Azúa, Felix de 1944-

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AZÚA, Felix de 1944-

PERSONAL: Born 1944, in Barcelona, Spain.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Pedró de la Creu, 58. 08034 Barcelona, Spain.

CAREER: Professor of aesthetics, newspaper columnist, and novelist.

AWARDS, HONORS: Herralde Prize, 1987, for Diary of a Humiliated Man.


El lenguaje y la búsqueda de la verdad, EDHASA (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

Las lecciones de Jena, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.

Lecture y crítica, La Gaya Ciencia (Barcelona, Spain), 1975.

Las ciencias ornamentals, La Gaya Ciencia (Barcelona, Spain), 1976.

(With Javier Marias and Vincente Molina-Foix), Tres cuentos didácticos, La Gaya Ciencia (Barcelona, Spain), 1977.

Concer Baudelaire y su obra, Dopesa (Barcelona, Spain), 1978.

Las lecciones suspendidas, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1978.

La paradoja del primitivo, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1983.

Mansura, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Historia de un idiota contada por él mismo, o, El contenido de la felicidad, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1986.

Cambio de bandera, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Venecia de Casanova, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.

Demasiadas preguntas, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.

Dictionario de las artes, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1995.

Diario de un hombre humiliado, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1987, translation by Julie Jones published as Diary of a Humiliated Man, Lumen Editions (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

El aprenizaje de la decepción, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

Salidas de tono, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

Lecturas compulsivas: una invitación, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

La invención de Caín, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1999.

Momentos decisivos, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.

Baudelaire: y el artista de la vida moderna, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.


El velo en el rostro de Agamenón, (1966-1969), Ediciones Saturno (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.

Edgar en Stephane, Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

Lengua de cal, A. Corazon (Madrid, Spain), 1972.

Poetas españoles postcontemporáneos, El Bardo (Barcelona, Spain), 1974.

Poesía (1968-1978), Ediciones Peralta (Madrid, Spain), 1979.

Pasar y siete canciones, La Gaya Ciencia (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.

Ultima lección, Legasa (Madrid, Spain), 1981.

Farra, Hiperion (Madrid, Spain), 1983.

Los discípulos en Sais, Hiperion (Madrid, Spain), 1988.

Poesía (1968-1988), Hiperion (Madrid, Spain), 1989.

Author of prologue to the Catalan literary collection Herois i Heroïnes by Jodi Gabarro, to various translations of works by Samuel Beckett and Alain Robbe-Grillet, and to a translation of El lenguaje y la búsqueda de la verdad titled Language and the Pursuit of Truth, by John Wilson.

SIDELIGHTS: Felix de Azúa is a highly respected Catalan novelist and essayist. His first novel to be translated into English, Diary of a Humiliated Man, was described as "mordantly funny, at times horrifying, [and] always invigorating," by a Publishers Weekly contributor. It has received many other excellent reviews as well, and has been compared to some of the great twentieth-century novels of ideas, particularly nineteenth century Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Underground Man.

Azúa's protagonist, much like that of The Underground Man, decides to go underground and live like a stranger in his own city, Barcelona, as he pursues the most banal life possible. "The narrator is a sardonic commentator on his times," Steven Moore wrote in a review for the Washington Post Book World. "It is an original treatment of age-old questions on the nature of sin, good vs. evil, human vs. animal." Eric Howard praised the narrator in a review for Library Journal, commenting that he "is unpretentious, witty without being stagy, and tenderly satiric."

In a conversation with Jordi Gracia in Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, Azúa said that in order to bring his contemporary Spain and Catalonia to the page he decided to look to the way that James Joyce, in created a gigantic poetic artifice that was a literary Ireland, is capable of shining light on the historical Ireland that he knew and wanted to convey. Azúa told Gracia that he thinks that the novel form has the same literary possibilities as drama or poetry, but that the novel is also able to reflect a historical, as well as universal experience.



Perez, Magallon Jesus, editor, Luz vital: Estudios de cultura hispanica en memoria de Victor Ouimette, Department of Hispanic Studies, McGill University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

Toro, Alfonso de, editor, La Novela española, Kassell (Reichenberger, Germany), 1995.


Booklist, October 15, 1996, review of Diary of a Humiliated Man, p. 404.

Choice, May, 1997, review of Diary of a Humiliated Man, p. 1503.

Confronto Litterario, Volume 8, 1992, p. 189.

Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, October, 1999, Jordi Garcia, interview with Felix de Azua, p. 93.

El Mundo, April 11, 2000, Pilar Maruell, review of Momentos decisivos.

Insula, March, 1997, Jenaro Talens, analysis of the work of Felix de Azua, p. 7.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1996, review of Diary of a Humiliated Man, p. 1503.

Library Journal, October 1, 1996, Eric Howard, review of Diary of a Humiliated Man, p. 126.

Publishers Weekly, August 26, 1996, review of Diary of a Humiliated Man, p. 90.

Quimera, February, 1988, interview with Felix de Azua, p. 16; May, 1992, reviews of Cambio de bandera, p. 60.

Washington Post Book World, December 22, 1996, Steven Moore, review of Diary of a Humiliated Man, p. 9.

World Literature Today, autumn, 1988, Joseph Schaibman, review of Historia de un idiota contada por el mismo o El contenido de la felicidad, p. 635.


Que Leer, (July 14, 2002), Mauricio Bach, review of Momentos decisivos.*