Language & Literature
Madrid-based journalist William Chislett looks at two Spanish writers, Arturo Barea and Manuel Chaves Nogales, whose lives were shattered by the Spanish Civil War and who died as exiles in England.
Barea worked as a censor at the Foreign Ministry press office. During the siege of Madrid, he broadcast as An Unknown Voice of Madrid, telling stories about life in the besieged city. As defeat approached for the Spanish Republican government and, because of difficulties with the Communist Party, he was forced to leave Spain. He eventually arrived in England where he worked for the BBC Latin American Service and wrote books and contributed to literary reviews and publications. His best-known work is his autobiographical trilogy, La Forja de un Rebelde, The Forging of a Rebel.
Chaves Nogales, a journalist and writer, left Spain before the Civil War was over. He wrote one of the most highly regarded books on bullfighting, Belmonte, Killer of Bulls; and his Heroes, Beasts and Martyrs of Spain is considered one of the best illustrations of suffering on both sides during the civil war. He lived in Paris for a while but was forced to abandon France for England as he was on the Gestapo wanted list. In London, he continued his work as a journalist fighting extreme right and left positions but died in 1944 at the age of only 46.
Chislett is a veteran of the Spanish scene. He covered the transition to democracy between 1975 and 1978 for The Times and was Mexico correspondent for the Financial Times between 1978 and 1984. He writes about Spain for the Elcano Royal Institute and has published other works on the country. Chislett speaks at another festival event on Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know.