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Eduardo Mendoza Garriga
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Eduardo Mendoza Garriga

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga Eduardo Mendoza Garriga[1†]

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga, born on 11 January 1943 in Barcelona, Spain[1†][2†], is a highly recognized and awarded Spanish novelist[1†][3†]. He is known for his epic, historical style novels, a genre that has continued to be popular since the post-war period[1†][4†].

Early Years and Education

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga was born on 11 January 1943 in Barcelona, Spain, to a lawyer and a housewife[1†][4†]. His early education was diverse, having studied for a year in a school run by the monks of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, another year in Mercedarias, and then finally, from 1950 onwards, in the school of the Hermanos Maristas[1†][4†].

In the first half of the 1960s, Garriga pursued higher education at university where he studied law and obtained his degree in 1965[1†][4†]. This period of his life was significant as it laid the foundation for his initial career path. However, his passion for writing was yet to be discovered[1†].

After completing his degree, Garriga received a grant in London in 1966[1†][4†]. This experience broadened his horizons and exposed him to different cultures and perspectives. Upon his return to Spain in 1967, he began working as a lawyer[1†][4†]. However, his career took a turn when he moved to New York City between 1973 and 1982, working as an interpreter for the United Nations[1†][2†]. It was during this period that he realized his true calling was to be a writer[1†].

His early years and education played a crucial role in shaping his worldview and literary style. The diverse experiences he gained during this time greatly influenced his writing and contributed to the depth and richness of his novels[1†][4†].

Career Development and Achievements

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga’s career as a writer began in earnest when he was living in New York City, working as an interpreter for the United Nations[1†][4†]. It was during this period, in 1975, that he published his first novel, “La Verdad sobre el Caso Savolta” (The Truth About the Savolta Case)[1†][4†]. This novel, which was awarded the Critics Prize a year later[1†][4†], is considered a precursor to the social change in the Spanish post-Franco society and the first novel of the transition to democracy[1†][4†].

His most acclaimed novel is probably “La Ciudad de los Prodigios” (The City of Marvels, 1986), which discusses the social and urban evolution of Barcelona between the Universal Expositions of 1888 and 1929[1†]. This novel was adapted into a film by Mario Camus in 1999[1†].

In addition to his novels, Mendoza Garriga has also written essays, short stories[1†][4†], and even dabbled in the world of theatre[1†][4†]. His play “Restauració” was performed for the first time at the Teatro Romea in Barcelona in 1990[1†][4†].

Mendoza Garriga’s work also includes a trilogy of detective novels featuring a peculiar character: an unnamed accidental-detective locked up in a mental hospital[1†][4†]. The first of these novels, “El Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada” (The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt, 1979), is a parody with hilarious moments mixing hard-boiled genre with Gothic narrative[1†][4†].

In recognition of his contributions to literature, Mendoza Garriga has received several awards. In December 2013, he won the European Book Prize (fiction) for "An Englishman in Madrid"[1†]. Later on, in June 2015, he received the Franz Kafka Prize, becoming the first Spanish writer to win it[1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga’s literary journey began with the publication of his first novel, “La Verdad sobre el Caso Savolta” (The Truth About the Savolta Case) in 1975[1†][4†]. This novel, which discusses the union fights at the beginning of the 20th century and the social, cultural, and economic conditions of workers in Barcelona at that time, is considered a precursor to the social change in the Spanish post-Franco society and the first novel of the transition to democracy[1†][4†].

In 1979, he published “El Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada” (The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt), marking the beginning of a trilogy of detective novels featuring a peculiar character, a nameless accidental-detective locked up in a mental hospital[1†][4†]. The second novel of this saga, “El Laberinto de las Aceitunas” (The Olive Labyrinth), was published in 1982[1†][4†].

His most acclaimed novel is “La Ciudad de los Prodigios” (The City of Marvels, 1986), which discusses the social and urban evolution of Barcelona between the Universal Expositions of 1888 and 1929[1†][5†]. This novel was adapted for cinema by Mario Camus in 1999[1†][4†].

In 1992, he published “El Año del Diluvio” (The Year of the Flood), a novel that tells of the inner conflicts faced by Sister Consuelo after she meets and falls in love with Augusto Aixelâ[1†].

In 1996, he published his third major Barcelona-related novel, “Una Comedia Ligera” (A Light Comedy), set in the 1940s[1†].

The Spanish newspaper El País published two of his novels in instalments, “Sin Noticias de Gurb” (No Word from Gurb, 1990) and “El Último Trayecto de Horacio Dos” (The Last Journey of Horatio Dos, 2001), both of them science fiction comedy novels[1†][2†].

Here is a list of his main works with their first year of publication:

Analysis and Evaluation

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga’s work is characterized by his ability to use different resources and styles[1†]. His novels are often set against the backdrop of the city of Barcelona and its evolution, reflecting the social, cultural, and economic conditions of the times[1†][4†].

His first novel, “La Verdad sobre el Caso Savolta” (The Truth About the Savolta Case), is considered a precursor to the social change in the Spanish post-Franco society and the first novel of the transition to democracy[1†][4†]. It brought Mendoza Garriga a certain amount of fame and was awarded the Critics Prize a year after its publication[1†][4†].

Mendoza Garriga is also known for his trilogy of detective novels featuring a peculiar character, a nameless accidental-detective locked up in a mental hospital[1†][4†]. The first of these novels, “El Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada” (The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt), is a parody with hilarious moments mixing hard-boiled genre with Gothic narrative[1†]. The second novel of the saga, “El Laberinto de las Aceitunas” (The Olive Labyrinth), confirmed Mendoza Garriga’s talent as a parodist and stands as one of his most successful works[1†].

His most acclaimed novel is probably “La Ciudad de los Prodigios” (The City of Marvels), which discusses the social and urban evolution of Barcelona between the Universal Expositions of 1888 and 1929[1†]. This novel was adapted for cinema by Mario Camus in 1999[1†][4†].

Mendoza Garriga’s work also includes theatre, essays, and short stories[1†][4†]. His play “Restauració” was performed for the first time at the Teatro Romea in Barcelona in 1990[1†][4†].

In conclusion, Eduardo Mendoza Garriga’s work is characterized by its historical depth, social commentary, and stylistic versatility. His novels have had a significant impact on Spanish literature and continue to be widely read and studied[1†][4†].

Personal Life

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga, born in Barcelona in 1943, was raised in a family with a legal background[4†]. His early education was diverse, having studied for a year in a school run by the monks of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, another year in Mercedarias, and then finally, from 1950 onwards, in the school of the Hermanos Maristas[4†].

In 1966, he received a grant in London[4†]. This experience abroad, coupled with his subsequent work as a translator for the United Nations in New York from 1973 to 1982[4†][1†][6†], greatly influenced his worldview and writing. During his time in New York, he maintained an intense relationship with novelists Juan Benet and Juan García Hortelano, poet Pere Gimferrer, and writer (and neighbor) Félix de Azúa[4†][1†][6†].

Mendoza returned to Barcelona in 1983[4†]. However, he continued to earn his living through simultaneous interpreting jobs for international organizations[4†]. Despite his global experiences and the cosmopolitan nature of his work, Mendoza has always maintained a strong connection with his hometown of Barcelona, which often serves as the backdrop for his novels[4†][1†][4†].

Currently, Mendoza resides in London[4†][1†]. Despite his fame and success, details about his personal relationships and family life remain private[1†][4†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Eduardo Mendoza Garriga’s work has left a significant impact on contemporary Spanish literature[1†][4†]. His novels, particularly his epic, historical style novels, have continued to be popular since the post-war period[1†][4†]. His first novel, “La Verdad sobre el Caso Savolta” (The Truth About the Savolta Case), is considered a precursor to the social change in the Spanish post-Franco society and one of the first novels of the transition to democracy[1†][4†]. This work brought Mendoza a certain amount of fame as it was published just a few months before Franco’s death, and the following year it was awarded the Critics Prize[1†][4†].

Mendoza’s trilogy of detective novels, starting with “El Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada” (The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt) in 1979, is also noteworthy[1†][4†]. The trilogy’s main character, an unnamed detective who is actually a patient in a mental asylum, is particularly memorable[1†][4†]. These novels, filled with black comedy, are challenging yet rewarding reads[1†][4†].

In 1986, Mendoza published “La Ciudad de los Prodigios” (The City of Marvels), which many consider to be the pinnacle of his literary works[1†][4†]. This novel, which was adapted for cinema by Mario Camus in 1999, is a testament to Mendoza’s ability to capture the social and urban evolution of Barcelona[1†][4†].

Despite his global experiences and the cosmopolitan nature of his work, Mendoza has always maintained a strong connection with his hometown of Barcelona, which often serves as the backdrop for his novels[1†][4†]. His work, characterized by its unique blend of humor, complexity, and acute observation, continues to captivate readers worldwide[1†][4†].

Mendoza’s legacy is not just limited to his novels. He has also made significant contributions to theatre, essays, and short stories[1†][4†]. His play “Restauració” was performed for the first time at the Teatro Romea in Barcelona in 1990[1†][4†]. Mendoza himself translated the play from Catalan into Castilian Spanish so that it could be performed in Madrid[1†][4†].

In conclusion, Eduardo Mendoza Garriga’s work has left an indelible mark on Spanish literature. His unique blend of humor, complexity, and acute observation, coupled with his ability to capture the social and urban evolution of Barcelona, continues to captivate readers worldwide[1†][4†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Eduardo Mendoza Garriga [website] - link
  2. Simple Wikipedia (English) - Eduardo Mendoza Garriga [website] - link
  3. Wikipedia (Spanish) - Eduardo Mendoza [website] - link
  4. Classic Spanish Books - The Life & Works of Eduardo Mendoza Garriga [website] - link
  5. Wikipedia (English) - The City of Marvels [website] - link
  6. Goodreads - Book: Riña de gatos: Madrid 1936 [website] - link
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