Goytisolo, Juan

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Goytisolo, Juan

Juan Goytisolo (Juan Goytisolo Gay) (hwän goitēsō´lō), 1931–2017, Spanish writer, b. Barcelona. Goytisolo is considered among the foremost novelists who wrote in Spanish in the late 20th cent. Much of his work focused on the injustice and moral emptiness in Spain under the Franco government. His early novels, such as Fiestas (1958, tr. 1960) and The Party's Over (1962, tr. 1966), were in the social realist tradition. With the trilogy that consisted of Marks of Identity (1966, tr. 1969), Count Julian (1970, tr. 1974), and Juan the Landless (1975, tr. 1977), novels that combine semiautobiograpy with Spanish history, Goytisolo struck out in a new fictional direction, rejecting social realism in favor of more experimental forms, somewhat influenced by the French nouveau roman [new novel] (see French literature), and employing stream-of-consciousness techniques and a kind of literary collage approach. His later novels, which often explore themes of alienation, political oppression, religion, and sexuality, include Makbara (1980, tr. 1981), Landscapes after Battle (1982, tr. 1987), The Virtues of the Solitary Bird (1988, tr. 1991), Quarantine (1991, tr. 1994), State of Siege (1995, tr. 2002), and his last work, Exiled from Almost Everywhere (2008, tr. 2011), a biting satire. Goytisolo, who lived in France from 1956 to 1996, when he settled in Morocco, also wrote short stories, political essays, travel books, and poetry as well as literary criticism in French. In 2014 he received the Cervantes Prize, Spain's most prestigious literary award.

See his 1931–56 memoirs, Forbidden Territory (1985, tr. 1989) and his 1957–82 memoirs, Realms of Strife (1986, tr. 1990); memoirs and studies by M. Ugarte (1982) and A. Six (1990).

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