Ramón José Sender, whose full name is Ramón José Sender Garcés, was born in the village of Chalamera de Cinca, in the Aragonese province of Huesca, on February 3, 1901. His father was town clerk of both Chalamera and the nearby town of Alcolea de Cinca. Both his parents’ families had long-standing roots in Alcolea, and the Sender family returned there in 1903, moving next to Tauste (Aragon) in 1908 or 1909. A composite of both Alcolea and Tauste can be recognized as the scene of three of the author’s finest novels, A Man’s Place, Crónica del alba, and Requiem for a Spanish Peasant. His deep attachment to his native region and pride in his Aragonese heritage never left him.
From his earliest years, Sender rebelled against the authoritarian attitude of his father, a strict Catholic whose efforts to force his views upon the future novelist seem to have been decisive in determining Sender’s lifelong rebellion against the existing order of things, including his rejection of the Roman Catholic Church. Sender’s attitude of rebellion and protest is evident in all of his writings, both journalistic and literary. His protests against the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in 1927 led to his imprisonment for three months in Madrid, an experience that he novelized in O. P.
Difficulties with his father apparently led to Sender’s being sent to a Catholic boarding school in Reus (Catalonia) for the academic year 1913-1914, a year that forms the basis for his novel Violent Griffin, which later became the second of the three parts of the first...
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