Camilo José Cela
|The Most Illustrious
The Marquess of Iria Flavia
Monument to Camilo José Cela,
|Born||Camilo José Cela y Trulock
11 May 1916
Iria Flavia, Galicia, Spain
|Died||17 January 2002
|Resting place||Iria Flavia cemetery|
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer, essayist|
|Literary movement||Generation of '36|
|Notable works||The Family of Pascual Duarte, The Hive|
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize in Literature
|Spouse||María del Rosario Conde Picavea (m. 1944-div. 1990)
Marina Concepción Castaño López (m. 1991-2002)
|Children||Camilo José Cela Conde|
Camilo José Cela y Trulock, 1st Marquess of Iria Flavia (Spanish: [kaˈmilo xoˈse ˈθela]; 11 May 1916 – 17 January 2002) was a Spanish novelist, poet, story writer and essayist associated with the Generation of '36 movement.
Childhood and early career
Camilo José Cela was born in the rural parish of Iria Flavia, in Padrón, Province of A Coruña, Spain, on 11 May 1916. He was the oldest child of nine. His father, Camilo Crisanto Cela y Fernández, was Galician and his mother, Camila Emanuela Trulock y Bertorini, while also Galician, was of English and Italian ancestry. The family was upper-middle-class and Cela described his childhood as being "so happy it was hard to grow up."
From 1921 to 1925, he lived with his family in Vigo where they ended up leaving in order to go and live in Madrid. It was here Cela was able to study at a Piarist school. In 1931 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and admitted to the sanatorium of Guadarrama where he took advantage of his free time to work on his novel, Pabellón de reposo. While recovering from the illness he began intensively reading works by José Ortega y Gasset and Antonio de Solís y Ribadeneyra.
The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936 when Cela was 20 years old and just recovering from his illness. His political leanings were conservative and he was able to escape to the rebel zone and enlisted himself as a soldier but was wounded and hospitalized in Logroño.
The civil war ended in 1939 and Cela demonstrated his indecisiveness towards his university studies and ended up working in a bureau of textile industries. It was here where he began to write what would become his first novel, La familia de Pascual Duarte (The Family of Pascual Duarte), which was finally published when he was 26, in 1942.
Pascual Duarte has trouble finding validity in conventional morality and commits a number of crimes, including murders, for which he feels nothing. In this sense he is similar to Meursault in Albert Camus's novel The Stranger. This novel is also of particular importance as it played a large part in shaping the direction of the post-World War II Spanish novel.
Cela became a censor in Francoist Spain in 1943. Perhaps ironically, his best known work was produced during a period where his own writing came under scrutiny from his fellow censors, including La colmena (The Hive) which was published in Buenos Aires in 1951, having been banned in Spain. The novel features more than 300 characters and a style showing the influence of both Spanish realism (best exemplified by Miguel de Cervantes and Benito Pérez Galdós) and contemporary English and French-language authors, such as Joyce, Dos Passos, and Sartre. Cela's signature style—a sarcastic, often grotesque, form of realism—is epitomized in La colmena.
From the late 1960s, with the publication of San Camilo 1936, Cela's work became increasingly experimental. In 1988, for example, he wrote Cristo versus Arizona (Christ versus Arizona), which tells the story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in a single sentence that is more than a hundred pages long.
On 26 May 1957 Cela was appointed a member of the Royal Spanish Academy and given Seat Q. He was appointed Royal Senator in the Constituent Cortes, where he exerted some influence in the wording of the Spanish Constitution of 1978. In 1987, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.
In 1994, he was awarded the Premio Planeta, although some question the objectivity of the awards, and winners on occasion have refused to accept it. Two years later, in recognition of his contributions to literature, Cela was ennobled on 17 May 1996 by King Juan Carlos I, who gave Cela the hereditary title of Marquess of Iria Flavia in the nobility of Spain. On his death the title passed to his son Camilo José Cela Conde.
The Hive was first published in Argentina, as Franco's Spanish State banned it because of the perceived immorality of its content referencing erotic themes. This meant that his name could no longer appear in the printed media. Nevertheless, Cela remained loyal to Francoist Spain, even working as an informer for the Spanish secret police by reporting on the activities of dissident groups and betraying fellow intellectuals.
In his later years he became known for his scandalous outbursts; in an interview with Mercedes Milá for Spanish state television he boasted of his ability to absorb litres of water via his anus while offering to demonstrate. He had already scandalized Spanish society with his Diccionario secreto (Secret Dictionary, 1969–1971), a dictionary of slang and taboo words.
In 1998, he expressed discomfort towards the presence of homosexual groups at the commemoration of Federico García Lorca's centenary, stating that, "For me, I would prefer a more straightforward and less anecdotal commemoration without the support of gay groups. I have nothing against gays, I just do not take it up the ass".
- "Nobel Prize in Literature 1989". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- "Camilo José Cela - Biographical". www.nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- Eaude, Michael (2002-01-18). "Obituary: Camilo José Cela". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- El censor censurado; cien añ0s de Camilo José Cela
- The modern novel: Camilo José Cela: La colmena (The hive)
- Nobel prize citation
- Camilo José Cela
- The Paris Review
- Counterpunch Archived 2010-08-22 at the Wayback Machine.
- Unearthing Franco's Legacy, p.15 University of Notre Dame Press, ISBN 0-268-03268-8
- Guardian 25Sep2004: Spanish novelist spied for Franco’s regime
- Todos los títulos fueron suyos Archived 2007-10-07 at the Wayback Machine., Luis Ventoso, La Voz de Galicia, 18 January 2002.
- La leyenda del gran provocador, Ángel Vivas, El Mundo, 18 January 2002.
- Artículo homófobo sobre Lorca
- BBC obituary
- Viuda e hijo, enfrentados por su herencia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Camilo José Cela.|
- Camilo José Cela Foundation
- Valerie Miles (Summer 1996). "Camilo José Cela, The Art of Fiction No. 145". Paris Review.
- BBC obituary
- Biography of Camilo José Cela
- Camilo José Cela at Find a Grave
- The Nobel Foundation has a site on him, including speeches, biography and bibliography.
- Genealogy of Cela Family
Title jointly held
Title jointly held
Mario Vargas Llosa
|Recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature
José Angel Valente
Carmen Martín Gaite
|Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature
Mario Vargas Llosa
|Recipient of the Miguel de Cervantes Prize
José García Nieto
|New title||Marquess of Iria Flavia
Camilo José Cela Conde