José Guillermo García Valdecasas
568 pages; 45 color illustrations; hardcover with jacket; 17 x 24 cm
Spanish and Italian; edited by J.L. Colomer and J. Olmedo Ramos; 2007
Born in Madrid in 1940, the son of the jurist Alfonso García Valdecasas and María Andrada Vanderwilde, José Guillermo received his elementary education at the Colegio los Rosales in Madrid. After obtaining his law degree from the Universidad Complutense, he was awarded a scholarship from the Real Colegio de España in Bologna (Italy) in 1963 through a nationwide contest. He spent two academic years there and earned his PhD in law for the thesis entitled Sul contratto, idea-mito e strumento tecnico, supervised by Felice Battaglia, for which he won the Luigi Ravà prize. He was appointed rector of the institution in 1978.
He was responsible for the discovery of the manuscript of Saint John of the Cross’s “Cántico spiritual” dated 1593, which is referred to by scholars as the “G. Valdecasas codex’ and proves the authenticity—hitherto widely denied—of the “Cántico B”. To him we also owe the retrieval of the great Spanish opera Celos, aun del aire matan by Calderón de la Barca with music by Juan Hidalgo, with which Madrid’s Theatre Royal opened the 2000-2001 season. Also in 2000 he published La adulteración de ‘La Celestina’, an extensive essay that sets out to recover the original Comedia de Calisto y Melibea by eliminating later interpolations. He was furthermore the author of many articles on historical, philosophical, aesthetic and literary subjects, which are brought together in this book. Prominent among his literary works are España blanca (1974), the novel El huésped del Rector (1985), which won him the Café Iruña short novel prize, and Trivio de espejos (1991). He was a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a Grande Ufficiale of the Italian Republic, and holded the Grand Cross of Isabella the Catholic.