Miguel de Cervantes Award Lectures
Monday 15th June @ 6.30 p.m. at Luis Vives Hall
39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB
Ana María Matute
Las representaciones del sueño en la cuentística
de Ana María Matute
By Prof. María Rosario Quintana (Marshall University, USA)
This lecture series has been organised by the
Embassy of Spain, Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs and the
Instituto Cervantes London
To reserve a seat please contact: email@example.com
Ana Maria Matute Ausejo (1925 – 2014 Barcelona) was one of the most prestigious voices in contemporary Spanish literature and member of the Real Academia Española. She is well known for her sympathetic treatment of the lives of children as well as adolescents, their feelings, isolation and their rites of passage. She often interjected elements as myth, fairy tale, the supernatural and fantasy into her works. Some of the most recurrent themes in her works are violence, alienation, misery and especially the loss of innocence.
She was the third woman to receive the Miguel de Cervantes Prize in 2010 for her literary work and other prizes such as Premio Nadal (1959), Premio Nacional de Literatura (1959), Premio Planeta (1954) and Premio Nacional de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil (1984). She was an honorary member of the Hispanic Society of America.
At the age of four she contracted a chronic kidney infection, and was taken to live with her grandparents in a small town near Logroño (La Rioja), for a period of recovery. Matute said that she was profoundly influenced by the villagers whom she met during the time there.
Matute was 10 years old when the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, and this conflict is said to have had the greatest impact on Matute’s writing. She frequently used biblical allusion in her works and often used the story of Cain and Abel to symbolize the familial division caused by the Spanish Civil War. Her first novel was titled Los Abel (1948; The Abel Family). She followed up with Fiesta al noroeste (1953; Celebration in the Northwest), then wrote a trilogy consisting of Primera Memoria (1959; UK title, Awekening; U.S title, School of the Sun) about children thrust into an adult world by the Spanish Civil War; a war novel, Los soldados lloran de noche (1964) and La Trampa (1969; The Trap) in which the children of Primera Memoria are presented as adults. Her novel Olvidado Rey Gudú, a massive allegorical folk epic that spans four generations in the story of rulers, gnomes, witches, and other creatures in the mythical medieval kingdom of Olar, was published in 1966. Among her later works are Aranmanoth (2000) and Paraíso inhabitado (2008; Uninhabited Paradise). In addition to the novels for which she is best known, Matute wrote several collections of short stories, including Los niños tontos (1956; The Foolish Children), Algunos muchachos (1968; The Heliotrope Wall), and La puerta de la luna: cuentos completos (2010; The Door of the Moon: Complete Stories). She also wrote several works for children.
Prof. María Rosario Quintana is a tenured Professor of Spanish Literature and Linguistics. She has been the Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish at Marshall University and a philologist from the Real Academia Española, where she coordinated teams of researchers among other responsibilities. She worked on the development of various projects, such as CREA (Reference Corpus of the Current Spanish Language) and CORDE (Diachronic Corpus of the Spanish Language), linguistic databases that are essential for maintaining the Academic dictionaries. She taught at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid among other institutions in Spain. Her books, articles, papers, and lectures focus on contemporary Spanish literature, interdisciplinary studies, Hispanic linguistics, transatlantic and literary translation studies. Her publications include several works on Ana María Matute, Medardo Fraile, Ignacio Aldecoa, Carmen Martín Gaite, and Camilo José Cela, as well as the Bibliografía de Dámaso Alonso (1998), in collaboration, and the seven volumes that comprise Lengua y literatura castellanas (continuously updated since 2003). Currently, she is writing a book entitled España y América: traducción e influencias (1939-1975).