If you like literature and you are looking to discover the best Spanish writers of all time, here we present the definitive guide to know which literary authors marked the course of literature from this country.
Literature in Spanish would lose a large part of its most important works if it had not been for writers of the stature of Miguel de Cervantes, Miguel de Unamuno or Garcia Lorca.
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12 essential Spanish writers
If you are Spanish, surely you know the names of all these magnificent authors because they are considered not only as the best writers in Spain, but also among the most important in the world. If you are from another country, it is also very likely that you have heard these names at some time.
Whether thanks to their poetry, novels or essays, all of them have gathered enough recognition to appear on this list of renowned writers.
In addition, we must remember that the lack of women in this list is due to the difficulties they had in the past to publish their writings and, in general, to carry out almost any cultural activity.
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12. Camilo Jose Cela
The work of Camilo Jose Cela, a mixture of costumbrismo and existential realism , aroused interest in a time of drought for Spanish narrative. La familia de Pacual Duarte (1942) and La colmena (1951) put the man and his suffering at the center of the action.
These two works, and a prolific oeuvre that includes travel books, experimental works, short stories, poetry, and criticism , earned him the first Nobel Prize in literature for a Spanish prose writer. It was in 1989. 11. Pio Baroja
Intellectual leader of the generation of 98 along with Miguel Unamuno and Antonio Machado, Pio Baroja makes a place among the most famous Hispanic writers thanks to unforgettable novelsoriented to social and existential themes , and narratives of travel and adventure.
Pio Baroja, an intellectual of the generation of 98. | Image from: EFE.
In addition, with his masterpiece The Memoirs of a Man of Action, he became one of the best chroniclers of the time. His style will end up conforming a realism in the purest style of the European current represented by names like Stendhal, Dickens, Tolstoy and Balzac. 10. Miguel Delibes
Without a doubt, one of the best Spanish authors of all time and the youngest chronologically speaking, of all that we are going to see. Miguel Delibes died in 2010 at the age of 89 in Valladolid due to colorectal cancer.
I stand out in particular for being a great scholar in the field of Spanish flora and fauna and being passionate about hunting and the rural world. He has won numerous awards, among which we must mention the Miguel de Cervantes Award and the Princess of Asturias Award for Letters. 9. Benito Perez Galdos
Perez Galdos was not only one of the best writers in Spain and around the world , he also stood out for his work as a Spanish chronicler and politician.
A true polymath who managed to stand out as one of the greats of the realist novel, a very incipient trend in the 19th century. He passed away in 1920 but today we can remember him through his incredible works.
As if that were not enough, he was proposed for the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1912. As for his work as a politician, the truth is that he never felt a special predilection for these tasks, since he wanted to cultivate himself as a Spanish writer. However, he ended up joining politics and accepting the position of deputy for various reasons. 8. Lope de Vega
Spanish writer of the seventeenth century who had a prolific life and is part of the so-called writers of the Golden Age of Spanish literature. He has one of the most extensive works on this entire list.
He is known as Phoenix of Wits and Monster of Nature (for our number one). His greatest contribution is for many the revolution that he brought about in the area of theater by reformulating it from top to bottom.
7. Juan Ramon Jimenez One of the most contemporary Spanish authors that we have seen and will see in this list. He died at the age of 76 in 1958, and he did so in Puerto Rico. His most recognized work is Platero y yo, and he was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956 for his work with the ensemble. 6. Miguel de Unamuno
Born in Bilbao and died in Salamanca, Unamuno stood out within the generation of ’98 for his novels, essays, plays and even poetry. A great writer who cultivated all possible areas within the literature of the time. I combine his work as a writer with that of rector of the renowned University of Salamanca. 5. Francisco de Quevedo One of the best Spanish writers in ancient and recent history, is also one of the greats of what is known as the Golden Age of literature in this country.
I stand out for his poetic work, although he also has narrative and even plays and political, philosophical and moral texts. 4. Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
Like others on this list, Becquer died prematurely, at the age of 34 . What works could we have discovered if this poet and narrator had lived another 34 years?
Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, one of the most famous Spanish narrators. | Image from: EFE.
For many, the most important work was the one coined by the name of Rimas y Leyendas. One of the most important books of Hispanic literature. 3. Antonio MachadoAntonio Machado inaugurates the top 3 of the best writers of all time . Standing out magnanimously at a poetic level and with an initially modernist work that evolved towards a more romantic symbolism, he is the maximum representative of the Generation of ’98, being also the youngest of all the writers who belonged to said movement.
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2. Federico Garcia Lorca
At the gates of first place we find Garcia Lorca. It was a true tragedy that a mind as prodigious as his, came to an end in the year 1938 when he was only 38 years old.
Despite the injustices of the war, it did not manage to take away such an impressive legacy as the one left by this Spanish writer. In fact, he is considered the most representative author of the so-called Generation of 27 . 1. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
As it could not be otherwise, Miguel de Cervantes is considered the best Spanish writer of all time and one of the greatest in the history of mankind.
Cervantes, author of the most famous Spanish novel in history. | Image from: ABC.
Everyone will know his most famous work El ingenioso Hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha. This work was so important because it was the first modern novel. To this day, as if that were not enough, it is the most edited and translated book in history (only behind the Bible). Why were they so relevant?
The Olympus of Famous Spanish Writers brings together names that stood out at the time for their creative genius and the renewal of some genres in Hispanic literature . In addition, the historical value of his works as chronicles of the time they lived give more weight to his literary figure.
With Miguel de Cervantes, for example, we witness the transformation of medieval, idealistic and chivalrous man (Don Quixote) into the pragmatic and materialistic man of modern times (Sancho Panza). The National Episodes of Benito Perez Galdos are both a literary treasure and a historical document of the first order.
Poetry as a vehicle for the hopes of a generation has an impact on us thanks to the lyricism of Machado and Lorca, and the verses of two giants like Gongora and Quevedo are both a metric marvel and a door to the Spanish Golden Age.
We owe other current authors such as Juan Ramon Jimenez and Camilo Jose Cela the renewal of literary genres and the creation of new trends, although already in the 17th century, for example,Lope de Vega himself was a revolutionary .
The knowledge and intellectual depth of other writers such as Miguel Delibes, in the field of flora and fauna, and Miguel de Unamuno, in all fields of literature, or the extensive and prolific production of Pio Baroja, complete the picture of celebrities who enriched Spanish literature and ensured its place in the world.
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