Monday, October 10, 2016

Camilo José Cela

Camilo José Cela y Trulock, 1st Marquis of Iria Flavia (1916 –2002) was a Spanish novelist, short story writer and essayist associated with the Generation of '36 movement.
He was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Literature "for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability".
The Hive was first published in Argentina, as Franco's Roman Catholic Church-affiliated government banned it because of the perceived immorality of its content referencing erotic themes. This meant that his name could no longer appear in the printed media. Nevertheless, Cela remained loyal to the Franco regime, even working as an informer for the Spanish secret police by reporting on the activities of dissident groups.
In his later years he became known for his scandalous outbursts; in an interview with Mercedes Milá for Spanish state television he boasted of his ability to absorb litres of water via his anus while offering to demonstrate. He had already scandalized Spanish society with his Diccionario secreto, a dictionary of slang and taboo words.
He described the Spanish Cervantes Prize as being "covered with shit" and was later, ironically, awarded the prize in 1995.
In 1998, he expressed discomfort towards the presence of homosexual groups at the commemoration of Federico Garcia Lorca's centenary, stating that, "For me, I would prefer a more straight forward and less anecdotal commemoration without the support of gay groups. I have nothing against gays, I just do not take it up the ass".

1 comment:

  1. Amazing that he continued to support and work for the Franco regime after being persecuted by them. This, alone with his later scandalous expressions and his discomfort around gay groups gives the impression he was pretty much a self-repressed individual.