Old Spain and New Spain: The Travel Narratives of Camilo by David Henn

By David Henn

This can be the 1st book-length examine of the six commute narratives released via the 1989 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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In fact, it was not until La colmena (1951) that the author employed this narrative method in a full-length work of fiction. Given that a first draft of La colmena was submitted to the censor in January 1946, a mere six months before the Alcarria trip and the publication of the early chapters of the travel book, it is possible that the unconventional narrative approach that Cela adopted with the Alcarria account was the result of his switch to and satisfaction with the almost total employment of third-person narration in La colmena.

Some twenty years earlier, the novelist and travel writer, Azorı´n, advised against rushing travels into print. In his article ‘‘Los viajes’’ [Travels], published in 1927, he suggested that there should be a substantial delay between the journey and its transformation into literature in order to allow the important features to emerge: ‘‘So let time pass by, in the depths of one’s mind, doing its work, classifying and refining reality. ’’22 However, this was certainly not the method that Azorı´n had adopted in his early years when, for example, the articles that later constituted La ruta de Don Quijote [Don Quixote’s Route] were written in La Mancha in March 1905, sent to Madrid, and published within days in El Imparcial.

7 In fact, it is a six-hundred-word address that is much more in keeping with the kind of substantial, epistolary dedication that saw its heyday in the eighteenth century, when an author often sought favor and protection from some eminent figure. For example, in 1760 Laurence Sterne dedicated Tristram Shandy to William Pitt, the Elder, at the time perhaps the most powerful politician in Britain. However, the two hundred words of Sterne’s dedication reveal nothing of the content of the novel. Cela’s address to Gregorio Maran˜ o´ n, also couched in the epistolary format, is initially a statement of the young writer’s debt to a distinguished literary figure.

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