Controversy over the Dulce Chacón literary prize: the household is contemplating withdrawing the identify | Culture | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

The elimination of the values ​​of “dignity, solidarity and justice” and the favored jury within the bases of the literary prize named after the Extremaduran author Dulce Chacón, which is awarded every year by the City Council of the Extremaduran city of Zafra, has put into query warfare footing to a part of the household of the creator, who died in 2003 on the age of 49. The determination of the PP municipal authorities has additionally brought on the rejection of a number of of the previous winners, in addition to pals of the author, who’ve signed a manifesto during which they criticize the actions of the Consistory. Dolores, María and Eduardo, kids of Chacón, lead the 300 signatories.

“It is no longer my sister's prize. She no longer represents Dulce and we do not want to give her a certificate of naturalness,” her sister Inma Chacón, additionally a author, explains to EL PAÍS: “If the award does not respond to her values, it should not bear her name. If an agreement is not reached, the heirs may decide to remove his name.”

The narrative award had been awarded within the city for 20 years with out adjustments in its foundations, however beginning this 12 months it is going to not embody in its bases that the awarded books, along with their literary high quality, have moral ideas, eliminating from their bases the creator's foundations. In that third level it was learn that the awarded works needed to be “linked to principles such as dignity, justice and solidarity, among other human values, thereby trying to associate the award with the vital and aesthetic career of Dulce Chacón.” Her sister justifies to this newspaper by telephone that the award “has never had a political nature, it simply adjusted to the universal principles of human rights. Is it that the right doesn't sign these principles?” she asks. The new guidelines determined by the mayor, Juan Carlos Fernández, have eradicated from the assertion the phrase “honor the memory of the Zafren writer Dulce Chacón”, who, her sister remembers, has taken the identify of this city in every single place.

Another novelty is that the members of the jury have fully modified, eliminating the favored jury. The mayor defined to EL PAÍS that he determined to make these modifications, printed on April 11 within the Official Gazette of the Province, with the intention of “giving greater operability and transparency to an award that is awarded with public money.” The intention, the politician factors out, is to “reward a quality work, whatever values ​​it has. It should not be an award for either the left or the right, but for any ideology. The main thing is that it not be a mess. It is common sense that will dictate that it will not be given to a Nazi, obviously.”

The new jury is made up of “experts” resembling the author and normal secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth of the Government of Extremadura, José Luis Gil Soto; the author Rafaela Cano López, and in addition one other of the author's brothers, Antonio Chacón. “We are not going against the jury or against the finalist works, we want it to be maintained. They have put my brother between a rock and a hard place,” says her sister Inma.

The mayor, who explains that he’s the one one accountable for these adjustments, factors out that that is an “interested controversy with a patrimonial sense” of those that don’t settle for an award that doesn’t comply with their standards: “They have caused a mess for nothing. There is nothing against the writer, on the contrary. And those who have protested are only part of the family,” says Fernández, who additionally describes the writing towards his determination as “a tantrum” by Luciano Feria, winner of the Dulce Chacón award in 2021, promoter of his fame and one of many 12 former award-winning signatories, together with Luis Landero and José Ovejero: “If you want to change the award, make me proposals for next year and we will analyze them. Stand in an election and publish it at your discretion, or organize an association with private financing, and let them keep the prize.”

Fernández, who remembers that he wrote a ebook about Dulce Chacón's father and former mayor of Zafra, says that it’s the manifesto that’s inflicting “great damage that devalues ​​the award, for not doing it the way they like and for its belligerent attitude.” His household factors out that this “is an insult to Dulce and an excuse to take away the prize. The mayor has not had the courage to do it, because he has no argument, and he pushes the situation to it.

Among the signatories are the writers Manuel Vilas, Marta Sanz, Nuria Barrios, Máximo Huertas, Carme Chaparro, Nativel Preciado, Benjamín Prado, the journalist Paco Lobatón, the actresses Gracia Olayo, Berta Ojea and Laura Toledo, and the former socialist mayor of Zafra José Carlos Contreras Asturiano. “Why change the bases of a prize that was working perfectly and about which there has never been a complaint? Does this mean that the award no longer represents the values ​​of the person who gives it its name?” They ask: “What is behind these changes? What are the criteria for these changes?”

Erasure of the favored jury

Another change within the award, price 9,000 euros, is to remove the jury made up of the readers of Zafra, with about 16,600 inhabitants. The mayor is vehement on this level: “It was an ethereal thing, that we did not know how it was regulated, who was that jury, how was it decided? Nothing appeared in the award bases, and everything was opaque.” But the sister of the creator of The sleeping voice factors out that the vote of any resident of Zafra was one of many specific hallmarks of the award: “And it showed that there was no political bias. Above all, people from the book club voted, and the councilor certified it. But the mayor is completely unaware of the award.” Furthermore, the mayor additionally defends himself towards the protest towards those that level out that now the award might be considerably extra regional, provided that the jury is expressly native: “It has coincided like this, but other years it may change, and aren't there good writers in Extremadura? ?”

The finalist novels for this XIX Dulce Chacón Prize for Spanish Fiction are: Identityby José Antonio Leal Canales; I gained't see you die, by Antonio Muñoz Molina; Octoberby Elisa Victoria; If this had been a novelby Pilar Galán and A lightweight within the night time of Rome, by Jesús Sánchez Adalid. All printed in 2023. The mayor makes use of Muñoz Molina, exactly, to defend his determination: “he is a well-known author and not exactly right-wing. But we don't want to be constrained by values. If he doesn't fall into one philosophy or another, nothing happens. We just want it to be drinkable, a good work, and obeying some values ​​in itself does not offer a good work.” “Of course values ​​matter,” says Inma Chacón: “And if they don't like them, let them create another award, with courage and without subterfuge. The literary quality was already considered before.”

The author Fernando Aramburu, one of many signatories and winner of the award, writes this Tuesday in his column in EL PAÍS: “The award has operated without hindrance for two decades, providing Zafra with cultural prestige. Once the arrival of a new municipal government led to a change in the presidency of the jury. These things happen. However, the bases of the award remained intact (…) In view of the mayor's office, even the Junta de Extremadura has distanced itself from the councilor.” On May 21, the Minister of Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sports of Extremadura, Victoria Bazaga, pointed out that the changes introduced have been an exclusive decision of its mayor “under his discretion”, Juan Carlos Fernández Calderón, and that the executive regional “has nothing to say.” She additionally regretted if “any inconvenience” had occurred.

The councilor factors out that it is a determination solely of the mayor's workplace, and that the Board solely supplies a part of the prize cash: “Because you protest, I am not going to retract it. The law protects me. When they win, I will understand that they change the prize according to their ideology. I have the legitimacy of an election. The total power belongs to the mayor's office.” Also the writer Julio Llamazares wrote a column in The Spanish newspaper against the decision: “The PP is bothered by the award itself.”

The award is organized by the Zafra City Council in collaboration with the Government of Extremadura and the Provincial Council of Badajoz. Works by authors resembling Javier Marías, Andrea Abreu, José Ovejero, Belén Gopegui, Fernando Aramburu and Rafael Chirbes have gained it and, along with the financial prize, it contains sculpture Hug, by the Mallorcan sculptor Iñaki Martínez. Inma Chacón stays optimistic that in a few of the future conferences, with the mediation of the board, the battle that has brought on nice discomfort might be resolved: “The first thing is to add the popular jury again and for the next one add the bases of the previous ones. Is not difficult. And if an agreement is not reached, this will no longer be the Dulce Chacón award.”

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



The literary information analyzed by the most effective critics in our weekly publication


Subscribe to proceed studying

Read with out limits