Valencia (Spain) -- Opening the Academic Year

The writer Juan Manuel de Prada, recipient of the 2004 National Prize for Narrative Literature, gave a lecture entitled “Literature, Culture and Faith in the 21st Century” in the ceremony opening the 2005/2006 school year at the La Alameda Student Residence. His words were a reflection on the need for Western culture to recognize its Christian roots in order to recover its identity and once again produce true art. “If relativism has led us to give up believing in truth, then beauty and art become empty amusement, a nice veil behind which nothing lies. All that remains is superficiality and boredom.”

Although no one, de Prada stressed, can consider himself the owner of the truth, to renounce seeking it with the excuse that truth can never be possessed represents a grave desertion. He also spoke out against the cultural “ostracism” suffered by those who attempt to uphold the position that truth exists. Finally, after a dark diagnosis of the difficulties found in the postmodern world, he expressed confidence in the future and invited those present to take part in the “battle of ideas,” by defending the transcendental values and respect for the person that form an intrinsic part of the European tradition.

Romana, n. 41, July-December 2005, p. 329-330.

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