Valera y Alcalá Galiano, Juan

Valera y Alcalá Galiano, Juan

(hwän välā`rä ē älkälä` gälyä`nō), 1824–1905, Spanish writer and diplomat. Of a leading liberal family, Valera was a diplomat until 1858, and he later became a senator and an ambassador. Among his major works are Cartas americanas (4 vol., 1889), on Spanish-American writers, and Florilegio de poesías castellanas del siglo XIX (5 vol., 1902–3), an anthology of Spanish poetry. His first novel, Pepita Jiménez (1874, tr. 1886), won international fame. Other novels include El comendador Mendoza (1877, tr. Commander Mendoza, 1893) and Juanita la Larga (1895).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Valera y Alcalá Galiano, Juan

 

Born Oct. 18, 1824, in Cabra, Córdoba; died Apr. 18, 1905, in Madrid. Spanish writer and statesman. Academician. By education a lawyer.

In 1846, Valera entered the diplomatic service. During the Spanish Revolution of 1868-74 he advocated a constitutional monarchy. He was elected several times as a deputy to the Cortes by the liberals. He first published romantic poems and later wrote as a critic and theoretician. His Notes on the New Art of Writing Novels (1887) was directed against naturalism and tendentiousness in art. Valera is the author of studies on J. W. Goethe and M. Cervantes, as well as the following psychological novels: Pepita Jiménez (1874; Russian translation, 1910), Doña Luz (1879), and Commander Mendoza (1877; Russian translation, 1881). The novel entitled The Illusions of Doctor Faustino (1875; Russian translation, 1894) deals with the conflict between a young nobleman and the bourgeois world. The heroine of the novella Juanita la Larga (1895; Russian translation, 1961) is a girl of the common people. Valera’s letters about Russia form one of the most interesting collection of comments on Russian literature in Spain.

WORKS

Obras completas, vols. 1-3. Madrid, 1953.
In Russian translation:
In the collection Ispanskie povesti i rasskazy. Foreword by A. Shtein. Moscow, 1958.
Pepita Khimenes. Foreword by Z. Plavskin. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCES

Ruíz Cano, B. Don Juan Valera: Su vida y su obra. Jaén, 1935.
Zamora Romera, A. Don Juan Valera. Córdoba [1966].
Bermejo Marcos, M. Don Juan Valera, critico literario. Madrid [1968].

A. L. SHTEIN

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.