Biography of Luis Rosales Camacho (1910-1992)

Poet and essayist Spanish, born in Granada on May 31, 1910 and died in Madrid on October 24, 1992. Belonging to the so-called generation of the 36 - which, in a way, was the visible head-, left a prolific and brilliant poetic legacy that, halfway between the depth of religious feeling and concern by the language, is one of the best exponents of what he/she called "poetry rooted" (i.e. poetry endearing, intimate deep breath Dámaso Alonso(, which focuses on the facts and the figures of everyday life that surrounds the poet: family, friendship, home, custom, routine, etc.). Poet of great influence among the voices of the young authors of generations that happened you, the whole of your serena and increasingly more refined lyric production - which reacted once sharply against the excesses of some of the poets garcilasistas neogongoristas to apply a new approach to the sobriety of the models - was recognized in 1982 with the prestigious Cervantes Prize, the most important literary award of the Spanish and Latin American letters.

Life and poetry

Born in the bosom of a wealthy family, he/she received as a child a careful humanistic education which, coupled with their innate literary vocation, he/she led him in his youth to the Faculty of philosophy and letters of the University of Madrid, where he/she obtained the degree of doctor. Integrated, from an early age, in the leading literary circles of the Spanish capital with his native Granada, despite the ideological orientation of his family - of clear bias Falangist - shared a friendship with the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, who was a refugee in the Granada House los Rosales when it was captured by those who would shoot him.

A year before this tragic episode, took place the young Luis Rosales already had been known as a writer with the publication of his first poetry collection, presented under the title of April (1935). This was a volume that, from the youthful vigor and spring-like freshness which had been announcing since the simplicity of his title, postulated, against already worn the cutting edge resources, a recovery of classic moulds (mainly, the romance and the sonnet) and a return to the old naturally expressive of the classical tradition (expressed here in the taste by the soft asonantes rhymes and)(, to a lesser extent, in the gentle fluidity of free verse). It is, in short, a work of paradigmatic of that then it would be named by critics as "Generation of 36" (composed of some literary figures such as Miguel Hernández, Luis Felipe Vivanco, Leopoldo Panero, Rafael Duyos, Dionisio Ridruejo, etc.): from the absolute domain of a feeling that could be identified with the tenderness, the poet uses delicate images - on changing - to refer to everyday concernswithout rejecting this poetic material which, from the uprooting and the pain, crystallizes in a composition of deep religious scope (as titled "mercy").

The intimacy reflected in this poetic first installment of Luis Rosales (which ultimately become one of the main hallmarks of the lyric production of the poet from Granada) is also present in his second book of poems, appeared at the end of the Civil war under the title of Retablo de Navidad (1940) - published in other subsequent editions, as a sacred altar of the birth of the Lord (Madrid(: Ed. Auditorium, 1964)-, which fixing Rosales by seemingly insignificant routine detail again collect high-flying poetry, as it is evident, v. gr., in the poem entitled "Song that never sets foot on the ground": "snow is speaking. Today / has gone mad: seems: / calling with the knuckles / door to door. It comes and goes. I do not know who is writing it / but is read on the air. / Look at it well: when it arrives / the ground, stop; / does not touch on Earth: flame, / seems to call. "/ It seems".

During those years of the Decade of the forties, Luis Rosales began to collaborate so assiduous in some of the major publications on the cultural scene at the moment, as the famous Escorial journal, in whose Foundation took an active part the poet from Granada (in 1943, when this publication abandoned their initial Falangist orientation to opt, under the direction of José María Alfaro(, by a decidedly Catholic tone, the only one of the authors of the founding group who remained faithful to their pages was Luis Rosales). In addition, he/she also collaborated in other magazines such as island and vertex, to end up assuming the address, many years later, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos. This assiduous presence of Luis Rosales in the written press also had reflex in the pages of Rotary Madrid's ABC, where he/she left stamped his signature on several of their famous "third".

At the end of that decade of 1940s it came from the press that perhaps the masterpiece of poetic production of Luis Rosales, published under the title of the lit House (1949). He/She is a volume that, conceived in the form of a long unitary poem, adds a new surprising in relation to two former Grenadian author deliveries: the voice of the poet, presented until then as an accent in Ecstasy before the contemplation of nature, the beloved woman and family objects that surround him, is now a long-term Fund to cover a narrative perspective. Triumphs here, from this structural approach, the free verse expositional clarity (circumstance that wasn't surprised the attentive readers of Rosales, who already knew the early skirmishes of the poet versolibristas in April); but no longer in the service of the "pure poetry" which, under the aegis of various avant-garde aesthetics, spread the validity of the new formal channels that Swat against the rigidity of the traditional metric molds, but now used in the narration of some true facts that become poetic material.

The anecdote, scorned by the supporters of the "pure poetry" as one of the worst pollution that threatened their claim of purity, in effect, reacquires letter of poetic nature in the lit House, where the poet begins by presenting himself as a silent and being tired, despondent before contemplating a landscape snowy - its desolate existence - on which traces of which have disappeared, long ago, identified with its own I. Suddenly, in the midst of the sadness that transfers this image of the House of the poet in penumbra, a room is lit, which gives rise to the emergence of powerful and fruitful memory, and joyful of the best moments of the past recovery: juvenile joy of university age, marked by fun and camaraderie; the encounter with María, the beloved of the poet (who later became his beloved wife); the rescue of the happy days of childhood in Granada, powered by the recollection of facts and concrete beings (as the celebrations of the Granada Corpus or the old maid "Pepona"); the memory of parents, focused with special affection for the mother figure; etc.

The surprise is even more accentuated when Rosales - which is still anchored to the prodigal image use, but now from a calm close to the serenity of the prose, and very alien now that youth and passionate cry that, due to the beauty of things, resounded in the verses of April - transcends the rationality of the mere memory into an irrational domain; i.e., when the poet take hold of the best construction procedures of surrealism to move from simple memory evocation to the restless and evocative dreamlike imagination. All this makes lit House a truly rich and unique work within contemporary Spanish literary landscape, perhaps the most interesting poems of postwar after the apparition, in 1944, of anger, of the aforementioned Alonso Dámaso children.

Two years after the publication of his masterpiece, writer from Granada returned to the shelves of the libraries with rhymes (1951), a new poetic delivery whose quality and depth back to the same level achieved in the lit House, which came to confirm the inclusion of Luis Rosales among the most outstanding of mid-20th-century lyric voices. The intensity of that intimate emotion that was already present in the verses of the poet from the beginning of his literary career reaches in this collection of poems difficult to overcome levels (as, v. gr., the crowned in the composition dedicated to his dead mother), what is not obstacle that in other parts of this collection, succeed the grace and delicacy of Andalusian inspiration thatin tones and records used by Rosales, he/she always clarifies the particular style of Rosales. Otherwise, the recurrence of some reasons such as the light and the memory already delimit to perfection, in this new book of poems, the thematic trails through which passes the quiet voice of the poet from Granada: "to be happy was / should be only the pure wisdom / to remember..." We are looking for / within the heart our recall. / Maybe not joy has history. / Looking in / callábamos the two. Your eyes were / a still flock / which brings her trembling under the shade / poplar... Silence / more than the effort failed. It down / forever in heaven. We do not return to remember it. "/ The breeze at sea was a blind child" ("what does not is remember")

After many years of publishing silence, Luis Rosales Camacho returned to sit or stand in the foreground of the cultural topicality in Spanish with the publication, at the end of the 1960s, the contents of the heart (1969), a book - although poetic - written in prose, and in its original formulation to 1940. Abandoned at first, this volume was then corrected and augmented by the author himself, to discover in a few characteristic features which already anticipated in so early, the best achievements of his later production. Thus, v. gr., the symbiosis between a lyrical voice and a narrative approach that later will fully triumph in the lit House is rooted in this work, in which also the figure of the dead mother becomes one of the main thematical lanes (as happen then in rhymes); In addition, the obsessive presence of the memory appears also among the pages in early of the heart's content, as prelude to one of the features, rather than thematic, arguably that structural poetry of Luis Rosales.

This difficult but masterful combination of intimate lyricism and narrative approach reappears in a new book of poems of Luis Rosales, Journal of a resurrection (1979), where, but not repeated so often as in other earlier poems, reaches peaks of strange, dazzling and disquieting thrill in a couple of compositions. In the first of these, entitled "I keep mourning" by someone whom I have never met, the poet tells shudder and back-friendly gathering that produces deadly panting heard through the wall that separates two rooms of a hospital; in the second poem of diary of a resurrection that wisely combines lyricism and narrative, the Granada writer part of vulgar title "Called Molina" to describe a poor man and recounting some of his current actions.

After the emergence of free verse (Barcelona: Plaza & Janes, 1980), the poet of Granada, with seventy years of age, gave the letter printed work consisting of two books of poetry in which this extraordinary mastery of Rosales to combine poetry and narrative reached its highest perfection. The first of these poems, entitled the almadraba (1980), is actually only one extensive poem configured for multiple loose compositions which, one after another, are forming an authentic narration: arrival to a town in which the reader discovers a trap (with the consequent description of tuna) and in which appears, suddenly, love irresistible force.

The second collection that sets the whole Charter, presented under the title of a face in every wave (1980), adds to that praised mix that gives enormous originality to all the poetry of Luis Rosales other ingredients so appealing as humor and, of course, the memory of events and people who shared with the poet past. It appears, as well, through these pages the already distant arrival of the poet to Madrid; the stay at the Aquarium bar in the company of Ernesto friend (that Rosales met through Federico García Lorca); the memory - between tender and mocking - of the punishment imposed by a nun the boy Luis Rosales in a Granada high school; and, in addition, different facts and figures that are evoked between tenderness and good mood, within a healthy invitation to joy that runs through not only the poems of a face on each wave, but all the letter pages.

In those years, the writer of Granada – which had set their residence in the Madrid town of Cercedilla since 1961, and was elected member of the Royal Spanish Academy in 1962 - was already one of the most illustrious figures of the Spanish cultural panorama, which was the subject of numerous honors and awards. Its active presence in numerous intellectual and artistic fronts was abruptly interrupted as a result of a serious illness (stroke) which, after aside for a long time the cultural headline, did not cost him the life, but did lose some faculties essential for the performance of its intellectuals (such as memory and speech) activities. With a tenacity and vigor of a man of his age, the septuagenario Luis Rosales had to carry out a commendable effort to learn to read and write; but he/she managed to recover and continued writing his essays, articles and journalistic contributions until the eighty-two years of age, death surprised him in Madrid in 1992.

Other poetical books of Luis Rosales are: songs (Madrid: Spanish Agency for international cooperation, 1973); How cutting makes blood (Madrid: [ed. of the author], 1974); and I hear the universal silence of fear (Madrid: Visor, 1984). In addition, apart from the mentioned titles up to this paragraph, the poetic work of Luis Rosales has spread through numerous collections and anthological exhibitions. These include here the titled communicating doors. First poetry anthology (Madrid: national delegation of culture, 1976); Collected poetry (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1981); Poetry gathered 1935-1974 (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1982); Poetry collected 1979-1982 (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1983); Poetic Anthology (Madrid: Alianza, 1984); and twenty-five years of Luis Rosales in Cercedilla, 25 poems (Cercedilla [Madrid]: Cercedilla Cultural Foundation, 1986). Collected in five volumes, have been edited also his complete works (Madrid. Ed. Trotta, 1996-1999).


In his facet as an essayist, Luis Rosales Camacho had occasion to exhibit their vast humanistic knowledge - recalled that he/she was doctor of philosophy and letters - both in the field of letters and in the field of Visual Arts. Turned, essentially, to the study of the outstanding figures of Spanish culture during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, let printed a splendid essay about the author of Don Quixote - Cervantes and freedom (Madrid: currency and credit, 1960), expanded within twenty-five years (Madrid: Spanish Agency for international cooperation, 1985)-, which argues the thesis that the subject in the title is the cornerstone in cervantine work (as in the fight for the freedom of numerous characters from Cervantes, and, above all, in the great escape towards freedom which is, itself, the adventure of Alonso Quijano).

In addition, Luis Rosales dealt with great insight, critical of other themes and characters from the golden age, as you can see in the mere enumeration of the following tests from his pen: passion and death of the count of Villamediana (Madrid: Gredos, 1961); The feeling of disappointment in the Baroque poetry (1966); Spanish poetry of the golden age (Barcelona: Salvat, 1973); Studies on the Baroque [complete works; Vol.3] (Madrid: Ed. Trotta, S. A., 1997); etc.

Other studies and his essays of great interest are the qualified Spanish lyric (Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1972); Theory of freedom (Madrid: seminar and editions, S. A., 1972); The poetry of Neruda (Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1978); Nudity in art and other essays (Madrid: Spanish Agency for international cooperation, 1987); That anguish called Andalucía (Madrid: Cinterco, 1987); e and soon Picasso (Malaga: City Hall, 1990).

In collaboration with the poets of the generation of 27 and member of the Real Academia Española Dámaso Alonso and Gerardo Diego, Luis Rosales also dedicated a study to the figure and work of Antonio Machado (Madrid: Fundación Universitaria, 1978). And union to another poet of his own generational group, the already mentioned Luis Felipe Vivanco, wrote a new play (the historical drama the best Queen of Spain, 1939) and a selection of Spanish lyric that most pandered to the dominant political ideology in the years immediately after the Civil War (heroic poetry of the Empire, published between 1941 and 1943).

Links on the Internet ; Edition of poems by Rosales.

J. R. Fernández Cano