On April 13, the Spanish department will honor a faculty member whose career at Emory has spanned more than three decades and whose reputation spans the globe. Professor Carlos Rojas, who retires this spring after 35 years, has received four of the most prestigious prizes awarded to Spanish writers. He will be one of the featured speakers at "Art and Literature: A Symposium in Honor of Carlos Rojas."
The symposium, organized by Professor of Spanish Ricardo Gutierrez-Mouat and acting chair of the department Michael Solomon, is designed to honor Rojas on his retirement in a fitting tribute for a scholar who has advanced the subject through his long career. Described by Gutierrez-Mouat as "one of the most distinguished members of the Emory faculty . . . and one of Spain's considerable literary figures," Rojas is known as both a novelist and essayist and, according to Gutierrez-Mouat, "has published important works on Dali, Picasso, the Spanish Civil War and Spanish history."
The topic of the symposium, one in which Rojas has been interested for the last 10 or 12 years, is the basis of a book on Salvador Dali, focusing on the artistic and literary relationship of Dali with his lover, Federico García Lorca. Before the two met in 1929, according to Rojas, "neither young man seemed to have been called by the gods to be a poet or an artist, much less one of the most distinguished poets and authors of the century." Dali had produced paintings with "no personal style of his own," but merely imitations of Chagall, Matisse, Picasso and El Greco. Lorca had published a book of poems "under the pedestrian title, A Book of Poems," the printing of which was paid for by his father. In the five years after their relationship began, both Lorca and Dali produced works that would be considered masterpieces.
The guest lecturers for the symposium include René de Costa of the University of Chicago, Paul Ilie of the University of Southern California, and Jean-Françios Lyotard, a visiting professor in the Spanish department. Rojas will speak on "Lorca, Dali and the Hallucinogenic Toreador."
The symposium will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Carlos Museum; a reception in honor of Rojas will be held at 8 p.m. For further information, contact Gutiérrez-Mouat at 727-7952 or Solomon at 727-2691.
-- Nancy M. Spitler