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Title: Poetry and politics of the first Catalan vanguard : Joan Salvat-Papasseit and J.V. Foix
Author: Keown, Dominic
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1984
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In his recent and most complete survey of the Catalan literary Avant-garde, Joaquim Molas reflected upon the innovatory movement as providing a "literatura que, malgrat la seva contundencia, ha estat fins ara mes discutida que coneguda, 0, almenys, coneguda amb un minim de solidesa."l The critic is most assuredly correct in his assessment. The investigation of the modern artistic current has been severely hampered for a number of years by arbitrary judgements and categorizations based on erroneous or misinformed preconceptions. The present work is seen as on attempt to clarify the matter in some way with specific reference to the validity of the initial Catalan poetic response. In the course of the lost twenty years there has been much interest and thorough scholarship devoted to the area in question, from Poesia Catalana del Segle XX produced by Castellet and Molas, to Fuster's Literatura Catalana Contemporanea and finally Molas' far reaching anthology, La Literatura Catalana d'Avantguarda. These works, however, have tended to display a literary-historical bias, a hangover, perhaps, from the social realism generation of the 1960s, which has resulted in certain unavoidable limitations. The emphasis has been shifted from the analytical examination of the artefact to a more positivist inspired awareness of the circumstantial context. Biography and other historico-political criteria have been favoured as a means of classification, often from a "committed" critical viewpoint, as opposed to an appreciation of the stylistic expression or the sensitivity displayed by the author. The net result, given the minority aspect of this renascent culture together with the bourgeois predominance in this area, has been that the local reaction to this subversive "revolutionary" artistic current has been minimised and diluted. Such a conclusion was almost to be anticipated with the direction adopted. The complications surrounding this point of view have duly come to the attention over the past twenty years and may be summed up by a simple question. If the nature of the Catalan response to the movement was so circumscribed and limited, then how could it produce such outstanding figures in other related fields as is the case with Miro, Dali and Sert? Individual studies, particularly those by Ferrater, Terry and Gimferrer on J.V. Foix, and by Beser, Vallverd6 and indeed Molas on Salvat-Papasseit, have indicated the significance of the Vanguard affiliation of these authors. It is hoped that by following this vein, with a more textually orientated approximation to the output of these poets, a more complete picture has been achieved of the real extent of the impact of the innovatory poetics on the cultural life of the Principality, which had previously been distorted by excessive adherence to socio-political considerations. That is not to say that the historical aspect is not important. Against the backcloth of national revival, culture and politics became inseparable as studies on Modernisme and Noucentisme by Fuster, Castellet and Molas, Marfany and Yates have clearly shown. A knowledge of the complexity of the background situation is therefore essential. Yet it is felt that this must in turn be combined/with a recognition of the full importance of the expression itself. A successful balance between both sides of this critical equation provides a much less exclusive and entangled interpretation of the phenomenon. The argument as to the nature and parameters of the Avantgarde movement in Catalonio is far from complete and is sure to continue on its intriguing course. It is hoped that the present work has managed to eliminate various pitfalls which have served to complicate and limit our understanding of the poetic faction of the Catalan Vanguard experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available