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Reyes Monforte was the winner of the last Alfonso X el Sabio Historical Novel Award for "A Russian Passion." The Sergei Prokofiev Foundation, which promotes the work of the Russian composer of the same name, has accused the Spanish writer of plagiarism. The composer's own grandson has openly criticized Monforte's book in a letter published on the Foundation's website.
Prokofiev's grandson affirms that the book by the Spanish writer imitates and modifies without permission fragments of the 2009 book ‘Lina Prokofiev. A Spanish woman in the gulag ', written by Valentina Chemberdjí, Russian author living in Spain and personal friend of Lina Prokófiev, in which the relationship between Sergei Prokófiev and his partner Lina, of a Spanish father and Franco-Polish mother, and their misfortunes is shown.
The composer's family gave the go-ahead to Chemberdjí and permission to publish. "Reyes Monforte did not contact the family or go to the Moscow archives where the Prokofiev funds are located," explained the musician's grandson. Chemberdjí has stated that he will also sue the Spanish novelist. «Reyes Monforte has copied many episodes. He has explained the same thing using other words and even making up some things, like that Lina met Stalin.
For me, it is a full-blown plagiarism », explained Chemberdjí, who has sent a request to the journalist and the Espasa publishing house to demand the stoppage of the sale of ‘A Russian passion’, which is in bookstores since August 27. The Russian writer and her husband Mark Melnikov have found more than 30 matches between the two books.
Sergei Prokofiev has assured some local media in Spain that he will undertake legal actions against Monforte for violation of the right to honor and plagiarism.
Reyes Monforte has denied everything outright and has affirmed the following: «I documented myself with many books, some in Spanish and others in English. I knew Chemberdjí's biography, but I stopped reading it. At the moment I have not received any complaint, and if I do, I will show that these accusations are false.
The publisher of Monforte's book, Espasa, has communicated that the author is preparing the bibliography she used to write the novel. They ensure that they study the situation thoroughly and that they are writing a statement.
Chemberdjí believes that the jury of the Alfonso X el Sabio Award has made a serious mistake because the award rules indicate that the works submitted are not copies or modifications, in whole or in part, of any of their own or others' work.
The president of the jury, Soledad Puértolas, has declared not knowing the accusations of the Prokófiev and Chemberdjí family. Puértolas has confirmed its trust in Monforte and its publisher. «We value the literary quality or if the subject is interesting, but if it is necessary to investigate it will be done. It will be the publisher who must report the possible plagiarism or misappropriation ".