Antonio Prieto (writer)

Article

December 7, 2021

Antonio Prieto Martín [1] (Águilas, September 23, 1929-Madrid, November 23, 2021) [2] was a Spanish writer and philologist. He has stood out for his novelistic and essay work. As a narrator, he was framed in the Generation of the half century, forming part of the current that was called metaphysical realism, transcendent realism or existential novel. [3] [4] He has also been considered a symbolist or metaphorical author: [3] "He has shown a decided preference for symbolic stories." [5] As an essayist and in his academic life, he stood out for his studies on the literature of the Italian Renaissance and the 16th century. [3] [6]

Biography

He was born in the Murcian town of Águilas, Spain, in 1929. His father, Luis Prieto, a socialist deputy, died in a traffic accident shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, a fact that forced his mother to move the family to Almería ( where some authors place his birth wrongly). [3] As a university student, he moved to Madrid, where he began studies in Medicine, later graduating in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Madrid. After being a professor at the universities of Pisa and Malaga, he returned to Madrid, where, after several positions as adjunct professor, he acceded to the chair of Spanish Literature at the Complutense University of Madrid, specializing in 16th century poetry and prose, [ 6] position in which he remains until his retirement. Throughout his academic and literary life, he wrote various essays and novels, and was also responsible for various editorial projects. [7] With his first novel, Tres pisadas de hombre (1955), he received the Planeta Prize, abandoning his medical career at this time to dedicate himself permanently to literature. He actively participated in the juries that awarded this award, working in the framework of Editorial Planeta. [3] In his academic work he stood out as one of the main specialists in the Italian Renaissance [3] as well as for his studies on 16th century literature. [6] He also published a new poetry anthology, Mirror of love and death ( Anthology of the Last Poetry), 1971. Already retired as a teacher, he was a member of the José Manuel Lara Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of its Cultural Council. He continued to write and lecture. [7] [8]

General features of his narrative

In Essay semiológico de Sistemas literarios (1972), Prieto defined a key concept in his work, that of "mythical fusion": «It is noticed then that it is not about accommodating a mythical argument, or a story raised in legend, but about walking and being a path in a fusion where two distant words come together in a new time, free of concrete ties that mediate with a chronology "[9] The mythical fusion is, then, the union of the writer, in a literary work, with a myth (or real person turned into myth or the mythical author's own past) with the aim of trying to defeat time by means of the assumption of the values ​​of myth and the creation of a new time (timeless and universal) created thanks to the written word. [9] Antonio Prieto's novels often consist of a meditation on love, time and memory, by a rather passive and fatalistic narrator protagonist. Love is the most important experience one can experience, and dying having loved is preferable to immortality without love, as revealed in Secretum. But this love has to do above all with feeling and little with will, so that it can end as unexpectedly as it began. The disease of love, Dolabella or The unfinished metaphor tell us about loves that perished but are recoverable through memory, a faculty that appears exalted in these novels and especially in One and All Wars, starring a character.

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