June 20, 2021

Writer José Manuel Caballero Bonald dies at 94

The writer José Manuel Caballero Bonald.

The writer José Manuel Caballero Bonald.

The poet Jose Manuel Caballero Bonald, Cervantes award of the year 2012, He has died at the age of 94 in Madrid. Knight Bonald is one of the most outstanding contemporary voices in Spanish literature and prominent member of the Generation of the 50s with Francisco Brines, Carlos Barral, José Ángel Valente, Claudio Rodríguez, Ángel González, José Agustín Goytisolo and Jaime Gil de Biedma.

Poet, novelist and essayist, Caballero Bonald was born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) on November 11, 1926. To a Cuban father and a mother of French aristocratic descent., studied Philosophy and Letters in Seville between 1949 and 1952 and nautical and astronomy in Cádiz. He published his first collection of poems, ‘Las adivinaciones’, in 1952, after having obtained with it a second prize in the Adonáis Prize. Two years earlier he had won the Silversmith for Poetry.

He was a professor of Spanish Literature at the National University of Colombia and at the Center for Hispanic Studies at Bryn Mawr College. He was the literary director of Editorial Júcar, deputy director of Papeles de Son Armadans and worked at the Lexicography Seminar of the Royal Spanish Academy. He also ran a record label and edited an Archive of flamenco singing in 1966, consisting of a monograph and a series of on-site recordings.

His career as a novelist began with ‘Two days in September’ (1962; Short Library award), which was followed ‘Cat’s eye agate’ (1974; Barral award, which he resigns, and of the Critics), ‘All night they heard birds passing by’ (nineteen eighty one), ‘In the father’s house’ (1988) and ‘Agramante’s Field ‘ (1992), which have been repeatedly reissued and translated into different languages.

He is also the author of memoir books ‘Time of lost wars’ (1995) and ‘The habit of living’ (2001) which is subdivided into a third part, ‘Postponed forgetfulness’ in a joint edition entitled ‘The novel of memory’ (2010).

His complete poetic work is included in the volume ‘We are the time that we have left’. He has also published various books of essays and travel chronicles and has made different adaptations of classic Castilian plays, among them ‘Abre el ojos’, by Rojas Zorrilla, ‘Don Gil de las calzas rojas’, by Tirso de Molina, and ‘Fuenteovejuna’, by Lope de Vega, released respectively in Madrid in 1978, 1994 and 1998. He was president of the Spanish session of the International PEN Club, a position from which he resigned in 1981, and in 1998 he created the Foundation that bears his name. In his honor, the Caballero Bonald International Essay Award was instituted in 2004.


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