Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Although best known for his novels, Juan Benet (buh-NEHT) gained recognition as a superb essayist and short-story writer as well. His essays range in scope from music to linguistics, but his most perceptive writings are those on literary theory: La inspiración y el estilo (1965), Puerta de tierra (1970), El ángel del Señor abandona a Tobías (1976), and La moviola de Eurípides (1982). Above all, Benet articulates a literary posture that underscores the importance of style and enigma in the creation of fiction.

Benet’s short stories have been collected in several volumes, including Nunca llegarás a nada (1961), Cinco narraciones y dos fábulas (1972), Sub rosa (1973), and Trece fábulas y media (1981). For the most part, the stories parallel his longer fiction in style and theme, though they are often more playful in tone. Benet also wrote four plays—Max (pb. 1953), Agonía confutans (1969), Anastas: O, El origen de la constitución (pb. 1970), and Un caso de conciencia (1970)—but none was performed during his lifetime with either critical or commercial success.