Skip to main content
Select Source:

José Martínez Ruíz

José Martínez Ruíz

The Spanish writer José Martínez Ruíz (1873-1967), who wrote under the name Azorín, was a spokesman for the Generation of 1898. He is famous for his impressionistic sketches and essays which evoke the essence of traditional and modern Spain.

José Martínez Ruíz was born on June 8, 1873, in Monóvar in Alicante Province. He spent his childhood in Yecla, later evoked in the autobiographical novel Las confesiones de un pequeño filósofo. He studied law in Valencia, Granada, and Salamanca but preferred literature and newspaper work. In 1896 he went to Madrid and wrote for several republican, anticlerical newspapers. He soon became known as an outspoken republican with anarchist sympathies, symbolically expressed by his persistent use of a red umbrella.

In 1900 Ruíz published his first important work, El alma castellana 1600-1800, in which he revealed the essence of Spain, symbolized in Castilian towns and landscapes. Three novels followed: La voluntad (1902), Antonio Azorín (1903), and Las confesiones de un pequeño filósofo (1904). Their protagonist is Antonio Azorín, whose name Ruíz adopted in a kind of personal identification with his fictional character. The novels, which lack plot or any significant action, portray in three separate stages the anxieties and reminiscences of a hypersensitive intellectual surrounded by the decadence of modern Spain.

But Ruíz's lyrical, fragmentary style was much more suited to short sketches than to the longer novel form. Books such as Los pueblos (1905), La ruta de don Quijote (1905), and Castilla (1912) manifest his art in its purest form. Preoccupied with the past, Ruíz evoked poetically the beauty and inner life of familiar scenes and things, ultimately revealing the recurrence of the past in present life. The paradox of time visualized as eternal repetition became one of his chief concerns.

Ruíz also wrote literary criticism. He offers in Lecturas españolas (1912), Clásicos y modernos (1913), and Almárgen de los clásicos (1915) original views of the classics and many forgotten authors. He is the spokesman for the Generation of 1898, having defined that group of writers in a famous essay.

Gradually Ruíz became politically more conservative. He was elected deputy to the Cortes (1907, 1914) and served as undersecretary of education (1917, 1919). In 1924 he was admitted to the Spanish Academy but renounced membership when Gabriel Miró Ferrer was refused entrance. During the 1920s Ruíz wrote three more novels and a few unsuccessful plays, among them Old Spain (1926) and Brandy, mucho Brandy (1927). During the Civil War he lived in Paris, returning to Madrid in 1940. His subsequent works are inferior to his earlier works. He died on March 2, 1967, in Madrid.

Further Reading

The best work on Ruíz is Anna Krause, Azorín, the Little Philosopher (1948). His early novels are well analyzed in Katherine P. Reding, The Generation of 1898 in Spain as Seen through Its Fictional Hero (1936). □

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"José Martínez Ruíz." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Jun. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"José Martínez Ruíz." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jose-martinez-ruiz

"José Martínez Ruíz." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved June 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jose-martinez-ruiz

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Martínez Ruiz, José

José Martínez Ruiz (hōsā´ märtē´nĕth rōōēth´), 1873?–1967, Spanish writer. He often used the pseudonym Azorín. A political radical in the 1890s, he moved steadily to the right. In literature Martínez exemplified the Generation of '98 (a term he coined), especially in his attempt to define the eternal qualities of Spanish life. His essays and criticism are written in a simple, compact style. Particularly notable are his impressionistic descriptions of Castilian towns and landscape. Among his many other works are the autobiographical novels La voluntad (1902) and Antonio Azorín (1903); the novel Don Juan (1922, tr. 1923); and a collection of short stories (1929, tr. 1931).

See studies by L. A. LaJohn (1961) and K. Glenn (1981).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Martínez Ruiz, José." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Jun. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Martínez Ruiz, José." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/martinez-ruiz-jose

"Martínez Ruiz, José." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/martinez-ruiz-jose

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.