Google Doodle celebrates the 100th birthday of Spanish author Carmen Laforet, who wrote in the period after the Spanish Civil War and was most popular for her novel Nada (Nothing), on September 6, 2021.
Who was Carmen Laforet?
Carmen Laforet was born on September 6, 1921, in Barcelona, Spain, however, at 2 years old, she moved with her family to the Canary Islands where she spent her childhood. She was a Spanish novelist and short-story writer who got international recognition when her novel Nada (1944; “Nothingness”; Eng. trans., Nada) won the first Nadal Prize. Her 1945 novel Nada (Nothing) is still generally considered one of Spain’s most significant contemporary novels.
At age 12, Carmen Laforet experienced the deficiency of her mother, and her dad subsequently married a lady disliked by Laforet and her siblings (offensive experiences depicted in a lot of her literature).
In 1939 at 18 years old, Carmen Laforet left for Barcelona where she studied Philosophy at the University of Barcelona while living with relatives. In 1942 she left for Madrid where she studied Law at the Universidad Complutense.
During her second year, Carmen Laforet pulled out from classes to dedicate herself totally to writing, and between January and September 1944 she wrote her first novel, Nada, which procured Editorial Destino’s Nadal Prize in its first year of publication (1945).
Carmen Laforet was educated in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, and got back to Barcelona following the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). The lives of the champions in her novels strongly reflect the author’s personal experiences.
Nada, Carmen Laforet’s first and best novel, presents the impressions of a little youngster who gets back to Barcelona from abroad after the war and finds a sordid, chaotic atmosphere and intellectual emptiness. It is written in the postwar narrative style known as tremendismo, which is described by a tendency to emphasize violence and grotesque imagery. A novel read for its story, political, and existential elements, Nada is direct and unaffected.
A novel of female adolescent development, Nada is viewed as a classic in 20th-century Spanish literature and manages such themes as existentialism and the adolescent search for identity.
Rather than her first novel, Carmen Laforet’s later works, however, better built, are sentimental and less intense. In 1952 she published La Isla y los demonios (“The Island and the Demons”), additionally autobiographical in nature.
Carmen Laforet’s transformation to Roman Catholicism in 1951 is strongly reflected in La Mujer Nueva (1955; “The New Woman”), wherein a common lady rediscovers her confidence. Albeit that novel got the Menorca Prize in 1955 and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize the next year, numerous pundits consider its main character unrealistic and its statement of confidence almost ridiculous to the individuals who are inexperienced with Laforet’s own confidence.
In 1961, Carmen Laforet composed Gran Canaria (“Grand Canary”), a guide to the island on which she grew up.
In mid-1946, Carmen Laforet married Manuel González Cerezales, a columnist, and gave birth to their first child that November. Marriage and motherhood restricted the time and energy she could provide for writing, and for three years she composed barely anything. At the point when she took up her pen once more, Laforet composed for newspapers and magazines, published short stories, and started work on a new novel.
Later books included La isla y los demonios (The Island and Its Devils, 1952), La llamada (The Vocation, 1954), La mujer nueva (The New Woman, 1955), La insolación (Sunstroke, 1963), Mis páginas mejores (1967), and Paralelo 35 (1967). She changed over to Roman Catholicism in 1951, and some of her later works examined female religiosity. The story of an adulteress’ religious transformation, La Mujer Nueva procured the Menorca Prize and the National Literature Prize.
During her later years, Carmen Laforet experienced Alzheimer’s disease, at last losing the capacity to speak. She died in Madrid on 28 February 2004.
Nada, Carmen Laforet’s best novel, has remained reliably in print. The publication in 2003 of Puedo contar Contigo, a selection of her correspondence with Ramón J. Sender edited by Israel Rolón Barada, and the reissue of her 1955 novel, La Mujer Nueva, with a preface by a similar editor, nonetheless, prompted renewed interest in her work, reinforced by a new English translation of Nada by Edith Grossman in 2007.
In February 2007, as a commemoration of the third anniversary of Carmen Laforet’s death, the Editorial Menoscuarto published for the first time a compilation of all her short stories, including five beforehand unpublished stories. In 2009 Cristina Cerezales published a second book about her mom, Música Blanca (Destino).
In 2010 a school with her name was built in the neighborhood of Valderribas, in the district of Vicálvaro (Madrid). In 2011 she was awarded, posthumously, with the Can de Plata de Gran Canaria, in the category of Arts, given by the Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria.
On September 6, 2021, Google featured Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Carmen Laforet’s 100th birthday.