Cela, Camilo José 1916–2002
Cela, Camilo José 1916–2002
(Camilo José Cela y Trulock, Matilde Verdu)
PERSONAL: Surname pronounced Say-lah; born May 11, 1916, in Iria Flavia, La Coruna, Spain; died of heart disease, January 17, 2002, in Madrid, Spain; son of Camilo (a customs official and part-time writer) and Camila Emmanuela (Trulock Bertorini) Cela; married Maria del Rosario Conde Picavea, March 12, 1944 (divorced, 1989); married Marina Castano, 1991; children: (first marriage) Camilo José. Education: Attended University of Madrid, 1933–36 and 1939–43. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting wine bottles, stamps, and literary myths.
CAREER: Writer. Publisher of Papeles de Son Armadans (literary monthly), 1956–79; appointed to Spanish Senate by King Juan Carlos, 1977. Lecturer in England, France, Latin America, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, and the United States. Military service: Served in Spanish Nationalist Army during Spanish Civil War, 1936–39; became corporal.
MEMBER: Academie du Monde Latin, Real Academia Espanola, Premio Nacional de Literatura, Premio Principe de Asturias, Real Academia Gallega, Royal Academy of Literature (Barcelona, Spain), Royal Galician Language Academy, Hispanic Society of America, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (honorary fellow, beginning 1966), Institute for Cultural Relations between Israel, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Society of Spanish and Spanish-American Studies.
AWARDS, HONORS: Premio de la critica, 1955, for Historias de Venezuela: La Catira; Spanish National Prize for Literature, 1984, for Mazurca para dos muertos; Premio Principe de Asturias, 1987; Nobel Prize for literature, 1989; Cervantes Prize, 1994. Has received honorary doctorates from Syracuse University, 1964, University of Birmingham, 1976, University of Santiago de Compostela, 1979, University of Palma de Mallorca, 1979, John F. Kennedy University (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Interamericana University (Puerto Rico).
IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION
La familia de Pascual Duarte (novel), Aldecoa (Madrid, Spain), 1942, translation by John Marks published as Pascual Duarte's Family, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1946, translation by Anthony Kerrigan published as The Family of Pascual Duarte, Little, Brown, 1964, reprinted, Dalkey Archive Press (Normal, IL), 2004, Spanish/English version by Herma Briffault published as Pascual Duarte and His Family, Las Americas Publishing, 1965.
Pabellon de reposo (novel; first published serially in El Espanol, March 13 to August 21, 1943), illustrations by Suarez de Arbol, Afrodisio Aguado (Madrid, Spain), 1943, Spanish/English version by Herma Briffault published as Rest Home, Las Americas Publishing, 1961.
Las botas de siete leguas: Viaje a la Alcarria, con los versos de su cancionero, cada uno en su debido lugar (travel), Revista de Occidente, 1948, published as Viaje a la Alcarria, Papeles de Son Ar-madans, 1958, translation by Frances M. Lopez-Morillos published as Journey to the Alcarria, University of Wisconsin Press, 1964.
Caminos inciertos: la colmena (novel), Emece (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1951, published as La colmena, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1955, translation by J.M. Cohen and Arturo Barea published as The Hive, Farrar, Straus, 1953, reprinted, Dalkey Archive Press (Normal, IL), 2001.
Mrs. Caldwell habla con su hijo (novel), Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1953, translation by Jerome S. Bernstein published as Mrs. Caldwell Speaks to Her Son, Cornell University Press, 1968.
Visperas, festividad y octava de San Camilo del ano 1936 en Madrid, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1969, translation by J.H.R. Polt published as San Camilo, 1936: The Eve, Feast, and Octave of St. Camillus of the Year 1936 in Madrid, Duke University Press, 1991.
Mazurca para dos muertos, Ediciones del Norte (Hanover, NH), 1983, translation by Patricia Haugaard published as Mazurka for Two Dead Men, New Directions (New York, NY), 1992.
Madera de Boj (novel) Espasa (Madrid, Spain), 1999, translation by Patricia Haugaard published as Boxwood, New Directions (New York, NY), 2002.
Also author of Avila (travel), 1952, revised edition, 1968, translation by John Forrester published under same title, 1956.
Nuevas andanzas y desventuras de Lazarillo de Tormes, y siete apuntes carpetovetonicos (title means "New Wanderings and Misfortunes of Lazarillo de Tormes"; first published serially in Juventud, July 4 to October 18, 1944), La Nave (Madrid, Spain), 1944.
Santa Balbina 37: Gas en cada piso (novella; title means "Santa Balbina 37, Gas in Every Flat"), Mirto y Laurel (Melilla, Morocco), 1952, 2nd edition, 1977.
Timoteo, el incomprendido (novella; title means "Misunderstood Timothy"), Rollan (Madrid, Spain), 1952.
Cafe de artistas (novella), Tecnos (Madrid, Spain), 1953.
Historias de Venezuela: La catira (title means "Stories of Venezuela: The Blonde"), illustrations by Ricardo Arenys, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1955, published as La catira, 1966.
Tobogan de hambrientos (title means "Toboggan of Hungry People"), illustrations by Lorenzo Goni, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1962.
Oficio de tinieblas 5; o, Novela de tesis escrita para ser cantada por un coro de enfermos (title means "Ministry of Darkness 5; or, Novel with a Thesis Written to Be Sung by a Chorus of Sick People"), Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1973.
Cristo versus Arizona (title means "Christ versus Arizona"), Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.
Also author of Los cipreses creen en Dios (title means "The Cypresses Believe in God").
Esas nubes que pasan (title means "The Passing Clouds"), Afrodisio Aguado, 1945.
El bonito crimen del carabinero, y otras invenciones (stories; title means "The Neat Crime of the Cara-biniere and Other Tales"; portions originally published in Arriba, April 25, 1946; also see below), José Janes (Barcelona, Spain), 1947, published as El bonito crimen del carabinero, Picazo (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.
Baraja de invenciones (title means "Pack of Tales"), Castalia (Valencia, Spain), 1953.
Historias de Espana: Los ciegos, los tontos, illustrations by Manuel Mampaso, Arion (Madrid, Spain), 1958, new enlarged edition published in four volumes as A la pata de palo (title means "The Man with the Wooden Leg"), illustrations by Lorenzo Goni, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), Volume 1: Histo-rias de Espana (title means "Stories of Spain"), 1965, Volume 2: La familia del Heroe; o, Discurso historico de los ultimos restos; ejercicios para una sola mano, 1965, Volume 3: El ciudadano Iscariote Reclus (title means "Citizen Iscariote Reclus"), 1965, Volume 4: Viaje a U.S.A. (title means "Trip to the U.S.A."), 1967, published in one volume as El tacata oxidado: florilegio de carpetovetonismos y otras lindezas, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1973.
Los viejos amigos, two volumes, illustrations by Jose Maria Prim, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1960–61, 3rd edition, 1981.
Gavilla de fabulas sin amor (title means "A Bundle of Loveless Fables"), illustrations by Pablo Picasso, Papeles de Son Armadans (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1962.
Once cuentos de futbol, illustrations by Pepe, Nacional (Madrid, Spain), 1963.
Toreo de salon: Farsa con acompanamiento de clamor y murga, photographs by Oriol Maspons and Julio Ubina, Editorial Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1963.
Izas, rabizas y colipoterras: Drama con acompan-amiento de cachondeo y dolor de corazon, photographs by Juan Colom, Editorial Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1964.
Nuevas escenas matritenses (title means "New Scenes of Madrid"), seven volumes, photographs by Enrique Palazuela, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1965–66, published in one volume as Fotografias al minuto, Organizacion Sala (Madrid, Spain), 1972.
La bandada de palomas (for children), illustrations by Jose Correas Flores, Labor, 1969.
Cuentos para leer despues del bano, La Gaya Ciencia (Barcelona, Spain), 1974.
Rol de cornudos, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1976.
El espejo y otros cuentos, Espasa-Calpe, 1981.
Del Mino at Bidasoa: Notas de un vagabundaje (title means "From the Mino to the Bidasoa: Notes of a Vagabondage"), Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1952.
Vagabundo por Castilla (title means "Vagabond in Castile"), Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1955.
Judios, moros y cristianos: Notas de un vagabundaje por Avila, Segovia y sus tierras (title means "Jews, Moors, and Christians: Notes of a Vagabondage through Avila, Segovia, and Their Surroundings"), Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1956.
Primer viaje andaluz: Notas de un vagabundaje por Jaen, Cordoba, Sevilla, Huelva y sus tierras (title means "First Andalusian Trip: Notes on a Vagabondage through Jaen, Cordoba, Seville, Huelva, and Their Surroundings"), illustrations by Jose Hur-tuna, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1959.
Cuaderno del Guadarrama (title means "Guadarrama Notebook"), illustrations by Eduardo Vicente, Arion (Madrid, Spain), 1959.
Paginas de geografia errabunda (title means "Pages of Wandering Geography"), Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1965.
Viaje al Pirineo de Lerida: Notas de un paseo a pie por el Pallars Sobira, el Valle de Aran y el Condado de Ribagorza, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1965.
Madrid, illustrations by Juan Esplandiu, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1966.
Calidoscopio callejero, maritimo y campestre de C.J.C. para el reino y ultramar, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1966.
La Mancha en el corazon y en los ojos, EDISVEN (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.
Balada del vagabundo sin suerte y otros papeles volan-deros, Espasa-Calpe, 1973.
Madrid, color y siluta, illustrations by Estrada Vilar-rasa, AUSA (Sabadell, Spain), 1985.
Nuevo viaje a la Alcarria, three volumes, Informacion y Revistas (Madrid, Spain), 1986.
Also author of Barcelona, 1970.
El molino de viento, y otras novelas cortas (title means "The Windmill and Other Short Novels"; contains "El molino de viento," "Timoteo, el incompren-dido," "Cafe de artistas," and Santa Balbina 37: Gas en cada piso), illustrations by Lorenzo Goni, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1956.
Mis paginas preferidas (selections), Gredos (Madrid, Spain), 1956.
Nuevo retablo de don Cristobita: Invenciones, figuraciones y alucinaciones (stories; contains "Esas nubes que pasan," "El bonito crimen del carabin-ero," and part of Baraja de invenciones), Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1957.
Obra completa (title means "Complete Works"), fourteen volumes, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1962–83.
Las companias convenientes y otros figimientos y cegueras (stories; title means "Suitable Companions and Other Deceits and Obfuscations"), Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1963.
Cafe de artistas y otros cuentos, Salvat/Alianza, 1969.
Timoteo el incomprendido y otros papeles ibericos, Magisterio Espanol, 1970.
Obras selectas (includes "La familia de Pascual Du-arte," "Viaje a la Alcarria," "La colmena," "Mrs. Caldwell habla con su hijo," "Iazas," "Rabizas y colipoterras," and "El carro de heno; o, El inventor de la guillotina"), Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1971.
Prosa, edited by Jacinto-Luis Guerena with notes and commentaries, Narcea (Madrid, Spain), 1974.
Cafe de artistas y otros papeles volanderos, Alce (Madrid, Spain), 1978.
Galicia, illustrated by Zaxiero and photographs by Vi-tor Vaqueiro, Vigo (Spain), 1990.
Also author of Antologia, 1968.
Mesa revuelta (essays) Ediciones de los Estudiantes Es-panoles, 1945, expanded edition (includes text of Ensuenos y figuraciones), Taurus (Madrid, Spain), 1957.
Pisando la dudosa luz del dia: Poemas de una adolescencia cruel (poems; title means "Treading the Uncertain Light of Day"), Zodiaco (Barcelona, Spain), 1945, corrected and expanded edition, Papales de Son Armadans (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1963.
(Under pseudonym Matilde Verdu) San Juan de la Cruz, [Madrid, Spain], 1948.
El gallego y su cuadrilla y otros apuntes carpetovetonicos (title means "The Galician and His Troupe and Other Carpeto-Vettonian Notes"), Ricardo Aguilera (Madrid, Spain), 1949, 3rd edition corrected and enlarged, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1967.
Ensuenos y figuraciones, Ediciones G. P., 1954.
La rueda de los ocios (title means "The Wheel of Idle Moments"), Mateu (Barcelona, Spain), 1957.
La obra literaria del pintor Solana: Discurso leido ante la Real Academia Espanola el dia 26 de mayo de 1957 en su recepcion publica por el Excmo. Sr. D. Camilo José Cela y contestacion del Excmo. Sr. D. Gregorio Maranon, Papeles de Son Armadans (Madrid, Spain), 1957.
Cajon de sastre (articles) Cid (Madrid, Spain), 1957.
Recuerdo de don Pio Baroja (title means "Remembrance of Pio Baroja"), illustrations by Eduardo Vicente, De Andrea (Mexico City, Mexico), 1958.
La cucana: memorias (memoirs), Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1959, portion printed as La rosa, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1979, reprinted, Espasa (Madrid, Spain), 2001.
(Editor) Homenaje y recuerdo a Gregorio Maranon (1887–1960), Papeles de Son Armadans, 1961.
Cuatro figuras del 98: Unamuno, Valle Inclan, Baroja, Azorin, y otros retratos ensayos espanoles, Aedos (Barcelona, Spain), 1961.
El solitario: Los suenos de Quesada (title means "The Solitary One"), illustrations by Rafael Zabaleta, Papeles de Son Armadans, 1963.
Garito de hospicianos; o, Guirigay de imposturas y bambollas (articles; title means "Poorhouse Inmates; or, Jargon of Frauds and Sham"), Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1963.
(Author of prologue) Tono y Rafael Florez, Memorias de mi: novela, Biblioteca ca Nueva (Madrid, Spain), 1966.
(With Cesareo Rodriguez Aguilera) Xam (illustrated art commentary), Daedalus (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1966.
Maria Sabina (dramatic poem), Papeles de Son Armadans, 1967, 2nd edition bound with El carro de heno; o, El inventor de la guillotina (play), Alf-aguara (Madrid, Spain), 1970.
Diccionario secreto (title means "Secret Dictionary"), Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), Volume 1, 1968, Volume 2, 1972.
Poesia y cancioneros, [Madrid, Spain] 1968.
Homenaje al Bosco, I: El carro de heno; o, El inventor de la guillotina, Papeles de Son Armadans, 1969.
Al servicio de algo, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1969.
La bola del mundo: Escenas cotidianas, Organizacion Sala (Madrid, Spain), 1972.
A vueltas con Espana, Seminarios y Ediciones (Madrid, Spain), 1973.
Cristina Mallo (monograph), Theo (Madrid, Spain), 1973.
Diccionari manual castella-catala, catala-castella, Bib-liograf (Barcelona, Spain), 1974.
Enciclopedia de erotismo (title means "Encyclopedia of Eroticism"), D.L. Sedmay (Madrid, Spain), 1977.
(Adaptor) Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina puesta res-petuosamente en castellano moderno por Camilo José Cela quien anadio muy poco y quito aun menos (title means "La Celestina Put Respectfully into Modern Castilian by Camilo José Cela Who Added a Little and Took Out Even Less"), Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.
Los suenos vanos, los angeles curiosos, Argos Vergara (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.
Los vasos comunicantes, Bruguera (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.
Vuelta de hoja, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.
Album de taller (art commentary), Ambit (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.
(Editor and author of prologue) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El Quijote, Ediciones Rembrandt (Alicante, Spain), 1981.
El juego de los tres madronos, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1983.
El asno de Buridan (articles), El Pais (Madrid, Spain), 1986.
Memorias, entendimientos y voluntades (memoirs), Plaza & Janes (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.
Also author of San Camilo, 1936, and, with Alfonso Canales, Cronica del cipote de Archidona (first published as La insolita y gloriosa hazana del cipote de Archidona), 1977. Author of poems Himno a la muerte (title means "Hymn to Death"), 1938, and Dos romances de ciego, 1966.
ADAPTATIONS: The Hive was filmed by director Mario Camus; The Family of Pascual Duarte was filmed by director Ricardo Franco.
SIDELIGHTS: While not widely known in the United States, 1989 Nobel laureate Camilo José Cela played a pivotal role in twentieth-century Spanish literature. Upon awarding the prize to Cela, the Swedish Academy praised the author "for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability," related Sheila Rule for the New York Times. In the same article, Rule reported Julio Ortego's statement that "Cela represents the searching for a better literature from the Franco years, through the democratic experiments and into European Spain. At the same time, he remained very Spanish, keeping the cultural traditions of Spanish art and literature in his writing. He did not follow a European literature, but developed his own style, and so, in his way, symbolized Spain's going through a long period of adjustment." Throughout the Franco regime, Cela suffered from heavy governmental censorship. Many of his books were banned outright or removed from the shelves: the second edition of Pascual Duarte was seized; the censor found it "nauseating," and The Hive was initially published in South America. D.W. McPheeters maintained in Camilo José Cela that, in spite of such opposition, Cela "has always had the courage to express himself frankly, even forthrightly,… which has led to problems with an overly squeamish censorship."
Cela's stylistic development moved from the more traditional Pascual Duarte to the innovative fiction of his later novels. McPheeters saw Cela as "dedicated to a constant trying of various forms … of fiction in a search for the one that best suits him and … what he has to say concerning the human situation. He [is] an outspoken critic of traditional forms of the novel and the restrictions which [some] would impose upon the creative artist." Cela's first novel, The Family of Pas-cual Duarte, has been called the most widely read Spanish novel since Don Quixote. It was published in the early 1940s, a time when "the Spanish novel … had virtually ceased to exist as a worthy genre," attests McPheeters. "Almost single-handedly, Cela [gave the genre] new life and international significance." Many critics noted that Cela's national prominence and international fame is a result of the popularity of The Family of Pascual Duarte and a later novel, The Hive. McPheeters stated that while Pascual Duarte, Cela's first novel, "secured a wide foreign acceptance," The Hive "assured his place as one of Europe's outstanding novelists."
Pascual Duarte relates the life of a convicted murderer awaiting execution. It is introduced as a prison letter to an old family friend, but the reader soon becomes immersed in a first-person narrative. Pascual responds to a life of poverty and frustration through killing: his dog, his horse, his wife's lover, and finally, his mother, all fall victim to his rage. "A deceptive objectivity masks the presentation of cruel and monstrous scenes, including murder and matricide," Michigan Quarterly Review contributor Francis Donahue described. "In a taut style, with emotion carefully reined, Cela evokes an atmosphere of extreme brutality, one which a nation suffering from the after-effects of a brutal civil war could readily understand and believe." But some reviewers found such intense scenes hinder any identification with the main character. "Pascual Duarte speaks of suffering and ferocity so appalling as to be almost beyond the reach of our sympathy. They stun even more than they horrify," noted Saturday Review contributor Emile Capouya.
Some critics, as J.S. Bernstein stated in his introduction to Mrs. Caldwell Speaks to Her Son, credit Cela with the invention of "tremendismo," a type of fiction that dwells on the darker side of life—the distasteful, the grotesque, and the vulgar. Although in his prologue to the Spanish version of Mrs. Caldwell Speaks to Her Son, Cela denies this paternity, tremendista elements are abundant in Pascual Duarte. As an example of tremendismo, McPheeters translated a portion of the struggle in which Pascual kills his mother: "I was able to bury the blade in her throat…. Blood squirted out in a torrent and struck me in the face. It was warm like a belly and tasted the same as the blood of a lamb." Other gruesome incidents fill the pages of the novel; in one scene Pascual's retarded brother's ears are eaten off by a pig. This type of detail—meant to shock the placid reader—is present in a lesser degree or nonexistent in some of Cela's novels, but even so, a Times Literary Supplement critic called Cela's works "perversely restricted to a pathology of human decay and loneliness." His Mazurca para dos muertos, for example, concludes with a six-page postmortem examination of a cadaver. Even Cela's nonfiction works such as Enciclopedia de eroticismo (the title means "Encyclopedia of Eroticism") and Diccionario secreto, which contains definitions of vulgar words, are written in defiance of Spain's traditionalist moral code.
The Hive led critics to compare Cela with John Dos Passos, particularly to Dos Passos's novel Manhattan Transfer, which characterizes frenetic Manhattan life. Comparisons between the two novels are based on the large number of characters introduced in both works and by the novelists' similarly cinematographic styles. In both novels, the shifting time sequence is similar to the filmmaker's flashback. But while David W. Foster conceded in Forms in the Work of Camilo José Cela that an analogy can be made between the two techniques, he noted: "Cela's perspective goes much beyond that of the camera in what it is able to record. It is, in effect, all inclusive, omniscient, and omnipresent."
The Hive is frequently seen as Cela's greatest work. In Books Abroad, Jacob Ornstein and James Y. Causey noted that "Spanish criticism has been almost unanimous in acclaiming this novel as Cela's masterpiece, both for its vigorous simplicity and for the author's artistry in evoking the atmosphere of Madrid during the final days of World War II and the years immediately following." The Hive's publication was typical of Cela's struggle with the censors, as it was banned in Spain and printed in Buenos Aires in 1952; William D. Montalbano reported in the Los Angeles Times that Cela presents "a bitter chronicle of a bitter time." Nation contributor Maxwell Geismar found The Hive "suffused with anger and bitterness at society in Madrid."
Mrs. Caldwell contains excerpts from the letters of a mentally disturbed woman to her dead son. McPheeters found that Mrs. Caldwell "is about as much an antinovel as has yet been conceived in Spain." The theme is incest, one ideally suited to Cela's fiction because of its shock value. The form is equally unexpected: although only slightly longer than two hundred pages, it contains two hundred and twelve chapters. There is no connection between the chapters (except for chapters fourteen and sixty) and no reason for ending the novel other than the illegibility of the last of the "Letters from the Royal Hospital for the Insane."
The form and content of Tobogan de hambrientos, San Camilo, 1936, and Oficio de tinieblas 5 are also out of the ordinary. Oficio de tinieblas, for example, has no capital letters, while San Camilo, 1936 has no paragraphs. Tobogan de hambrientos, Foster noted in Forms in the Work of Camilo José Cela, "employs many of the devices of the new novel, especially in its use of pattern and in the rejection of chronology, definable plot, and unified points of view." The book is divided into two hundred units. These two hundred are in turn divided in half and labeled in ascending, then, at the halfway point, in descending numerical order. Each narrative unit presents a new individual or group of individuals and the characters from the first half of the book reappear in the corresponding chapters of the second half.
Except for the epilogue, San Camilo, 1936 is a young student's continuous stream of consciousness. Again, in content and form the book is far removed from the traditional novel. The book's opening chapter, for instance, includes a list of Madrid's brothels, complete with addresses and names of proprietresses. A Times Literary Supplement reviewer remarked on the novel's unusual style: "[Cela] reinforces his … contempt for petit-bourgeois credulity by quoting an enormous variety of patent medicine advertisements, [and] making astonishingly free with his sexual and other carnal references, indeed, the language of [the book] is scabrous." While noting Cela's emphasis on "the erotic, obscene and scatological" in San Camilo, 1936, Hispania contributor Robert Louis Sheehan also observed the "stylistic innovations" present in the novel, including "the rhythmic reiteration of names, clauses, [and] phrases," the "use of one-paragraph chapters, run-on sentences, and frequent use of commas in place of periods."
The name of Camilo José Cela is associated with the rebirth of the Spanish novel and with experimentation in its form and content. Pascual Duarte is credited with starting a new school of Spanish literature, while The Hive brought a new cinematographic technique to literature, which Margaret E.W. Jones in The Contemporary Spanish Novel, 1939–1975 believed "suggested new possibilities in [the] elasticity of novelistic form." Jones also confirmed the author's sense of exploration, and claimed that "Cela has consistently been at the forefront of new movements in the contemporary novel since the 1940s." And Cela himself summed up his feelings on his favorite genre in the dedication to Journey to the Alcarria—which Jones quoted—"Anything goes in the novel, as long as it's told with common sense."
In 1999 at the age of eighty-four, Cela saw his last novel reach Spain's bestseller list. Titled Madera de Boj and published as Boxwood in English in 2002, the novel, as described by Mark Tursi in the Review of Contemporary Fiction, "is a complex adventure that weaves and branches through varying narratives, including traditional wisdom, folklore, history, superstition, seafarers' stories, and autobiography." Set in Cela's native Galicia, the book is about the notorious Coast of Death (Costa de la Muerte) and the many seafarers who have lost their lives there. According to Benjamin Jones, writing in Europe, Cela told a reporter, "There is no real plot. It is supposed to be a reflection of life, and life does not have a plot." Tursi praised the book's test as "treasure trove of possibilities and potential discoveries." He also noted, "Boxwood represents Cela's fullest realization of tremendismo, which combines aspects of existential philosophy and 'brutal realism' with a surreal atmosphere."
In 2002 Cela's biographer, Tomas Garcia Yebra, accused the late author of using ghostwriters extensively throughout his career. Most notably, Yebra named Marcial Suarez and Mariano Tudela as the ghostwriters who provided the plots and characters for two of Cela's prize-winning novels, The Cross of Saint Andrew and Mazurka for Two Dead Men.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Cela, Camilo José, La familia de Pascual Duarte, Alde-coa (Madrid, Spain), 1942, translation by John Marks published as Pascual Duarte's Family, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1946, translation by Anthony Kerrigan published as The Family of Pascual Duarte, Little, Brown, 1964, reprinted, Dalkey Archive Press (Normal, IL), 2004
Cela, Camilo José, Mrs. Caldwell habla con su hijo, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1953, translation by Jerome S. Bernstein published as Mrs. Caldwell Speaks to Her Son, Cornell University Press, 1968.
Chandler, Richard E., and Kessel Schwartz, A New History of Spanish Literature, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1961.
Charlebois, Lucile C., Understanding Camilo José Cela, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 1997.
Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume 10, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 4, 1975, Volume 13, 1980.
Foster, David W., Forms in the Work of Camilo José Cela, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1967.
Ilie, Paul, La novelistica de Camilo José Cela, Gredos (Madrid, Spain), 1963.
Jones, Margaret E. W., The Contemporary Spanish Novel, 1939–1975, Twayne, 1985.
Kirsner, Robert, The Novels and Travels of Camilo José Cela, University of North Carolina Press, 1964.
McPheeters, D. W., Camilo José Cela, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1969.
Santoro, Patricia J., Novel into Film: The Case of La Familia de Pascal Duarte and Los Santos Inocentes, University of Delaware Press (Newark, DE), 1996.
America, November 7, 1964.
Books Abroad, spring, 1953; winter, 1971.
Choice, May, 1992; March, 1993.
Christian Science Monitor, January 14, 1965.
Europe, March, 2000, Benjamin Jones, "Cela Sows Stories of Spain," p. 42.
Georgia Review, spring, 1996.
Hispania, March, 1965; March, 1966; September, 1966; September, 1967; May, 1972.
Los Angeles Times, November 2, 1989, William D. Montalbano, review of The Hive.
Michigan Quarterly Review, summer, 1969, Francis Donahue, review of Pascual Duarte. Modern Language Review, January, 1996.
Nation, November 14, 1953.
New Republic, September 3, 1990.
New Statesman, February 19, 1965.
New Yorker, January 30, 1965.
New York Review of Books, October 8, 1992.
New York Times, October 20, 1989; January 18, 2002.
New York Times Book Review, May 26, 1968; January 5, 1992.
Observer (London, England), February 14, 1965.
Paris Review, summer, 1996.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, summer, 1992;spring, 1993; spring, 2003, Mark Tursi, review of Boxwood, p. 137.
Saturday Review, November 23, 1964, Emile Capouya, review of Pascual Duarte.
Spectator, February 19, 1965.
Times Literary Supplement, February 2, 1965; February 25, 1965; May 27, 1965; November 11, 1965; February 12, 1970; April 2, 1970; November 5, 1971; February 11, 1972; October 12, 1990.
Washington Post, October 20, 1989. World Literature Today, autumn, 1977; summer, 1982; autumn, 1984.
Chicago Tribune, January 19, 2002, sec. 1, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2002, p. B15.
New York Times, January 18, 2002, p. A23.
Times (London, England), January 18, 2002, p. 23.
Washington Post, January 19, 2002, p. B7.
"Cela, Camilo José 1916–2002." Concise Major 21st Century Writers. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/cela-camilo-jose-1916-2002
"Cela, Camilo José 1916–2002." Concise Major 21st Century Writers. . Retrieved November 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/cela-camilo-jose-1916-2002
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