Luis Mateo Díez receives the Cervantes Prize: “Nothing interests me less than myself” | Culture | EUROtoday

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Luis Mateo Díez defines himself as an “octagenarian of reasonable health”; and, in fact, he arrived this Tuesday in higher well being on the Auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) than lots of the final winners. There he obtained the 2023 Cervantes Prize, awarded by the Ministry of Culture, the best award for literature in Spanish. So, with a agency and deep voice, nearly radio-like, he reviewed his life, his literary profession, in a purely bookish speech with out allusions to present occasions. As yearly, the Kings presided over the sober ceremony and Felipe VI introduced the award, inserting the gold medal across the neck of the winner, with your entire Auditorium standing in sustained applause. An occasion attended by different personalities such because the president of the federal government, Pedro Sánchez, the minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun or the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

After slowly ascending the steps to the platform, the author spoke at size, and started with the story of his post-war childhood (in these instances, we’re instructed, pre-war), a childhood that “can distill an attachment of sadness and desolation, which that so many losses entail between families and neighborhoods”, although, as a child, the tragedy did not cloud his world completely, “because the luck of affection overcame the misfortune of so many misfortunes.” From his deepest childhood, Díez wanted, “although it may sound a bit exaggerated,” to be a author, and within the library of his father, Florentino, he discovered the classics, the Greco-Latin and people of the Spanish Golden Age, which, along with custom oral, is a part of the inspiration of his literature.

Díez made the inevitable reference to Don Quixote: he soon realized that the Knight of the Sad Figure was not a hero, but an “antihero”, a “recidivist loser”: part of that quixotic aura was transferred to the characters in his novels, many of them, precisely, “heroes of failure.” The same poetics of failure that, a year before, another winner, the Venezuelan poet Rafael Cadenas, appealed to in this same place.

Díez, born in the mining town of Villablino, in the Laciana valley, in the last north of León, is the author of The fountain of age, The ruin of heaven, The kingdom of Celama, The sidereal elders, Laciana: heaven and dream, among many other works, has been part of the Royal Academy of Language (RAE) since 2000. To its credit it has the distinction of having won the Critics' Prize twice and the National Narrative Prize twice (1986 and 2000), as well as the National Literature Award in 2020, among many others. With this award, the Cervantes, which cannot be won twice, once again awards a novelist, after an unexpected streak of five poets: Rafael Cadenas, Cristina Peri Rossi, Francisco Brines, Joan Margarit and Ida Vitale, who received the award in 2018. Díez, a tireless filler of notebooks, says he writes to live, now more than ever.

  The King of Spain, Felipe VI, presents the 2023 Cervantes Prize to the Spanish writer Luis Mateo Díez in the presence of Queen Letizia, during the award ceremony this Tuesday in the Auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares.
The King of Spain, Felipe VI, presents the 2023 Cervantes Prize to the Spanish author Luis Mateo Díez within the presence of Queen Letizia, in the course of the award ceremony this Tuesday within the Auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares.
Ballesteros (EFE)

The winner has practiced all genres, and hybridity is considered one of his attribute options, a hybridity that may be very modern right now, however that Díez has practiced naturally all through his profession. “It is not surprising that hybridity is an outstanding feature throughout his career: novels built on the basis of stories, essays interspersed with stories or vice versa, fables unified in a cycle and autonomous narratives that grouped together constitute a suggestive narrative mosaic,” Felipe VI identified in his speech.

“Telling life was my aspiration,” Díez mentioned in his speech. However, not a lot my very own life as different lives: “The truth is that I should recognize a precarious inability to write what happens to me, what happens in my existence, what my biography proposes, nothing interests me less than myself.” . Felipe VI influenced the character of fiction: “Fiction has always been considered a journey. Writing is discovering, traveling means looking and knowing, Díez proposes in one of his stories. The archetype of the journey is strongly rooted in the genre of the novel. “Don Quixote travels, he goes out on the road to right wrongs in search of adventures and chimeras,” the King recalled that Díez remembers.

Luis Mateo Díez at a moment during the ceremony.
Luis Mateo Díez at a second in the course of the ceremony. Ballesteros (EFE)

Writer, then, of the creativeness, with the celebrity (and look) of Cervantes, prolific, formidable, very liked on the planet, son of Leonese oral narration, particularly of the custom of philanderer: “Listening and writing united what reading or telling had as an incentive and incentive,” he mentioned. He additionally owns his personal territory, Celama and the Shadow Cities, like García Márquez's Macondo, like Rulfo's Comala. Although as a baby he wrote brief novels, which had been revealed by his brother Anton, his literary profession started along with his participation within the literary journal Skylight, within the 70s. Then got here that torrential manufacturing each in novels, brief tales, and tales: The provincial stations, The fruits of the fog, The classes of issues, The castaway's file, The head on fireplace or Vicissitudes.

Although the territory of his work is repeated, it’s not repetitive for the reader. “Paradoxically, everything is new, everything is original and open before your eyes like a home that expands every time you return to it,” mentioned Minister Urtasun. The cause is given by Urtasun himself: that he attracts from an actual geographical house, very acquainted to the writer, however which is taken into the realm of the symbolic. An area the place there’s “an allegory of human loss, loneliness, exile and the dreams that remain to be fulfilled.”

In that wholesome previous age, Díez continues on the forefront of literature, nonetheless on the full disposal of his characters. “I live dedicated to them, since they are the ones who save me,” Díez concluded.

All the tradition that goes with you awaits you right here.



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