Jorge Semprún  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jorge Semprún Maura (Template:IPA-es; Madrid, 10 December 1923 – Paris, 7 June 2011) was a Spanish writer and politician who lived in France most of his life and wrote primarily in French. From 1953 to 1962, during the era of Francisco Franco, Semprún lived clandestinely in Spain working as an organizer for the exiled Communist Party of Spain, but was expelled from the party in 1964. After the death of Franco and change to a democratic government, he served as Culture Minister of Spain from 1988 to 1991. He was a screenwriter for two successive films by the Greek director Costa-Gavras, Z (1969) and The Confession (1970), which dealt with the theme of persecution by governments. For his work on Z, Semprun was nominated for an Oscar. In 1996, he became the first non-French author elected to the Académie Goncourt, which awards an annual literary prize.

Style and Themes

Semprún primarily wrote in French and alludes to French authors as much as to Spanish ones. Most of his works are fictionalized accounts of his deportation to Buchenwald. His writing is non-linear and achronological. Although an event is an announced topic of a work, the narrator spirals through time, exploring the past and future of the event. Repetition is a hallmark of his work. With each repetition, events take on different meanings. Semprún's works are also very self-aware, and his narrators explore the way events live on in memory and the means of communicating the atrocious events of the concentration camp to an audience who cannot conceive of that experience.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jorge Semprún" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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