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Family of Pascual Duarte

Family of Pascual Duarte

5.0 1
by Camilo Jose Cela, Anthony Kerrigan (Translator)

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This book reflects the crude reality of rural Spain in Franco's time. It is full of human power and rich in social insight. Cela writes with great detail, but still maintains simplicity.


This book reflects the crude reality of rural Spain in Franco's time. It is full of human power and rich in social insight. Cela writes with great detail, but still maintains simplicity.

Editorial Reviews

Paul West
“Cela prefers the weird, the apparently meaningless and amorphous. The world of his novels has been likened to that of Hieronymus Bosch and
Brueghel; he sees man as a prisoner in a forbidding universe where chaos and imperfection always defeat the idealist.”
Alastair Reid
“Most books have to wait to become classics; but everything about The Family of Pascual Duarte—its conception, its starkness, its restraint, the enormity of its theme—made it from the very beginning a classic.”
The New York Times Book Review
“A most memorable book . . . The Family of Pascual Duarte sets its author in place as a contemporary of Celine and Malaparte and a follower of the Spanish picaresque tradition.”
From the Publisher

"After Don Quixote, probably the most widely read novel in Spanish."--The New York Times

Dalkey Archive Press

Library Journal
Nobel laureate Cela's 1942 novel unfurls with Duarte telling his miserable life story from his prison cell, where he waits execution for a series of murders. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
Spanish Literature Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)
1160L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Cela won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1989.

Kerrigan received the National Book Award in 1975.

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Family of Pascual Duarte 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
tcmattmark More than 1 year ago
The Family of Pascual Duarte by Nobelist Camilo Jose Cela has been compared to Albert Camus' The Stranger. Except for the fact that the protagonists in both works await execution, the comparison is faulty. Camus examines a seemingly senseless killing (that might actually be a justified homicide). Cela, however, explores the mind and life of a man who committed crimes he acknowledges, and for which he tries to provide answers to that unfathomable abyss of murder -- why? On the surface, these could be crimes of passion. One is definitely a misguided defense of honor; another the belated revenge for having been cuckoled; the third, retribution for a lifetime of rejection. Yet, in too many instances, Duarte is able to control his passions, and even to channel them into positive and pure love. So, a simple reference to passion is not enough. Perhaps these are offenses made inevitable by the circumstances and environment of Duarte's life? Yet, throughout the work it is clear that Duarte does not like the life dealt to him, and it is clear that he wishes to escape its tentacles. Indeed, his love of two different wives demonstrates his ability to do so. His life history, saved in scraps of paper delivered to the narrator, demonstrate this desire to escape his fate while detailing his inability to do so. I have represented men on death row, and I have shared conversations with them about life, about their lives, and about their childhoods. Too many times I saw the devastation and confusion that Cela exhibits in Duarte's words. But, too seldom did I find the insight that Duarte brings to the reader. This work is phenomenal; it is also extremely disturbing. It is a book that compels the reader to complete it, but to do so while fighting against a current that pulls one's existence into Duarte's devastation. At the conclusion, the reader will say with honesty, "I am glad I read it; I want my friends to read it; but, I hope that I never have to read or experience it again."