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(Barcelona, 1921 - Madrid, 2004) Spanish writer. Carmen Laforet Díaz was born in Barcelona on September 6, 1921, although with two years of age moved with his family to the Canary Islands. At eighteen, after completing high school studies, he decided to return to Barcelona to study the careers of philosophy and letters and law, although not finished any of the two. Little satisfied his University, when he was twenty-one years old he went to live in Madrid.
In Madrid known journalist and literary critic Manuel Cerezales, who encouraged her to continue with his newly initiated literary first steps. It was only two years later, in 1944, when his life would an unexpected upset in presenting its Nothing novel to the newly created Nadal Prize, awarded by Editions destination.
Although among other competitors for the prize was a writer of strong track record as a journalist César González Ruano, the jury chose to bet on the young stranger. His image appeared in the press in the country, which acclaimed it as a literary revelation. And it was so, because Nothing was reprinted up to three times the same year of its release.
Renovation of Spanish letters
After two years of his literary success, his private life also changed positively when he married Manuel Cerezales, he would have five children, two of them writers, Cristina, and Augustine.
Already enshrined as one of the best narrators of the Spanish reality of the era, the years that followed were intense. In 1948 the Royal Spanish Academy honored her with the Fastenrath Prize for his first novel, while she continued to write without ceasing stories and newspaper articles. During the decades of the 1950s and 1960s Laforet tasted the sweetness of success.
His literary production had three milestones, the novels that followed Nothingin that period. In 1952 he published the island and the demons, which evoked the years of his childhood and adolescence in the Canary Islands. Three years later saw the light the new woman, a title that could be the definition of your life at this time, but which was in fact the story of his "conversion" to Catholicism after years of agnosticism. This novel was the winner of the Premio Menorca's novel and the following year earned its author the national literature prize awarded by the Ministry of culture, but also more of one problem with the ecclesiastical censorship. In 1963 his growing prestige made to Editorial Planeta is interested in his work and publish insolation, intended as the first installment of a trilogy entitled three steps out of time.
Years of voluntary retirement
For a few more years followed by publishing short stories, articles and even a book of travel in 1967 (parallel 35). But the good star that had accompanied it until then began to fade. The Decade of the 1970s was marked by his frequent depressions, the separation from her husband, and one ever-increasing public rejection.
He never stopped writing, but his works were left incomplete, sometimes forgotten, because his desire for perfectionism became an obsession. After a long time being object of admiration by its readers, economic difficulties, envies and grudges of the literary circles as well as ambiance treated that felt strange, were taking her to a voluntary retirement.
Because of its isolation and search for privacy reasons he speaks I can count on you, a collection of letters with his friend Ramón. J. Sender, which met in 1965 during his trip to the United States, invited by the State Department. The collection and edition of texts her daughter was made Cristina Cerezales in 2003. As the years passed, the memory of the fertile writer was weakening and diminish their physical health. Finally, defeated by Alzheimer's disease, he died on February 28, 2004.
While two years before his death his name rang as a candidate for the prize Prince of Asturias de las Letras, its best reward in recent decades was the favor of the public, who did not forget it and that made possible the continuous reprints of anything. Recently, editions target decided to rescue his complete works with a plan of publishing two books a year and the gradual translation of your texts. Part outstanding of this plan to turn the corner, an unpublished novel publishing. Written in the 1970s by way of newspaper around a mature painter Bohemian, it would correspond to the second installment of the trilogy which started with insolation.
The name of Carmen Laforet will always United in the collective memory with its most successful creation, Nothing. As a transcript of his own life, the novel follows the initiatory route of the young Andrea, which, at the end of 1939, arrives in Barcelona, full of illusions and ready to begin his university studies. But his juvenile longings collide with the world gray, full of violence, which represent their grandmothers and uncles, who welcome it in their house.
Laforet was able to convey in this work, written in a literary style that was a stream of fresh air in the prose of the time, the slow agony of the petty bourgeoisie of post-war. The adult characters in the novel walking disorientated by a territory full of fears and wounds healed poorly. Front of them, Andrea and her friend Ena represent a new generation that sees how his desire to create a different world are systematically aborted. «How many days without importance! Unimportant days that had passed since my arrival I weighed over», Andrea confesses in his story. With its desperately Existentialist tone, Nothing is a key piece of the literary realism of post-war urban and always modern, novel.
In the arid scenery of the Spanish civil war were few literary voices that were raised on silence and even less those of women, domestic rearguard of a militarized and macho country. But it was in this unfavourable context in which a twenty-three-year-old girl surprised everyone with his first novel, what would happen to the history of Spanish and universal literature.
Carmen Laforet, fragile, shy and elusive, woman who sometimes is confused with the protagonist of the novel which gave him fame, was able to conquer a prominent position with colleagues of his generation such as Camilo José Cela, Antonio Buero Vallejo and Miguel Delibes, who quite rightly defined it as "the new woman" when there were only women in literature. Indeed, Carmen Laforet, Ana María Matute, Carmen Martín Gaite and Josefina Aldecoa were some of the few women's names that challenged the dark role reserved for women in Franco's Spain.
Extinguished the glare of the generation of 27 and with a large number of writers victims of war or in painful exile, the post-war generation opened new roads to the letters. Carmen Laforet soon attained the respect and admiration of his contemporaries, as Juan Ramón Jiménez, which, glossing the masterpiece of the writer, spoke of «so human beauty of this book that draws sheet after sheet of writing substance».
Some later critics at the time have wanted to see a work comparable to Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë Nothing . Moreover, Otero Barral, editor of Laforet, referred, on the occasion of the death of the author, to his "immeasurable talent» and did not hesitate to equate it to Virginia Woolf by its modernity as a woman. In any case, Nothing would be - after Don Quixote, the family of Pascual Duarte , one hundred years of solitude- one of the most translated of all time Spanish-language novels.