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Entries Tagged as '“TEROAREA SPAŢIULUI”'

Poetry in Translation (CXXI): Gabriel CELAYA (Guipúzcoa, 1911 – Madrid, 1991), Basque Poet – “TEROAREA SPAŢIULUI” (Terror of the Open, Terror de lo Abierto)

August 29th, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Celaya is an artiste of many facets: born in the Basque country at the time of its heavy Industry boom, he forged for himself a career in Engineering, which allowed him sufficient financial independence to follow the interest closest to his heart: poetry and left-wing politics. He succeeded to carve for himself a reputation of an “engaged” poet and fan of Fidel Castro and his Cuban social experiment.
Celaya’s silence over the plight of his fellow writers in Berlin (1953), Budapest (1956), Prague (1968), or indeed in Stalin’s gulags, is consistent with his putting his name forward as a candidate of the Spanish Communist Party, in the 1977 general elections, in his native Guipuzkoa.. By this time he was idolised as a national literary hero (and survivor), having heaped on him moult Literary prizes: Critics’ Award (1957), Libera Stampa International Award (1963), Etna-Taormina International Award (1967), Atalaya Award (1967) and finally the National Spanish Literature Award (1986).
Given such success, it is reasonable to think that Celaya may have dreaamt of a Nobel Prize, but this, sadly, eluded him, as by then, such accolades went to other “engaged” fellow-writers in the East, such as Pasternak (1958), Solzhenytsyn, (1970) Walesa (1983), or Brodsky (1987), who appraised the world of the stark realities of the ‘communist paradise’ – realities which Celaya, sadly, chose to ignore.
Notwithstanding such reticence, the poet remains one of the greats of Basque (and Spanish) literature, who left behind a prodigal output.

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