Gonzalo Torrente Ballester

Gonzalo Torrente Ballester (June 13, 1910 – January 27, 1999) was a Spanish writer associated with the Generation of '36 movement.

Gonzalo Torrente Ballester
Photograph by Elisa Cabot (1982)
Born(1910-06-13)June 13, 1910
Ferrol, Galicia, Spain
DiedJanuary 27, 1999(1999-01-27) (aged 88)
Salamanca, Castile and León, Spain
OccupationWriter, novelist
Notable worksJavier Mariño
Don Juan


He was born in Serantes, Ferrol, Galicia, and received his first education there, subsequently attending the universities of Santiago de Compostela and Oviedo.

Although primarily a novelist, he also published journalism, essays, and plays. His career as a writer began in Oviedo, but developed largely in Madrid.

After moving around frequently in the later 1920s and early 1930s, including a period in Paris, he returned to Spain and linked himself to Franco's Falange party. He " was an enthusiaistic Falangist and Francoist idelologue".[1] His first novel, Javier Mariño, appeared in 1943, and he continued to publish novels almost until his death, receiving major prizes for some of them.

Despite his affiliation to the Falangists, from 1939, when he returned to Santiago to take up a university post, he increasingly distanced himself from the party. He joined in protests in favour of striking Asturian miners in 1962, and was expelled from his teaching post at the university as a result. In the mid-1960s he had a number of problems with government censors.

He left Spain for a post at the University at Albany, State University of New York in 1966, and remained there until 1973 as the University's first distinguished professor. In 1975 he moved to the city of Salamanca, where he remained until his death. After his return to Spain, he was increasingly celebrated: In 1975 he was elected member of the Real Academia Española, and was awarded the premier Spanish literary prize, the Cervantes Prize, in 1985.

Immediately after his death, the Fundación Gonzalo Torrente Ballester was set up to protect, study and disseminate his work.

List of novels

  • Javier Mariño (1943)
  • El golpe de estado de Guadalupe Limón (1946)
  • Ifigenia (1950)
  • Los Gozos y Las Sombras: El Señor llega (1957) - , Donde da la vuelta el aire (1960), La Pascua triste (1962). Novel prize of the Fundación Juan March
  • Don Juan (1963)
  • Off-Side (1968)
  • La Saga/Fuga de J.B. (1972) - Critics' Prize and City of Barcelona Prize
  • Fragmentos de Apocalipsis (1977)
  • La isla de los jacintos cortados (1980) - National Literature Prize
  • Dafne y ensueños (1982)
  • Quizá nos lleve el viento al infinito (1984)
  • La princesa durmiente va a la escuela (1985)
  • La rosa de los vientos (1985)
  • Yo no soy yo, evidentemente (1987)
  • Filomeno, a mi pesar (1988) - Planet Prize
  • Crónica del rey pasmado (1989)
  • Las islas extraordinarias (1991)
  • La muerte del decano (1992)
  • La novela de Pepe Ansúrez (1994)
  • La boda de Chon Recalde (1995)
  • Los años indecisos (1997)
  • Doménica (1999)


See also

University of Santiago de Compostela


  1. unearthing Franco's Legacy, p.15
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