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  • Exile, writer, soldier, spy: Jorge Semprún

English language broadcast - Exile, writer, soldier, spy: Jorge Semprún - 28/07/18

30 jul 2018

In today's program I speak with Prof. Soledad Fox Maura, author of several books, including the biography of Constancia de la Mora, and most recently: Jorge Semprún, Exile, Writer, Soldier, Spy. A professor of Spanish Literature at Williams College in the United States, Soledad Fox Maura dedicated seven years to researching the life of this fascinating figure before the book was published in Spanish and recently in English. The Spanish Civil War caught Jorge Semprun at the age of 13, when he and his family fled to exile in France. At 19, when the Nazis had occupied France, Semprun joined the French Resistance. Arrested, he was transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp where he remained for nearly two years until it was liberated. Back in France, he became a secret agent for the clandestine Spanish communist party seeking to overthrow the Franco dictatorship. Under an assumed identity, "Federico Sánchez" Semprun returned to his native Spain to support culture dissidence in the universities. Soon after, he dedicated himself to writing novels that depict the experiences of his life, foremost among them, The Long Voyage, and Literature or Life. Semprun was also the screenwriter for awardwinning films and Minister of Culture. Professor Soledad Fox analyzes this complex personality that absorbed, participated in and reflected the convulsive history of 20th century Europe.

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