Title: The current Spanish novel, extracts: conference Miguel Delibes in Paris
Duration: 24 min., 11 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Extractos de la conferencia de Miguel Delibes en el Instituto Hispánico de París sobre la novela española en las décadas de los 40 y 50 del siglo XX
In his novelistic side, Miguel Delibes (1920-2010) is considered to be one of the teachers of the Generation of 1950 and the Spanish literature in general. He graduated in Buisiness (whose chair would hold years later), began his career in the journalistic environment of 'El Norte de Castilla' (The North of 'Castilla'), of which he would became editor in chief (between 1958 and 1963). He was member of the Royal Spanish Academy from 1975 until his death. His first novel, 'La sombra del ciprés es alargada' (The shadow of the cypress is long), won the 'Premio Nadal' in 1947, although many experts assure that it was his third work published, 'El camino' (The way) (1950), the one that gives expression of the style that would characterize him: frugal, 'Castilian' (from 'Castilla', a region of Spain), formally simple but with great depth. During the decade of the fifties he was a very prolific author, as he almost published a book per year, so in the date of the recording (1961) he had already published at least twelve novels. A year later, after the publication of 'Las ratas' (The rats), he filmed the first of the cinematographic adaptations of one of his works, 'The way', directed by Ana Mariscal.
In June 1963, because of his continuous clashes with the Ministry of Information and Tourism (already in the period of Manuel Fraga Iribarne), he handed in his resignation as the director of 'El Norte de Castilla'. After practising as a professor of Literature in the University of Maryland (United States), he began the writing of 'Cinco horas con Mario' (Five hours with Mario) -no less than a monologue of 27 chapters-, published shortly after the passing of the Law of Press and Printing in 1966. A work that marked deeply the subsequent novelistic background: his approach surprised the critics, in a decade in which the stylistic concerns and the experimentation went beyond the ethics of the message. Many consider this book as a bridge between the generation of the half century and the Generation of the 68 (although its origins were previous). The portrait of the Castilian rural society (a dying world, prey of the technocrat developmentalism) would virtually be the 'leiv motiv' of all his novelistic work, always full of data and biographical experiences.
Although he had to fight against the Republican State in the ranks of the rebel army, his cultural and social commitment took him to dissident positions against the Franco regime, as his collaborations with the progressive press show, collaborations that took place along the decade of the sixties. In fact, it was essential his article "Trip to Czechoslovakia", made as a result of a personal trip during the "Prague Spring". Published in 'TRIUNFO' along six issues, and edited a little later as a book, the text was in definite a veiled criticism to the technocratic developmentalism and a defence of a freer and fairer society, in a very socialist way:
"(...) Look, if you measure the progress of a society by the neon, the consumption of petrol or the strip-tease, it will be necessary to admit that occident has won the game. The cars in traffic, the lights and the ladies that undress in public in the capitalist countries are, indeed, of another quality, a more more refined and provocative quality that in the other side. Obviously. But also it can happen that (...) those are precisely the most evident symbols of the idolatry and decadence of occident. I have to tell you that if progress is that, it will be necessary to admit that the socialism is absolutely wrong or, at least, worse than the capitalism. But I doubt that the index of progress of a society can lean on such despicable foundations" (TRIUNFO, 25-05-1968).
See the other recording of an interview with Miguel Delibes.
University of Alicante. University Library. Fonoteca