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Cela, Camilo José

translated spanish duarte pascual

(Spanish, 1916–2002)

Although this prolific Spanish writer has been highly esteemed for half a century (culminating in his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1989), only a relatively small amount of his work has been translated into English. Two of the novels available in English stand out. La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942; translated as The Family of Pascual Duarte, 1964), his first novel, is a compelling and sometimes brutal story told by Pascual Duarte, a murderer on death row. La colmena (1951; translated as The Hive, 1953), now considered his masterpiece, is set in Madrid in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and the city itself is the true hero of the book. Although in parts the novel is experimental in form, its emphasis is on traditional things—strong and attentive characterization (even of the most minor characters) and a clear, unromanticized portrayal of a difficult time. Mazurca para dos muertos (1984; translated as Mazurka for Two Dead Men, 1992) is also recommended.

Juan Goytisolo, Mario Vargas Llosa  DHa

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about 7 years ago

Cela, Camilo José