The Chair on Hispanic Studies at University Camilo José Cela presented this morning twenty-three unseen notebooks by Camilo José Cela, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize for literature to the Spanish author, at a luncheon in which the media was shown eight of these handwritten notebooks.
The presentation was attended by the team of Camilo José Cela researchers, Raquel Velázquez, Alba Guimerà and Adolfo Sotelo, director of the Chair of Hispanic Studies of the UCJC, who explained the value of this discovery for studying his journalistic work and described the content of these notebooks that were written between 1993 and 2003.
“The varied subjects of these notebooks is essential to comprehend the work of Camilo José Cela in its totality,” said Adolfo Sotelo, one of the greatest experts on the writer in Spain.
Nieves Segovia, President of SEK Education Group – to which the UCJC belongs – assured attendees at the beginning of the event that “as SEK President, I am proud to have such a representative part of the journalistic work of Camilo José Cela at our University, written by his hand with all the intensity and meaning of his words. In addition, these notebooks correspond to the years in which Camilo José Cela was personally involved in the development of the educational model of our university”.
The Rector of the University, Emilio Lora-Tamayo stressed that “giving visibility to the work of one of our great writers, particularly when we bear his name, is part of the objectives of our university to integrate humanities and scientific culture together with technological development. It is another step in our daily efforts to encourage reading, in a world full of information and driven by the pace of technological change.” The Rector added that “the notebooks that we can admire today are a window into knowledge and understanding. In addition to allowing us to enjoy Camilo José Cela’s careful and thorough use of language”.
Cela began his final stage as a journalist on 21 November 1993, when some of these articles were published in the series El color de la mañana in ABC. These school notebooks have a multiplication table on their back cover and are around 70 pages long, the contents gives us a glimpse into the genesis of his writing style.
The articles ran five days a week, but as of May 1996, when the writer turned 80, they went on to be published once a week on Sundays. In total, Cela wrote over seven hundred articles, making the series El color de la mañana Cela’s longest, following his obtaining a press card on 27 May 1943. The final (posthumous) article is about the writer José María Sánchez Silva, who died on 13 January 2002, four days before Cela did.
As can be seen from the date of the notebooks, the series El color de la mañana only included articles up to 13 January 1995. There was a total of two hundred and fifty articles.
The notebooks the writer’s patient, precise and rich writing and his work in the fields of history, politics, society and culture in the final years of his life. Coinciding with these years, the author published three novels, including Madera de boj. This novel is enriched in the light of these notebooks, which are an essential part of the final works of Camilo José Cela.
The notebooks have been acquired and curated by University Camilo José Cela, an institution that bears his name where he was named Honorary and Lifelong Rector on 16 October 1999 and where he personally laid the first stone with Felipe Segovia, the first rector and founder of UCJC.