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Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Woman Triumphant, a translation of La maja desnuda by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez into English
Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (January 29, 1867 – January 28, 1928) was a Spanishmarker realist novelist writing in Spanish, a screenwriter and occasional film director.

Born in Valenciamarker, today he is best known in the English-speaking world for his World War I novel Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis. Filmed in 1921 as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, it was filmed again in 1962, reset in World War II. However, in his time he was a best-selling author inside and outside of Spain, and also known for his controversial political activities. While Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand) and Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis are his most popular novels, particularly outside of Spain, his Valencian novels such as La barraca and Cañas y barro are the ones most valued by scholars.

He finished studying law, but hardly practiced. He divided his time between politics, literature and dalliances with women, of whom he was a deep admirer. He wrote with uncanny speed and energy. He was a fan of Miguel de Cervantes.

His life, it can be said, tells a more interesting story than his novels. He was a militant Republican partisan in his youth and founded a newspaper, El Pueblo (translated as either The Town or The People) in his hometown. The newspaper aroused so much controversy that it was brought to court many times and censored. He made many enemies and was shot and almost killed in one dispute. The bullet was caught in the clasp of his belt. He had several stormy love affairs.

He volunteered as the proofreader for the novel Noli Me Tangere, in which the Filipino patriot José Rizal expressed his contempt of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.He travelled to Argentina in 1909 where two new cities, Nueva Valencia and Cervantes, were created. He gave conferences on historical events and Spanish literature. Tired and disgusted with government failures and inaction, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez moved to Paris at the beginning of World War I.

He was a supporter of the Allies in World War I.

His themes include his native Valencia.

He died in Mentonmarker, Francemarker, in 1928 at the age of 61, in the residence of Fontana Rosa (also named the House of Writers, dedicated to Cervantes, Dickens and Shakespeare) that he built.

Works

  • A los pies de Venus
  • Argentina y sus grandezas
  • Cañas y barro, about life among the fishermen-peasants of the Albuferamarker marshes in Valencia. Also a Spanish TV series.
  • Cuentos valencianos
  • El caballero de la virgen
  • El intruso, about immigration to the Basque Countrymarker
  • El oriente
  • El papa del mar, about the antipope Benedict XIII, who established his court at Peñíscolamarker.
  • En busca del Gran Khan
  • Entre naranjos, another Valencian piece. Also a Spanish TV series.
  • Fantasma de las alas de oro
  • Flor de mayo
  • La araña negra
  • La bodega
  • La horda
  • La maja desnuda, about Goya's Naked Maja.
  • La Pared
  • Los argonautas
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Los Cuatro Jinetes del Apocalipsis), about Argentina and the First World War. Several times filmed. Best seller in the United States in 1919.
  • Los muertos mandan
  • Luna Benamor
  • Mare Nostrum, a spy novel in the Mediterranean. Filmed in 1926.
  • Novelas de la costa azulmarker
  • Blood and Sand (Sangre y arena), about a matador in a love triangle. Filmed several times.
  • Vistas sudamericanas
  • Voluntad de vivir
  • Vuelta del mundo de un novelista, a travelogue.


Notes

  1. http://es.geocities.com/netmundoweb/blascoibanez/barro.pdf
  2. http://es.geocities.com/netmundoweb/blascoibanez/naranjos.doc
  3. http://es.geocities.com/netmundoweb/blascoibanez/jinetes.doc


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