Five Great Phrases by Miguel Delibes

Miguel Delibes, a Spanish novelist, left behind a world of written knowledge that invites strospection. Today's article will discuss some of his quotes.
Five Great Phrases by Miguel Delibes

Last update: 06 January, 2021

Miguel Delibes was a Spanish novelist who’s still present in books about the history of literature. Not only was he a prolific writer but many of his works actually won awards such as the Nacional de Literatura in 1955, the Nacional de las Letras in 1991, and the Cervantes in 1993, among others.

Furthermore, Delibes was a member of the Royal Spanish Academy. He held this position until 2010, the year he died. Continue reading this article to discover why this gifted writer is so popular!

“Delives conception of the novel is based on a total rejection of innovation just for the sake of it. It is also based on a strong support of the narrative that refers to a story.”

-Santos Sanz Villanueva-

Miguel Delibes’s five best phrases

1. The negative side of fame

“Fame has no place to hold on to that’s really positive.”

Miguel Delibes wasn’t a novelist who pursued fame. In fact, as you can see in this quote, he considered it wasn’t a good thing. He thought that many of those who attain fame often fall into the clutches of their own narcissism and abuse their position.

This is is somewhat paradoxical though. This is because Miguel Delibes won the Premio Nacional de Narrativa with El Hereje and it made him famous. This work received many positive reviews and captured the attention of thousands of readers. Nevertheless, Delibes wasn’t interested in popularity.

An open book.

2. The language of the people rules, according to Miguel Delibes

“The people are the real owners of the Academy.”

Occupying a position in the Royal Spanish Academy made Miguel Delibes wonder who truly owns the language. Does it belong to the people or to the Academy? This second quote makes his opinion clear.

The lexicon varies as the rules change. For instance, words like “selfie” or “meme” are already recognized by most dictionaries around the world.

3. Depersonalization and war

“I remember that day as if it had happened to someone else.”

Miguel Delibes’ generation lived through the Civil War. He expressed his experiences rather curiously. It’s as if he wasn’t a part of his body. This feeling suggests some kind of state of depersonalization.

This is an alteration of perception that arises in a moment of anxiety. The person feels separated (unfolded) from their own body. It’s something very specific. This type of symptom often appears in highly anxious people.

4. Miguel Delibes once said that sadness enhances creativity

“Loss is one of the writer’s motives.”

This fourth quote indicates that a loss leads to deep sadness but it’s also a source of inspiration. It may be why people feel like writing and express themselves when they’re sad.

The emotional release after writing down everything that hurts and makes you suffer is rather cathartic. For this reason, a loss can be good for a writer even when it’s painful.

A woman seated by a window.

5. Everyone can change

“Men, not mountains, are made.”

This phrase is great for reflecting on those occasions when you underestimate your potential to change. Thus, regardless of your age, you can always change your ways.

However, you’ll need a great deal of self-criticism and awareness in order to do so. In fact, it’s better to say “It’s true, I was wrong about this more than once and I’m going to change it” than to hide behind your age. One way of thinking makes you grow; the other stagnates you.

Read a book by Miguel Delibes such as El principle Destronado (In English: The Dethroned Prince) or El Camino (In English: The Way). Until you do, appreciate that the phrases presented above are just a small sample of his narrative. Thus, you must transcend them and try to fully immerse yourself in his work. His life, love for language, and legacy are definitely worthy of your time.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Alpízar, D. M. (2015). Enfermedad, muerte y duelo en Señora de rojo sobre fondo gris de Miguel Delibes. Estudios, (31), 691-703.
  • Barbado Hernández, F. J.. (2007). Medicina y literatura en la formación del médico residente de medicina interna. Anales de Medicina Interna24(4), 195-200. Recuperado en 27 de abril de 2019, de
  • Sierra-Siegert, M. (2008). La despersonalización: aspectos clínicos y neurobiológicos. Revista colombiana de psiquiatría37(1), 40-55.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.