The novel titled Mediodia eterno, by Santiago Gil (Guía, Gran Canaria, 1967), has won the latest edition of the Benito Pérez Galdós International Novel Prize, which is convened biennially by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, to which a total of 124 works of different provenance, as reported by the institution yesterday. The announcement of this award is part of the program of events around the Galdosian centenary.
The text of the Gran Canaria writer was selected by a jury made up of the professor from the University of Amsterdam, Germán Gullón; the director of the Pérez Galdós Chair, Yolanda Arencibia; the writer Care Santos; and the director of the Pérez Galdós House-Museum, Victoria Galván, taking into account “its literary quality, the way in which the author transformed the real story of the painter Jorge Oramas into a fictional affair, as well as the treatment given to the work of the aforementioned creator ”.
Eternal noon deals with literary life that is ending and that, at the same time, tries to eternalize itself in art. According to the award-winning novelist, Santiago Gil, “practically nothing is known about the painter Jorge Oramas, an apprentice barber who did not reach the age of 25 and who left behind a work that, over the years, is admired and recognized by many connoisseurs and art critics, to the point of starring in an exhibition at the Reina Sofía in Madrid ”.
Gran Canaria and London
Gil confesses that he has always been obsessed with the life of Oramas and “how he painted in an increasingly luminous way as he approached death. That is what I try to tell in this novel that is situated between Gran Canaria and London, but which, above all, delves into the soul of any human being who faces his own destiny creating where there was absolutely nothing before ”. Gil adds that this novel is dedicated to the memory of Chiqui Castellano Suárez, who was the one who inspired it and who first read it, and to his daughter Isabel.
Of the 124 manuscripts (36 more than in the first edition convened in 2018) submitted to the Benito Pérez Galdós International Novel Prize, 29 came from the Canary Islands and another 75 from different Spanish autonomous communities, while 11 were sent from different foreign countries such as Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, France, Germany, Ireland and Cuba.
The jury decided to award a second prize, without financial endowment, and without implying its publication by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, as established by the bases of the Prize, to the novel A orillas del Guiniguada, by Juan José Mendoza Torres.
Endowed with 15,000 euros and the publication of the winning text, the second call that Santiago Gil has obtained, recovers a literary contest that was not convened by the Cabildo of Gran Canaria since 1989 and whose record includes writers such as Luis León Barreto, Fernando G. Delgado or Emilio González Déniz, among other authors.