Since the end of the seventies Spanish literature has experimented in a frenetic way, given the situation of proud marginality in which it was forced during the long years of Francoism, every model, form and trend of contemporary writing. During the Eighties, political themes, erotic literature, genre fiction (pink or black), often of quality, were rediscovered. It returns to the exiles, from M. Zambrano to M. Andujar (b.1913), from J. Gil-Albert (1904-1994), to R. Alberti, the consideration taken from them by Francoism. “Independent” theater companies and collectives are financed by institutional channels; which will particularly benefit Catalan dramaturgy, which is far ahead in such initiatives. Publishing activity intensifies, finally free from censorship and stimulated by an audience greedy for novelty. In this period, five or six generational groups coexist. In the first place, the great names of the Generation of ’27 are still influential, such as R. Alberti who in the 1990s published a long series of autobiographical texts, essays, articles and poems gathered in the two volumes of La arboleda perdida (L ‘ lost tree), F. Ayala, J. López Rubio (1903-1996), R. Chacel (1898-1994). Next to them, in a more incisive and actively proactive position, we find the representatives of the first great post-war generation, from G. Torrente Ballester (1910-1999) to the aforementioned CJ Cela, winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize, and M. Delibes (no. 1920).
According to Vaultedwatches, their production is of the highest level, for stylistic research and creative imagination; probably the most precious and certainly lasting thing that is produced today in the narrative field. Torrente Ballester saw the light of a splendid series of novels, from La rosa de los vientos (1984; La rosa dei venti) to Yo no soy yo, evidently (1987; I’m not myself, obviously) Filomeno a mi pesar (1988; Alas I am Filomeno), Crónica del rey pasmado (1989; Chronicle of the amazed king), La boda de Chon Recalde (1995; The marriage of Chon Recalde). Delibes includes masterpieces such as Los Santos inocentes (1981; I santi innocenti), Cartas de amor de un sexagenario voluptuoso (1983; Love letters from a voluptuous sixty-year-old), Señora de rojo sobre fondo gris (1991; Lady in red on a gray background), Diario de un jubilado (1995; Diary of a pensioner), He dicho (1997; I said), El hereje (1999; The heretic). Di Cela, Mazurca para dos muertos (1983; Mazurca for two deaths), Cristo versus Arizona (1988), La cruz de San Andrés(1994), El asesinato del perdedor (1994; The assassination of the loser), Madera de Boj (1999; Boxwood). In poetry, after the death of G. Celaya (1911-1991), B. de Otero (1916-1979), V. Aleixandre (1898-1984) and L. Rosales (1910-1992), are J. Hierro (b. 1922) – with Agenda (1991) and Cuaderno de Nueva York (1998) – and C. Bousoño – with two important syllogies such as Metáfora del desafuero (1988; Metaphor of sacrilege), and El martillo en el yunque (1997; The hammer on the anvil) – the masters revered by contemporary opera, while in the essay field the attention shifts to J. Marías (b. 1914) and P. Laín Entralgo (1908-2001). Among the post-war writers should be included J. Semprún (b. 1923), an exile in France and deported to Germany for having participated in the French resistance. Exponent of post-Franco Spain as minister of culture in the Gonzales government (1988-1991), he wrote in French, among others, the books L’evanouissement (1967; Evanescenza), Netchaiev est de retour (1987; The return of Netchaiev), inspired by anti-Francoism and his experiences as a prisoner, L’écriture et la vie (1994), Mal et modernité (1995) and Se taire est impossible (1996; Silence is impossible) .Finally, another important author as a bridge for the next generation is F. Nieva (b.1927), integral artist, poet, playwright (among his last excellent works we mention Oceánida, 1996, and Centón de teatro, 1997, Centone theatrical) and now also novelist (with El viaje a Pantaélica, 1994, Journey to Pantaèlica and La llama vestida de negro, 1995, The flame dressed in black) able to combine experimentalism and classicism, traditional models and modern languages, poetry and technology.
This group of masters was immediately followed by excellent disciples, such as the novelists J. García Hortelano (1928-1992), J. Benet (1927-1993), author of a series of memorable novels on the civil war (Herrumbrosas lanzas, 1983, 1985, 1986, Lance arruginite), the poet J. Gil de Biedma (1929-1990), – all three prematurely disappeared from the literary scene and in turn precious guides for the younger novelists and poets – and gradually all those who have occupied a prominent position in the prose and opera of the sixties. In the narrative field, the names of the neorealists stand out R. Sánchez Ferlosio (b. 1927) with an increasingly meditative and apocalyptic prose, and J. Marsé (b. 1933) with El amante bilingüe; those of AM Matute (b.1926) and C. Martín Gaite (1925-2000) with their literature of testimony and of the frontier between social realism and magical realism – from La torre vigía (1971; The observation tower) of the first to Lo Rare es Vivir (1996; The absurd is to live) of the second -; that of J. Goytisolo (b.1931), for his firm critical conscience (from Makbara, 1980 to El sitio de los sitios, 1995, The place of places). At the end of the twentieth century other exponents of Spanish literature emerged capable of obtaining discreet feedback also abroad: B. Atxaga (b.1951), J. Llamazares (b.1955), A. Bryce Echenique (b.1939), J. Tomeo (b. 1935) and R. Regás (b. 1933). JJ Milás (b. 1946), in particular, achieved great success thanks to the articuentos, a new literary genre that blends the elements of the journalistic article with those of fiction. In the field of poetry, the poetic outlines of JA Valente (1929-2000) are certainly exemplary – from Material memoria, 1979, to Nadie, 1996, Nobody – C. Rodríguez (1934-1999) – with Desde mis poemas, 1983, From my poems – A. González (b.1925), JA Goytisolo (1928-1999). Finally, the Novísimos, nine young Spanish poets – some of them, like F. de Azúa (b.1944), V. Molina Foix (b.1946), M. Vázquez Montalbán (b.1939), AM Moix (b. 1947), will offer excellent contributions also in prose – presented by the critic JM Castellet as the new lyric proposal of Spain of the seventies.