until 1978.

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