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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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2014 Laureates  

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Pablo García Baena

Prince of Asturias Award for Literature 1984

Pablo García Baena was born in Cordoba on the 29th June 1923. He first learned his letters in the "López Diéguez" State Primary School, where there is now a plaque commemorating the fact. From there he moved on to the Colegio Francés, Real Colegio de la Asunción, High School and Art School. He spent his adolescence and youth in his home-town. He began writing for local papers and, in 1947, together with the poets Ricardo Molina, Juan Bernier, Julio Aumente, and Mario López, and the painters Miguel del Moral and Ginés Liébana, he formed the "Cántico" group, publishing the journal of the same name, which is now one of the key episodes to be studied in order to understand the development of contemporary Spanish poetry.

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Within what Gerardo Diego calls "the Cántico constellation", the poetry of Pablo García Baena stands out for its luxurious brilliance, and for its masterful handling of the verse and the word, which, in the words of Guillermo Carnero, places him on a level with the greatest Spanish poets of the 20th century. García Baena and "Cántico" are the clearest means of transmission of the aesthetic lessons of the Generation of ´27 to the current generations in poetry. According to Fernando Ortiz, "García Baena combines sensuality and depth in a language of complicated and precise technical perfection which, in part, comes from the grand masters of the Golden Age, especially Góngora."

His brief and intensely rigorous work his contained in various titles: "Rumor Oculto" (Madrid, 1946), "Mientras canten los pájaros" (Cordoba, 1948), "Antiguo muchacho" (Madrid, 1950), "Junio" (Málaga, 1957), Óleo (Madrid, 1958), "Almoneda" (Málaga, 1971), "Antes que el tiempo acabe" (Madrid, 1979), "Gozos para la Navidad de Vicente Núñez" (Madrid, 1984), and in the following anthologies: "Antología poética" (Bujalance, Córdoba, 1959), "Poemas" (Málaga, 1975), "Poesía Completa" (Madrid, 1982), "El sur de Pablo García Baena" (Córdoba, 1988) and "Antología Última" (Málaga, 1989).

His books in prose, which deal with diverse artistic and literary themes, are: "Lectivo" (Jerez de la Frontera, 1983) and "El retablo de las cofradías" (Córdoba, 1985). More recently, his book "Fieles guirnaldas fugitivas", which won the "City of Melilla" International Poetry Award, was published.

On different occasions (Córdoba and Málaga Drama Schools) his poems have been adapted for the stage and in 1942 he made a stage adaptation of the poetry of St. John of the Cross, which opened in Córdoba on the centenary of Juan de Yepes.

Journeys to Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, the whole classical Mediterranean world. Since 1965 he has lived in Málaga province, first in Torremolinos and then in Benalmádena. A contributor to various Spanish daily newspapers, his readings and lectures are frequent in Spanish cultural centres.

In 1984 his home- town named him a Favoured Son and granted him the Gold Medal of Córdoba, naming a school and a street after him. As of 1988, he is a Favoured Son of Andalusia.

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