- Category : 1872-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 4
A Spanish writer, one of the key novelists of the Generation of '98. Baroja's masterpiece is considered to be El árbol de la ciencia (1911) (translated as The Tree of Knowledge), a pessimistic Bildungsroman that depicts the futility of the pursuit of knowledge and of life in general. The title is ironically symbolic: The more the chief protagonist Andres Hurtado learns about and experiences life, the more pessimistic he feels and the more futile his life seems.
The young Baroja studied medicine at Valencia and took a medical degree at the Complutense University in Madrid at the age of 21. Although educated as a physician, Baroja practised this profession only briefly. As a matter of fact, he would use his student's memories – some of them he would consider terrible – as the raw material for The Tree of Knowledge. He also managed the family bakery for a short time and ran unsuccessfully on two occasions for a seat at the Cortes (Spanish parliament) as a Radical Republican. Baroja's true calling, however, was always writing, which he began seriously at the age of 13.
Ernest Hemingway was greatly influenced by Baroja, and told him when he visited him in October 1956, "Allow me to pay this small tribute to you who taught so much to those of us who wanted to be writers when we were young. I deplore the fact that you have not yet received a Nobel Prize, especially when it was given to so many who deserved it less, like me, who am only an adventurer"