The great Juan Goytisolo, for me the most interesting Spanish writer of his generation, was awarded the prestigious Cervantes Prize for 2014. Below the pix, the CNA (Catalan News Agency) report on the event.
Juan Goytisolo, author from Barcelona, scoops prestigious Cervantes Prize 2014
Barcelona (ACN).- The winner of the Cervantes Prize 2014 is Catalan author Juan Goytisolo, who has developed his entire literary career in Spanish and has lived in several countries throughout his life. The jury’s verdict for the prestigious literary award, considered the Nobel Prize of literature in Spanish, was read at noon on Monday by Spain’s Minister for Culture, José Ignacio Wert. He highlighted the author’s “ability to delve into language, his “complex stylistic proposals” and “his desire to bring together” different cultures. Goytisolo, who now lives in Marrakech (Morocco), will receive the award at a ceremony to be held on April 23 in Alcalá de Henares, in Madrid’s region. The Cervantes Prize is awarded by the Spanish Minister of Culture and is worth €125,000. Goytisolo’s works have been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, Polish, Slovak and Romanian. His two brothers José Agustín and Luís are also writers.
Juan Goytisolo, who was born in Barcelona in 1931, travelled extensively, living in several countries and his current abode is Marrakesh. In 1956 he moved to Paris, where he worked as a consultant for the French publisher Gallimard. Thirteen years later, in the late 1960’s, he moved to the United States, where he worked as a professor, primarily in the University of La Jolla in San Diego, and later in Boston and New York.
An expert in the Arab world who also cooperates with UNESCO
The Barcelona-born author is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and is president of the jury that selects the UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. An expert of the Arab world, Goytisolo’s has contributed knowledge on this subject at European level through articles and essays. Moreover, he was a vociferous advocate of the designation of the Jemaa-el-Fna square in Marrakesh, as an Oral Heritage of Humanity.
His first novels were ‘Juegos de manos’ (1954), ‘Duelo en el paraíso’ (1955) or the trilogy made up of ‘El circo’ (1947), ‘Fiestas’ (1958) and ‘La resaca’- which are considered to be part of the ‘critic realism’ literary movement. Through his trilogy formed of ‘Señas de identidad’, ‘Reivindicación del conde Don Julián’ and ‘Juan sin tierra’, there was a breaking point in Spanish literary tradition until now, as highlighted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
From this point on, he has explored new styles, and published novels such as ‘Makbara’, ‘Paisajes después de la batalla’, ‘Las virtudes del pájaro solitario’, ‘La cuarentena’, ‘La saga de los Marx’, ‘El sitio de los sitios’, ‘Carajicomedia’ or ‘Telón de boca’. In the 1980s, he published two autobiographical works: ‘Coto vedado’ and ‘En los reinos de taifa’. In addition, he also wrote ‘El furgón de cola’, ‘Blanco White’, ‘Contracorrientes’, ‘Cronicas sarracinas’ and ‘Aproximaciones a Gaudí en Capadocia’.
As for his journalistic contributions, they are to be found in the collections ‘Pájaro que ensucia su propio nido’ and ‘Contra las sagrades formas’. What is more, between 1993 and 1996, he lived in close proximity to the conflicts in Bosnia and Chechnya, and published several articles in the Spanish newspaper ‘El País’.
Until now, he has received other awards such as the Octavio Paz Essay and Poetry Award (2002), the Juan Rulfo Award (2004), the National Prize of Spanish Literature (2008), Award of Arts and Cultures of the Three Cultures Foundation (2009), and the Quixote Prize for Spanish Literature for the work of his entire career (2010).