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Culture

Delibes’ dedications: X-ray of a free and committed writer

Valladolid /  One out of every three books by Miguel Delibes, the novelist whose 100th anniversary of his birth is celebrated this year, bears a dedication whose analysis indicates the imprint of a loving father, a grateful person and a free writer committed and methodical.

He used them recurrently since his first novel (“The shadow of the cypress is long” / 1948), which with the desire of the first-timer offered triple to his parents; to your wife; and to his only son at the time, Miguel Delibes de Castro, with whom he would half-write the last link in his entire work (“La tierra herida” / 2005).

“It is true that I thought about the dedications a lot, there are some very nice and familiar, also for thanks, but the appointments are also very interesting because of what is behind them,” Elisa Delibes, daughter and president of the Miguel Foundation, explained to EFE. Delibes, whom in 1984 his father took into account when publishing “The press censorship in the 1940s” (“To my daughter Elisa, professor of literature”).

Unaware of Cenacles and extremely jealous of his time and intimacy, Miguel Delibes (1920-2010) slipped into each of these notes the affection for his loved ones, the gratitude for certain reasons and the tribute to characters of his surrendered admiration as it was Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, to whose posthumous memory he dedicated “Los santos inocentes” (1981).

José Jiménez Lozano – his colleague in letters, colleague in El Norte de Castilla and brother in the Cervantes Prize payroll – agreed on the first page of “Five hours with Mario” (1955), out of love and gratitude for having selected him the biblical quotations that head each of the chapters of Menchu’s soliloquy.

All recipients of these deferences are named after one or more people, except in three publications where he praised the hunters’ guild (“Diary of a hunter” / 1955), and that of archaeologists (“The treasure” / 1985) which he also offered to his son Germán, professor of Prehistory (University of Valladolid), who inspired the story from a real episode in excavations.

The third was “El hereje” (1998), his last novel, where for the first time, expressly and in a preferential place, he honored his birthplace with a brief and lapidary “A Valladolid, my city”.

The first time that he wrote the name of his land in print was in “La partida” (1954), but it already figured in the landscape of his second novel (“It’s still day” / 1949) and later, implicitly although evident, in “Madera de héroe” (1987), which paid tribute to Luis María Ferrández, a childhood friend who died in the war.

The most intimate and personal dedications

The most intimate and personal dedications of Miguel Delibes never carried an express mention as it also happened in “Lady in red on a gray background” (1991) with Ángeles de Castro, his wife, mother of their seven children and the most cited in all his work. , since in addition to “The shadow of the cypress is elongated” it was provided by “Diary of an emigrant” (1958) (“A Angeles de Castro de Delibes, balance; my balance”) and mentioned in his speech at the Academy .

He thanked his father for teaching him “to love hunting” (“Diary of a Hunter” / 1955); of his seven brothers he remembered in “My idolized son Sisí” (1953); He named his sons Miguel and Juan as “first disciples, my great teachers today” (“Mis amigas las truchas” / 1977); and his grandchildren, “who since their birth are already interested in birds”, dedicated “Three birds of account” (1982).

Other recipients of his affection and gratitude, for various and well-founded reasons, were his everlasting friend and editor at Destino, José Vergés (“A year of my life” / 1972); the guitarist Narciso Yepes and his wife, Marysia (“El disputed vote of Señor Cayo” / 1978); the painter Vela Zanetti (“Castilla habla” / 1986); and Dr. Carlos Almaraz (“Diary of a Retiree” / 1995).

A single fictional character deserved the honor of a dedication, Jacinto San José, protagonist of his most experimental and daring novel in its forms (“Parable of the castaway” / 1969).

Of the social and spiritual commitment, of the variety of readings and references, the numerous quotations that he frequently embedded at the beginning of the stories speak to warn the reader about their background and essence, with the signature, among others, of Albert Einstein , Goethe, Marcel Proust, John Paul II, Paul Neruda, Rousseau and Nietzsche, and the inscription on a tombstone of one of the prisoners in the Dauchau concentration camp.

The orphanhood of emblematic titles that saw the light without express dedications is striking, as was the case with “El camino” (1950), “The red sheet” (1959), “Las ratas” (1962), “Viejas historias de Castilla la Vieja” (1964), “The prince dethroned” (1973) and “The war of our ancestors” (1975), although in some cases the literary ammunition is perfectly directed. (June 25, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

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