Title: Twenty years of Spanish poetry by José María Castellet
Duration: 15 min.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Entrevista a José María Castellet a propósito de su antología "veinte años de poesía española".Se leen algunos poemas
The recording is an interview of Julian Antonio Ramirez to Jose Maria Castellet, a leading figure of dissent against Franco, and famous writer, editor and literary critic, following the Paris launch of his book 'Veinte años de poesía española 1939-1959' (see: the other recording 'Twenty years of Spanish poetry [Interview]'). Castellet is often lumped into the so-called 'Generation of the 50'.
Among those considered members of the 'Generation of the 50', there were two main groups. The one in Madrid and the one in Barcelona, which had common characteristics but also had some differences. Nearly all came from families of upper middle class who sympathized with Franco (children of "winners") and had been indoctrinated as a result, while Barcelona seemed to have a more pro-European training than those in Madrid, and usually their actuation had more of cultural than political.
In forming the group of Barcelona, had much to do the literary magazine 'Laye'. Published between 1950 and 1954 by the University Students' Union (SEU), and product policy Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez (Minister of Education between 1951 and 1956, which at that time he sought to endure the dictatorship, opening it to new cultural trends), 'Laye' was not subject to the censorship, becoming a platform for formation of dissident intellectuals Barcelona, allowing drift toward more liberal positions, with a clear evolution toward Marxist philosophical and literary realism, and Europe, essentially. For all these reasons, 'Laye' would be closed by government order, but his legacy continued (MANGINI, Shirley, 1987). In fact, the anthology 'Twenty years of Spanish poetry 1939-1959' was part of that legacy.
Castellet itself had already proposed to the editors 'Laye' publishing a series of collections of poems, as shown literary group of which he was part. However, it says it was while attending the tribute to Antonio Machado in Collioure February 1959, when the group became aware of a literary generation to be really new. José María Castellet and his friends agreed to the development of a poetry anthology to serve as manifesto and presented as such. Thus, although the introductory study was conducted by Castellet as a literary critic, all participated in the making of the anthology, which featured many works of the exiles (SALAS ROMO, Eduardo A., 2003, 165-180). The publisher Carlos Barral, a member of the group, recalled in his memoirs:
"I remember the countless sessions at the home of Castellet, discussion lists of authors, name by name, and dating poems and books, as if one. We see, José Agustín Goytisolo, Jaime Gil de Biedna and me sitting on the floor (...), suggesting, discussing among ourselves. José María [Castellet], which we called the quarter yet, not yet instrumentalize writers in Catalan, take notes sitting on the edge of a chair (...). I think in the case of Alfonso Costafreda, poet forgotten for ten years, totally missed the Genevan exile, whom the presence of this new business payroll poets urged serious consideration more than us. Were in vain repeated interventions by José Agustín Goytisolo and mine (...) in defense of its inclusion, saying justice and convenience (...)" (BARRAL, Carlos, 1978, 192-193).
Published in Editorial Seix Barral in 1960, the anthology was very controversial and criticized, as expected. Castellet assume the status of "theorist of the historical realism". There was a second expanded edition of the book, entitled 'A quarter century of Spanish poetry (1939-1964)', in which, interestingly, remained the same introductory study, although historical realism was already exceeded by poetry.
University of Alicante. University library. Fonoteca