Cano, José Luis

Cano, José Luis
b. 1912, Algeciras
   Writer
   This poet, critic, biographer, anthologist and editor came to maturity in Málaga under the influence of Emilio Prados and others associated with the review Litoral. During this time he came to know Aleixandre, García Lorca, Altolaguirre and Dalí, becoming especially friendly with Aleixandre during Cano's university years in the Madrid of the 1930s. Cano was imprisoned during the Civil War for having been a member of a leftist student group.
   Critics debate whether Cano should be grouped with the poets of the pre-Civil War "Generation of 1936", writers much influenced by the artistic experimentalism of their time, or with those who came to maturity and began to publish following their experience of the war and its aftermath. In fact, the centre of gravity of Cano's poetry seems to be located in Prados" aestheticism. Beginning in 1942 with Sonetos de la bahía (Sonnets of the Bay), and followed by such collections as Voz de la muerte (The Voice of Death), Las alas perseguidas (The Hunted Wings), Otoño en Málaga y otros poemas (Autumn in Malaga and Other Poems) and Luz del tiempo (Light of Time), Cano's poetry is characterized by a striving for formal beauty and concise versification. The most complete edition of Cano's poetry is Poesías campletas (Barcelona) (1986). Also of considerable interest is his pre-war autobiography, Los cuadernos de Adrian Dale: memorias y relecturas (Madrid) (1981). For many, Cano's greatest contributions to contemporary Spanish literature and poetry are his anthologies (e.g. Antología de la nueva poesía española, which reached its third edition in 1972), literary biographies, such as Antonio Machado: biografía ilustrada (Barcelona) (1975), and critical studies, such as the series of interviews with Aleixandre published in 1986 as Los cuadernos de Valentonia. Equally important have been his labours as a key member of the editorial staff of Ínsula from its foundation in 1945 until publication of its 500th number in 1988. In all these activities he has distinguished himself as a truly open and liberal literary man whose devotion is to the best of what is new and old in Spanish literature. Typically courageous was the decision by Ínsula in 1955 to publish a commemorative number to honour Ortega y Gasset upon his death, despite the directive by the official censorship that only brief notices would mark his passing. The government suspended publication of the magazine for a year, but it began publishing again in 1957.
   See also: poetry
   STEPHEN MILLER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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