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Aymar, Àngels. Trueta. Trans. Montserrat Roser i Puig. Anglo-Catalan Society
Occasional Papers. Nottingham: Five Leaves Publications, 2010. xxi + 124 pp.
Cabré, Jaume. Winter Journey. Trans. Patricia Lunn. Chicago: Swan Isle Press,
2009. 182 pp.

We have in this small volume a curious hybrid. Its core is the play, by Àngels
Aymar, on the life of Doctor Josep Trueta i Raspall (Barcelona 1897-1977), the
distinguished surgeon who was also one of the founders of the Anglo-Catalan
Society (and thus it seems appropriate for this to appear in the ACS series of
Occasional Papers). The original play, simply titled Trueta, is in Catalan (with
some Spanish and some English) and appears here with a facing-page English
translation by Professor Roser i Puig (who signs her name with her degree title
of Dr.). Also Dr. Roser’s (one assumes) are the four footnotes to the play. The
volume is completed with one page of tiny photographs from a performance of
the play and another page with equally-small archive photographs of Dr. Tru-
eta and his family; biographies of Dr. Roser and Ms. Aymar complete the pub-
lication, in addition to a 15-page Introduction, a note on the translation, and
some bibliographical materials and notes.
Aymar’s play is a noble effort to make a heroic life theatrical. The epony-
mous hero is presented with just enough fallibility to make him human. He is
flanked by four supporting characters: Amelia, Trueta’s wife, provides the nec-
essary tension regarding the couple’s private life; the Nun and the Miss (the
latter a character inspired, the notes explain, by the English surgeon Josephine
Collier) exemplify the tensions in Trueta’s professional life; and Salvador (“in-
spired” by Salvador de Madariaga) brings out the political dimension. A bunch
of minor characters complete the cast. Given how hard it is to write a play
about a practically perfect person, Aymar’s work is quite accomplished. It
reads with ease but, for those who know something about the life of Dr. Trueta
and his times, offers few surprises and barely escapes the maudlin.
As Roser i Puig warns us in her note on the translation, “given the high
relevance of the dynamics of multilingualism in the play, the translation was
not going to attempt a transculturalisation” (xxii). Indeed, the characters in the
play, which takes place in Barcelona and Oxford, speak in three languages,
Catalan, Castilian, and English, and in different dialects and with varying de-
grees of proficiency. This alone would make any translation a challenge and
Roser i Puig is wise to avoid the danger by providing us with a gloss of the
original, which “assumes that the characters are speaking Catalan all the time”
(xxii), but notes otherwise in the stage directions and invites the director of an
eventual performance in English to take heed and “act accordingly”. This note
ends with a puzzling one-sentence paragraph: “In the translation Castilian has
been translated as Spanish and punctuation has been adapted to British conven-
tions” (xxii). Good to know, in any case.
The edition of Aymar’s play and the facing-page translation are preceded
by a fifteen-page Introduction by Roser i Puig that sets the play in its historical

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contexts. The first context is that of the Spanish Civil War, a time when Trueta
began to develop his method of dealing with wounds from shrapnel, particu-
larly in the extremities of soldiers and civilians. The second context is that of
World War II and Trueta’s settling in Oxford during the years of Franco’s rule,
and the third is his return to Catalonia and the lack of recognition of his merits
he was received with. This last context is the one Aymar’s play and Roser i
Puig’s edition and translation are seeking to redress.
The Catalan original, Viatge d’hivern, is an engrossing collection of 14
short stories, quite diverse in tone and content. The blurb on the back of my
paperback edition suggests that the stories form “el canemàs d’una novel·la sin-
gular”. There are a number of motifs—Schubert’s music, a painting by Rem-
brandt, references to the Torah—that more or less centrally appear in the sto-
ries and lend them an incidental rather than essential unity. If the book is a
mosaic, its interest rests more in each tile than in the total picture, although the
first story, “Opus pòstum” and the last, “Winterreise”, do seem like two chap-
ters of one novel.
Patricia Lunn has translated the rich and very diverse Catalan of the stories
into a sober English that valiantly reflects the jarring changes of style of the
original. She was (or her editors were) less vigilant with the titles. That of the
opening story remains an enigmatic “Opus postum” instead of “Posthumous
Opus” and the one titled “Pac!” (an onomatopoeia I would render as “Bang!”)
has become a strange “Poc!” (true, neither “pac” nor “poc” appear in canonical
dictionaries), which, in the type chosen for titles, looks like “POCI” (I had to
resort to a magnifying glass to see that the last symbol was in fact the exclama-
tion point).
In general, however, the translation is elegant and, to be sure, accurate.
Some of the stories are written in such idiosyncratic or slangy style as to sig-
nify a tour de force for any translator. “Finis Coronat Opus” is written in a
paradoxical admixture of street slang and pompous diction, and Lunn navi-
gates those troubled waters expertly, perhaps too expertly. The original is
peppered with swearwords that have, as is typical of Catalan and other Ro-
mance languages, a religious reference: l’hòstia de fàcil, el viacrucis que havia
de viure, la mateixa resignació del masoca de Job, hòstia si fa mal, es lliga
l’hòstia de fàcil... you get the idea. In particular the word “hòstia”, a reference
to the host of the Eucharist, gives the story its profane and irreverent color, a
color that runs a bit in the translation, perhaps inevitably. (The phrases quoted
above become: “a piece of cake, how I was going to suffer, as patiently as that
masochist Job, a hell of a bad idea, it’s easy to pick up girls”. Not that I would
have done any better, but I speak here as critic, not as translator.) The sad, if
predictable, “Ballad” also seems a little tamer in the translation: “El seu es-
guard s’havia tornat de vinagre” becomes “her glance had grown so sour”, “la
mort que els havia caigut al damunt en pocs anys” is rendered in the wrong
tense as “the death that would shortly befall them”, “per rebentar la mala sang
embotida durant noranta dies de ràbia” is in Lunn’s English “to give vent to

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the rage that had built up in her for ninety days”, “la ganyota de la por” is sim-
plified to “with fear” as is “no se’n reia ni Déu ni Al·là”, which becomes “no-
body messed with him”.
Yet more than examples suggesting an abundance of such cases, the above
are the few egregious cases where, as translator, I might dissent with Lunn’s
choices. It is important to stress the overall elegance and accuracy of this ver-
sion, and Lunn must be given credit for having tackled a most difficult work in
its dizzying diversity of registers. As Winter Journey, Cabré’s work makes an
excellent and coherent read and the book will be a useful model for courses of
Catalan literature in translation. I mention this because it could be where the
main interest of the readers of Catalan Review in books such as this one surely
lies. It is nevertheless a pity that such a terrific collection did not get grabbed by
a publisher with more publicizing clout than Swan Isle Press. But, outside of the
“POC!” infelicity, this publisher has produced a handsome book, which those
of us with non-Catalan-speaking relatives ands friends will want to recommend.


Indiana University

Crameri, Kathryn, ed. Where the Rivers Meet: Jesús Moncada. Nottingham:
Five Leaves Publications, 2011. 161 pp.

W here the Rivers Meet: Jesús Moncada is the first study of this contemporary
author’s work published in English. On this basis alone, it should be consid-
ered a great contribution to the field, of not only Moncada’s opus but also
Catalan studies since Crameri’s book presents a good exploration of the biog-
raphy, novels and short stories by Moncada in parallel with Contemporary
Catalan literature and culture.
The book offers a substantial overview of Jesús Moncada’s work, with an
international approach. These essays from Europe and Australia are a welcome
complement to previous studies that have come from Catalonia, Spain and the
United States. Furthermore, the study is endorsed by very well known experts
on this matter, who have previously published several articles either on Mon-
cada or on Iberian Contemporary literature.
The fact that these scholars approach Moncada’s work from a comparativ-
ist, non-nationalist perspective, often reading him in translation, underscores
Moncada’s recognized aesthetic merit as the author of novels and short stories
of great universality. Thus, while previous scholarship has demonstrated Mon-
cada’s value as a Catalan and Iberian writer, Where the Rivers Meet challenges
us to read his works as transcending the local. Through the analysis of his
works we can see how a not very prolific author from a small town in Spain can
become absolutely universal and international.

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One of the strongest aspects of the study is that the authors deal with the
most relevant and difficult issues of Moncada’s work, such as the use of lan-
guage, history, myth, memory, space and time, in a very straightforward way,
simplifying its complexity and making its understanding easier to the reader.
Therefore, the reader obtains a complete picture of Moncada’s stories, entering
his obstinate universe smoothly. While the concepts are crucial, the argumen-
tation suffers from organizational problems that lead to repetition. The analy-
sis of novels and short stories in separate chapters is a good idea and allows the
reader to follow Moncada’s production efficiently. However, it also causes
some duplication of themes, especially in chapters 3 and 4, which are both
completely devoted to exploring specific literary matters.
Regarding the question of order, I believe that it would have been more
helpful to have chapter 4, which is devoted to the analysis of Moncada’s three
novels, before chapter 3, which explores short stories. However, they have fol-
lowed a chronological scheme, meaning that Moncada started his literary ca-
reer publishing short stories, but I am positive that the study by Kathryn
Crameri (chapter 4) right after the analysis by Hèctor Moret (chapter 2) would
have improved the work as a whole, because she offers a kind of examination
that is taken from a wider approach, and also because she provides the reader
with information that Sandrine Ribes (chapter 3) fails to mention, such as why
the historical period covered by the fiction runs from 1860 up to 1971 (or per-
haps these kinds of details should be presented in the Introduction).
Also, still talking about the structure of the book, the translations of a
short story (“Old Sheet Music”) and a fragment of Moncada’s third novel (Es-
tremida memòria) are superfluous to this study, even though it is the first time
that are published. Chapters provide enough examples from the literary texts,
and consequently I don’t see the need to incorporate these translations. On the
contrary, the summary of works at the end of the book, as a select bibliogra-
phy, is very helpful for all sorts of readers, as a reminder for experts or as a new
list for new researchers.
In sum, the analysis of themes and issues in his life, novels, and short sto-
ries helps create an image of a global work. Nevertheless, and due to reitera-
tions, I would have like to see more links among chapters to give a sense of
union, rather than the work of different experts. Bearing in mind the com-
pletely appropriate title of the study, Where the Rivers Meet: Jesús Moncada, I
expected more connection, a sort of teamwork avoiding reiterations and repeti-
tions of subjects.
In conclusion, Where the Rivers Meet: Jesús Moncada is a good exploration
on Moncada’s world, clearly exposed and presented.

Queen’s University

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Coromines, Joan, and Joseph Gulsoy. Epistolari. Ed. Josep Ferrer and Joan
Pujadas. Textos i Estudis 15. Barcelona: Curial/, 2010.
800 pp.

N o member of the NACS, and hardly any reader of this journal, needs an
introduction to the two authors of the 278 letters transcribed in this fascinating
book. Hispanists are frequent users of Coromines’ Diccionario crítico eti-
mológico castellano e hispánico (6 vols, 1980-91) and if, as by definition they
should, they are also Catalanists, they are quite familiar with the Diccionari
etimològic i complementari de la llengua catalana written, as stated on the cov-
er of every one of its ten volumes, by Joan Coromines “amb la col·laboració de
Joseph Gulsoy”. The Epistolari, well annotated and presented, offers us the
privilege to get to know intimately the whole story, with all its ups and downs,
behind this “col·laboració”.
Gulsoy wrote his first letter to Coromines in February 1955, from Toronto
where he studied towards an MA degree, to introduce himself and express his
desire to “work under your guidance” towards a PhD at the University of Chi-
cago. He wrote this letter, and the next six, in English; but in the summer of
1957, living in Spain to assemble research material for the thesis, he used Cata-
lan and Spanish (letters 8,9,11). So it surprises that in letter 80, from 1965,
Coromines should write to him: “Li escric en català pensant que s’ho estimarà
més, que vostè ja és com si fos dels nostres, però vostè escrigui’m en anglès: la
qüestió és que ens donem notícies tan abundoses com puguem”. Efficiency in
the exchange of useful information was more important than stylistic niceties,
it seems. This letter was indeed the beginning of sustained scholarly discussions
of linguistic points between the master and his student, who will soon be told
“La seva carrera d’investigador productiu està en plena marxa”. Gulsoy, “great-
ly moved by your [Coromines’] kindness in making me a confidant of your
scholarly reflections”, gets a little carried away when he answers that “kind,
informative and interesting... inspiring letter, which I shall keep as a cherished
memento” (letter 81). He shares his mentor’s negative opinion of Yakov Malk-
iel and laments the ignorance in matters toponomastic among Hispanists in
America, where “we may appear to be preaching in the desert, but preaching we
must continue. Your inspiration should multiply and replenish through us,
your students, and pass on to the younger generations”. Coromines writes back
(82) and tells Gulsoy: “Your letters do me a lot of good. My life here [in Chi-
cago during the summer] is monotonous and lacking the stimulation of any
physical activity or of interesting talk”. He adds what Gulsoy calls in his an-
swer “a sheet outlining your explanation of the development of Sp. -D- be-
tween vowels”. In this same letter 84 he shows interest in the master’s invitation
to “participate in a toponymical inquiry on boat around the Majorca” [sic], but
adds the question: “But you still expect to visit Navarra, don’t you?” Here the
editors of the Espistolari add two footnotes where they transcribe the two com-
ments Coromines wrote on the margin next to this passage in Gulsoy’s letter.

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The first, “perhaps still one of this, probably none of the others”, does not make
sense at the place it is found. The second does: “Not this year”.
These marginal scribblings are very important. They represent Coromines’
reactions to what Gulsoy wrote and signal the points he was planning to com-
ment on in his answer, and how. A little bit they make up for the loss of dozens
of Coromines’ letters. In over thirty answers Gulsoy acknowledges receipt of
a letter, but the editors of the Epistolari have to add the sad footnote “Carta
extraviada”. What surprises is that also Coromines’ carbon copies of them have
disappeared. That he did make copies, and archived them, can be deduced from
marginal notes he wrote right on Gulsoy’s letters 68: “Please return to me after
reading—I have no other copy”, 153: “contestades les tres cartes 12-xi-72; poso
la còpia a la camisa Subj.Pres. en –ia”, and 226: “contesto, amb carbònica [a
neologism of his?] i es tirarà 14-iv-79”. Marginal notes are often just question
or exclamation marks, or “bé”-“how?”-“potser”-“definitely no”, but you
wouldn’t want to miss learning first-hand what the master wrote next to Gul-
soy’s announcement in letter 167: “I have a novel theory [about the change of
-D-,TY-,-Ce to u-]”: “Fa por això!”, and how he reacted to Gulsoy’s invitation
in letter 155 to participate in a homage volume: “Josep Solà-Solé i jo tenim en
projecte un volum d’estudis catalans en memòria de Miss de Boer:” “Bé me
n’alegro, però que deixi córrer la idea de fer-me’n a mi”. In letter 156 we see the
master’s vehement opposition to Gulsoy’s plan to have Gredos publish a
Miscel·lània Coromines. He reminds him of famous linguists who did not want
to be honored with such “amuntegaments d’inèpcies” and offers him an alter-
native: “En canvi sí que li agrairé de cor que m’ajudi a posar al fàcil abast del
públic tota la meva obra dispersa”.
Transcriptions of the marginal notes added by Coromines to Gulsoy’s let-
ters are only one type of footnotes offered in the Epistolari. Ferrer and Pujadas
make an original contribution to it by adding information on every person or
publication alluded to in the letters. They are listed in the “Taula de noms”
which follows the Annex, where ten speeches and publications by Gulsoy about
Coromines and his work are reprinted (pp. 651-761). Gulsoy’s own contribu-
tion to the edition of the Epistolari, in addition to careful proofreading and
helping the editors with biographical footnotes, are his notes where he lets us
share the many things which came to his mind when he reread all 278 old letters.
The first letter led to a lengthy “nota de J. Gulsoy: Sobre els meus estudis i la
tesi doctoral”, where we learn, among other things, between what three thesis
topics Coromines had let him chose: “Arabismes de les llengües hispàniques.
Fer l’edició i estudi lingüístic d’un text català del segle xiii [which one?], o del
Diccionario valenciano castellano de Manuel Sanelo”. In his next nota (letter 5)
he recalls his first weeks in Barcelona: The place he stayed at (selected by
Coromines), the important and helpful people he was introduced to: Pere Bo-
higas, Felip Mateu i Llopis, Francesc de B. Moll, Joan Fuster, Josep Giner i
Marco, M. Sanchis Guarner (three valencians), the publisher Casacuberta, who
invited him to his Sunday outings (which this reviewer also remembers vividly).

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In the nota to letter 6, where he informed Coromines that he will be join-

ing him in Boí, Gulsoy gives more details about that “experiència que va mar-
car el meu inici en els estudis toponímics i dialectals”. The nota to letter 7
describes a weekend with Mr and Mrs Coromines at their place in Sant Pol de
Mar. Other ‘monographic’ notes enlighten letters 62, 63, 66, 69, 74, 78, 80, 81,
115, and more.
Reading the footnotes is quite a learning experience, while perusing just the
letters offers the captivating possibility to observe, as in a novel or a movie, the
relationship between Gulsoy and Coromines from the first letter written by
the thirty-year-old immigrant from Turkey about to get a MA in Toronto, to
the one numbered 274, in which the co-author of the DECat. regrets that “hem
perdut la comunicació” but adds: “Molt sovint penso en vostè... Tant de temps
que vam passar junts, treballant! Les nostres converses! les mostres d’amistat!”
He continues: “L’amic Joan Ferrer, en la seva última carta, em deia que segons
el metge vostè gaudia de perfecta salut”. But his former teacher, and then col-
league and friend, died three weeks later, “la missió complerta”, as Gulsoy sub-
titled an obituary in the journal Avui two days later, listing the master’s many
accomplishments, especially the Diccionari and the Onomasticon, two mile-
stones in Hispanic and Romance studies, cornerstones of Catalan culture.
Coromines knew it —and would have said so more often if this had not of-
fended Gulsoy’s modesty— that without his former student’s help he could
not have finished those colossal projects. If Coromines had been deprived of
help (not just from Gulsoy) his fear of dying while leaving behind unfinished
work in those “milers de cèdules” would have caused him incapacitating psy-
chological and physical problems, beyond those ‘mild’ cases of insomnia, nerv-
ousness, indigestion due to overwork, confessed to by both scholars in several
letters, sometimes regretting that this affected also their spouses. To what ex-
tent Coromines became dependent on Gulsoy’s presence, and not just for phil-
ological reasons, becomes movingly evident in his letters 192 and 198, from
1975, in which he reacts to Gulsoy’s announcement that during his sabbatical
year in 1976 he will stay with his family in Perpignan [so that his two daughters
could learn French], from where he would commute de Pineda to help with the
DECat. Coromines replies: “Farien un gran error si s’instal·lessin a Perpinyà.
Llogar una casa o pis a Pineda, per tot l’any, li sortiria molt més barat, i la seva
família respiraria l’aire directe i iodurat del Mediterrani”, adding in letter 198
—his English showing his emotional stress—: “Half of my sanguine fond
hopes that you were going to take full advantage of this sabbatical year, and
that the planned dictionary was going to profit strongly by your presence, have
now vanished. The most infortunate decision to settle at Perpignan will mar
more than half of the profit. It is unrealistic to think that by coming [to Pineda]
during 3 or 4 days every two weeks you are going to work efficiently here. The
loss will be bad for the dictionary; but I think this will be more unwise for your
career. If you had made a lot of way ahead... [for ‘had involved yourself to the
point of no return’?] in a big scientific project [that is: not the survey of Catalan

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philology in Trends in Romance Linguistics -see nota to letter 172- nor the
study of Julià Alart’s Cartulari, preserved in Perpignan -see nota to letter 115-
] ...many occasions would have been easily found [for ‘could then be found’?]
for getting future sabbatical years; hard strong objective reasons for being al-
lowed to have the time and the money needed for coming during several peri-
ods. You have seen the huge amount of unused scientific materials which lie in
my files; it is hopeless to imagine that I shall use most of them before I die. If
you had made a lot of way ahead in the exploitation of these materials, who
could prevent you from using them? Believe me, dearest friend: leave quickly
Perpignan”! Gulsoy, in letter 200, reassures his master that “shelving for the
time being all work on Castilian historical phonetics, and not even undertaking
bookreviews, all my time will be given to the DECat and, after that, what oth-
er project you may assign to me. My only desire will be to see your work —so
important for the humanity— finished”. Of course, Gulsoy kept helping
Coromines as much as he could, contributing to the DECat many entries be-
ginning with B,C,E, and all entries beginning with N,O,Q,U, while Coromines
continued “treballant frenèticament, casi no dormint a la nit”, “overwhelmed
by DECat” (207 and 215). There were several moments of near despair, de-
scribed by Gulsoy in long notes to letters 207 and 222. But there were also
moments of joy: December 16, 1980, at two o’clock in the morning, a phone
rang in Toronto, and a voice exclaimed: “Gulsoy, victòria! Ja resta vençuda la
E”! Two similar calls were repeated later on; and so, in 1988, vol.IX and last of
the DECat was ready and could appear in 1991. Furthermore, by 1998 all eight
volumes of the Onomasticon Cataloniae had been published.
When in 1968 Coromines sent Gulsoy a copy of his edition of the Libro de
Buen Amor, he inscribed it with this dedication: “A Joseph Gulsoy, gran amic,
seguidor fidel, ja mestre, i amb l’esperança de veure’l encara quan ja sigui gran
Coromines was too blunt to ever give false praise to anyone. He tells the
truth when he writes to Gulsoy in a letter from 1972: “Quantes vegades hem
comentat amb la meva dona que fou per un voler de Déu que vostè va venir a
estudiar a Xicago!” The reader of all letters will remember here the one from
1961, where Gulsoy expresses his gratitude to his mentor “for putting me on
the right track and guiding me all through the thesis with patience and under-
standing. Above all, however, I owe you the love for enquiry and learning. It
was an act of Providence that I came to Chicago six years ago”. Taken out of
context, these statements might sound melodramatic. But after reading the let-
ters exchanged between Coromines and Gulsoy during the many years of their
collaboration, it becomes obvious they were a “team made in Heaven”.

Emeritus, Univ. of Saskatchewan

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Christoph, Gabriel and Conxita Lleó, eds. Intonational Phrasing in Ro-

mance and Germanic. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2011. 237 pp.

I ntonational Phrasing in Romance and Germanic (IPRG) is an eight chapter

edited volume which groups together a good number of high-quality articles that
analyze prosodic phrasing patterns in languages that belong to the Romance and
Germanic families. The book’s chapters are based on the presentations given at
the workshop on Intonational Phrasing in Romance and Germanic, held at the
University of Hamburg in 2009, in which authors had the opportunity to ex-
change ideas and results about their respective phrasing projects.
It is important to note that all of the articles share a common framework of
prosodic analysis, namely, the autosegmental-metrical approach to intonation-
al phonology. The articles included in the volume deal with the phonological
and phonetic analysis of prosodic grouping patterns in several languages be-
longing to the Romance and Germanic families. Specifically, the languages un-
der investigation are Catalan, French, Italian, Occitan, Spanish, and German.
Moreover, some of the articles included in the second part of the book deal
with prosodic influences in situations of language contact. Specifically, the ar-
ticles deal with the following situations of present-day and historical language
contact: Spanish-Catalan contact in Catalunya, French-Occitan contact in
Southern France, Italian-Spanish in Argentina, and finally German-Spanish in
monolingual and bilingual acquisition.
The Introduction to IPRG by the editors Christoph Gabriel and Conxita
Lleó is very informative. It provides a brief history and outline of the volume, as
well as a summary of the papers included in it. The first part of the book includes
three articles that deal with patterns of phrasing in four different languages. First,
the article by Caroline Féry, Robin Hörning and Serge Pahaut examines the pho-
netic correlates of phrasing in French and German in semispontaneous speech.
The two languages display a difference in phrasing patterns that is attributed to
the tonal association properties: while in French tones have a demarcative func-
tion and are associated with peripheral positions in prosodic phrases, in German
they are associated with metrical heads. Additional differences between the two
languages relate to the absence of lexical stress in French and to the consistent
deaccentuation patterns in German. The second article by Brechtje Post deals
with the constraints that phrasing patterns impose on intonation in French. The
results of a production experiment show that speech rate has an expected effect
on prosodic grouping but not on the underlying system of intonational forms.
The third article in this part of the book is by Mariapaola D’Imperio and Franc-
esco Cangemi. They analyze a corpus of Neapolitan Italian sentences and show
that register level downstep across prosodic constituents is directly influenced by
information structure and specific discourse strategies.
The second part of the book concentrates on the patterns of phrasing found
in languages in a situation of language contact. The first article by Ariadna Benet,
Conxita Lleó and Susana Cortés deals with the patterns of phrasing found in the

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spontaneous speech of both Spanish and Catalan speakers coming from urban
districts in Barcelona in which Catalan is more or less dominant than Spanish. It
is shown that Spanish-dominant speakers make a stronger use of sustained pitch
and pitch reset than Catalan-dominant speakers. The article by Trudel Meisen-
burg aims at testing the effects of language contact on the intonation of Occitan
and French. She analyzes prosodically the recordings of an Occitan/French bilin-
gual who acquired Occitan as an L1. The results of the analysis reveal that Occitan
is an intermediate language between Catalan and Spanish on the one hand and
French on the other (as the latter has substituted lexical pitch accents by phrase-
final and phrase-initial intonational rises). In this sense, the results of the analysis
show that while Occitan displays phrase-initial rises, they do not appear in un-
stressed syllables. The third article on this part is by Christoph Gabriel, Ingo
Feldhausen, and Andrea Peskova. Their paper deals with the patterns of prosodic
phrasing found in Buenos Aires Spanish using recordings of read controlled ma-
terials. The results show that the phrasing patterns found in Porteño Spanish fol-
low an Italian model, though to a lesser extent than it is the case of the shape of
pitch accents. The article by Laura Colantoni reconsiders the claim that the early
peak alignment and downstep found in Buenos Aires Spanish are the result of
contact with Italian. To do this, she compares Buenos Aires Spanish with other
contact and non-contact Argentine Spanish varieties (one of them in contact with
Guarani). The results largely confirm that these Argentine Spanish varieties differ
from Buenos Aires Spanish, which is unique in showing an early peak alignment
of prenuclear accents. Thus tentatively the author attributes this uniqueness to
language contact with Italian. The last article by Martin Rakow and Conxita Lleó
compares the phrasing phonetic correlates found in the early speech of three Ger-
man monolingual children, with those of three Spanish monolingual children and
three German-Spanish bilingual children. While monolingual children signal pro-
sodic boundaries following adult-like patterns, bilingual children exhibit more
individual variation. Two of the children separate the prosodic systems the two
languages, while the other child applies the German cues to the two languages.
I would like to highlight two main contributions of the book in the scene
of prosodic studies. First, the book expands our crosslinguistic knowledge on
patterns of phrasing by concentrating on languages belonging to the Romance
and Germanic families, as well as on their crosslinguistic interactions. Second,
many of the articles investigate crosslinguistic influences in situations of lan-
guage contact. As a result, IPRG adds important cross-linguistic and lan-
guage-contact perspectives to a topic that is central in prosodic analysis.
Throughout the book, the reader will especially enjoy the fruitful interface
between the disciplines of prosody and syntax. In sum, IPRG stands to serve
as an important reference in the studies of prosodic phrasing across languages
and especially in situations of language contact.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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reviews 295

Davidson, Robert A. Jazz Age Barcelona. Toronto/Buffalo/London: Univer-

sity of Toronto Press, 2009. 248 pp.

T he twofold objective of this book as explained in the Introduction (4) is in-

novative in the Catalan context. Thus assessing how what the author calls the
“Jazz Age” manifested itself in Barcelona identifies a field in which an assess-
ment like Davidson’s was much needed. The author’s goal is also to establish
how journalistic and intellectual engagement with the Jazz Age civilization ac-
quired a political dimension. On this front in recent years Catalan publications
have included mostly monographs on specific journalists or collections of their
articles. What is unique to Davidson’s book is the panoramic coverage of an
evolution from 1914 to 1932. The selection made to this end is coherent, thus
beyond an initial “Introduction” (3-10), and a chapter 1, “Barcelona Boom
Town” (11-26), where the foundational aspects of the referred-to Jazz Age are
addressed in the context of earlier Catalan journalism, the subsequent topics
chosen are the weekly newspaper El Escándalo (1925-6) and Sangre en Atara-
zanas (1926) by F. Madrid, editor of the above, comprised in chapter 3 (69-
103); Sebastià Gasch’s criticism published between 1926 and 1931, addressed in
chapter 4 (104-140); the graphic weekly Imatges (1930), in chapter 5 (141-181);
and J. M. de Sagarra’s section ‘L’aperitiu’ in Mirador and his novel Vida pri-
vada (1932), in chapter 6. The final sections in the book concern “Notes” (215-
230), “Works Cited” (231-240) and an “Index” (241-248).
Chapter 1 traces a context for the early stages of that Jazz Age in Barcelona
during Spain’s neutrality in WWI, when jazz reached Europe as the US joined
the war. Here the author gives a syncretic example of the convergence of vio-
lence and frivolity in the rubble of working class theatre Pompeya (21), where
a bomb exploded in 1920. However, the “intimate connection” between vio-
lence and the new age of frivolity requires further discussion, as does the link
between what is rather vaguely described as a “sense of struggle” and the “Cat-
alan nationalist desire” allegedly attached to it. The discussion on early twenti-
eth-century Catalan journalism that follows provides key names like Gaziel,
whose war reporting would have acted as a plausible precedent for the new
type of journalism. Yet what is not made explicit is how this new type of jour-
nalism, particularly in the case of Pla and Sagarra, was representative of a new
phenomenon across the world, the birth of the writer-journalist, which also in
the Catalan case was to yield the best prose writing ever. The relevant example
provided of the 1926 book by F. Madrid Sangre en Atarazanas, whose journal-
istic narrative approach made the sordid Barrio Chino closer to the reader is
not extrapolated to a wider context. Davidson wonders whether the fact that
scholars have mostly ignored El Escándalo is to do with its language. Perhaps
the brief life of the newspaper, the shallow depth of many of its pieces and their
sensationalist pursuit also account for it. The following chapter, with critic
Sebastià Gasch at its core, is possibly the least original, particularly given that
it frequently relies on Minguet and Batllori for key points. This chapter’s key

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contributions by Davidson concern the use of jazz and rhythm as a valid meta-
phor and critical tool to assess urban modernity, and Gasch’s capacity to con-
nect the urban experience of the Jazz Age to the political renaissance of Cata-
lanism (103). Mirador (1929-1937) has also been studied by Carles Singla
(2005), particularly as regards the political dimension that Davidson also points
out in chapter 4 as he establishes that this weekly acted as a mediator for po-
litical desire, popular entertainment and the future urban experiences of the
city (105). Here the treatment of the multiple dimensions of the 1929 Exposi-
tion is shrewdly assessed as an intersection of foreign (Castilian) authority,
international entertainment, and an intervention into local urban concerns
(119). The graphical images of Barcelona in Imatges are at the core of the fol-
lowing chapter 5, which excels at pinpointing the originality of a modern Bar-
celona in which objects acquired an unusual prominence over human subjects,
providing also a highly opinionated editorial line on new urban developments.
Here the author offers yet another dimension of the gentrification of the Jazz
Age in Barcelona through the myth-dispelling pieces by J. M. Planes on 5th
District, where he sees dirt rather than excitement (157-159). What remains
uncertain though is whether Planes would have shared with Davidson what the
latter considers in an academic urge to theorise Planes’ belief in the reader’s
maturity vis-à-vis the “international codes” that the Jazz Age had brought with
it in the previous decade (178). Similarly, Sagarra in chapter 6 seems to share
with Davidson what is implied in the term “Jazz Age” when the author won-
ders: ‘what specific sites of the Jazz Age city does Sagarra engage?’ (192). In-
deed, this term often becomes blurred due to the all-embracing nature acquired.
Complementary concepts like “style”, “spirit”, “aesthetics”, “code” or “space”
do not necessarily render it more tangible. However, this final chapter also
provides some of its finest close reading interpretations, particularly as regards
the stuffed dog in Vida privada, a striking metaphor for a frivolous, decadent
and corrupt upper class, which collaborated with the dictator (195-197). And
this is so despite some occasional wobblier references on the historical side, too
reliable on Carr and apparently ignorant of a reality closer to the issues dis-
cussed. Thus, had the author become acquainted with Sagarra’s Memòries, with
substantial evidence of his fervent militancy in the Lliga, or with the liberal
rather than leftist nature of Acció Catalana, or had he reflected more on the
nature of Sagarra’s 1936 self-exile or on his relatively easy life under Franco,
official posts included, perhaps he would not have stated that “[p]olitically,
Sagarra is firmly on the republican left” (183). Similarly, if Francesc Pujols’
Cambó had been taken into account, he would have had little doubt that the
Lliga collaborated with Primo also before the coup (196). Yet this is an excel-
lent book, worth translating into Catalan, where the frequent Castilian accents
and spellings in Catalan transcriptions will no doubt be duly re-Catalanized.

Lancaster University

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reviews 297

Desclot, Bernat. Llibre del rei En Pere. Ed. Stefano Maria Cingolani. Biblio-
teca Barcino 6. Barcelona: Editorial Barcino, 2010. 483 pp.

T he Italian medievalist and philologist Stefano Cingolani, a frequent visit-

ing professor at Barcelonese universities, has made a remarkable career as
Catalanist, well known not only for his academic output, but also for his
bonhomie at conventions and other gatherings. Once he had decided to make
medieval Catalan chronicles his main field of research, no year went by with-
out one or two publications of his, culminating, in 2006 with an introductory
volume to the reprint of Coll’s and Soldevila’s edition of Les 4 grans Crò-
niques, first published in 1971 by the Editorial Selecta, and in 2007 with
Jaume I, Història i mite d’un rei (Barcelona, Edicions 62). Yet another vol-
ume of high vulgarization appeared in 2010: Pere el Gran, Vida, Actes i
Paraules (Editorial Barcino, 488 pages).
Cingolani was well prepared to write that biography. Having discovered
that manuscript 152 of the Biblioteca de Catalunya, known among the nearly
twenty manuscripts of the Crònica del rei Pere as “ms. O”, was not just an-
other copy of the original but actually its first version, he engaged in revising
Coll’s edition published between 1949-1951 in five volumes of “Els Nostres
Clàssics”. Without trying to turn Coll’s transcription of ms. A into a critical
edition based on all testimonies, Cingolani made Coll’s text more philologi-
cally correct, amending it in over 350 passages, while making it more legible by
modernizing spelling, and more useful by adding hundreds of footnotes of a
philological or historical nature.
Nicely printed in the series “Biblioteca Barcino” the volume opens with
a thorough Introduction (5-52) and ends with a list of the changes made to
Coll, a bibliography, and a glossary (443, 459, 467-72). Some words of the
text are explained in footnotes—always a good idea, I think—, but some of
the explanations seem superfluous, in my opinion. Since my opinion applies
also to many other editions, I’ll offer here an extended example. On page 225,
some barons and knights “foren albergats en una església... e no hi hac mata-
lafs, sinó molt fe que hi hagren mes” (Nota: fe: ‘fenc’). Catalan readers do not
need this note, and anglophones are not helped by ‘fenc.’ However, visual-
izing the scene of being lodged in a church, and guessing that a “matalaf” is a
‘matress,’ they get it right. A second example comes from chapter 4, the fa-
mous story of how a plan was contrived and executed to bring to King Peter’s
bed not his new “bella” paramour he had sent for, but his own wife whom he
considered ‘ugly’ and wanted to divorce. Later that night Queen Maria,
“molt sàvia e certa..., sempre conec que era prenys”. Cingolani points out in
a footnote that Desclot based his version of this story on two chapters in the
Llibre dels reis but that he turned the queen into the protagonist. For more
details on this he sends the reader to an article of his. To be able to control his
assertions one would wish for quotations of the supporting passages right in
the footnote. Also, while few readers consider the passage to mean ‘she al-

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ways knew that whe was pregnant,’ some might wish to learn how “sempre”
can also mean ‘right away.’ References to enlightening publications would be
a pedagogical plus. A look in the Diccionari Català Valencià Balear at mean-
ing II.2 of the word “cert” shows that “molt sàvia and certa” does not mean
here ‘wise, and sure (that she had conceived)’ but ‘wise and shrewd’ (to make
the King believe he got her pregnant).
And indeed, on that day and hour —she asked Peter to write them down
(to be remembered nine months later)— she had conceived James, the future
“Conqueror”, who, as a baby, survived being killed in his cradle by the “gran
péra” an enemy “tramés-li davall... per una trapa feta endret del bressol”. How-
ever, that ‘big stone’ only “donà tal al copol del bressol que el trencà. Esters,
non ho poc hom apercebre, (delete this comma!) qui ho féu”. In this passage
anglophone readers are likely to give “trapa” the meaning of ‘trap’, not seeing
that “endret” can not be the usual ‘opposite horizontally’ but the rare ‘opposite
above’ refering to a trap-door in the ceiling over the cradle. The best way for
Cingolani to help the reader would have been to quote here James’ autobio-
graphical Crònica. Peter’s son says nothing about the switch in his father’s bed
of his mother and the paramour, but he relates how “nós jaent en lo bressol
tiraren per una trapa sobre nós un cantal, e caec prop del bressol”. Desclot
makes the story more captivating by making that rock break a part of the cra-
dle, the “copol”, the ‘headboard.’ The word no longer exists, and Cingolani
could have suggested to the reader to find it in the entry CÒPOL in Joan
Coromines’ DECat. The next word in the above quotation that made it into
Cingolani’s glossary is “Esters”, translated as ‘altrament, malgrat això,’ words
which do not seem to fit the context. The word appears elsewhere in Desclot,
as the glossary should show by quoting more passages (and adding precise
references to the text, and to dictionaries). In the very same chapter 4 we read
that King Peter’s majordomo “era son privat d’aitals coses... (‘was his confidant
and go-between in his extramarital affairs’) ...esters hom bo e lleial”. Cingolani’s
gloss of “esters” to mean ‘altrament’ seems to fit this passage: ‘He lacked mor-
als but (or however) he was a loyal servant.’
That this reviewer found in Cingolani’s edition only lexicological and
pedagogical points to harp on shows, first, that he is not a medievalist histo-
rian, second, that he was well pleased with the book’s and text’s presentation
and readability and methodological underpinnings. The Old-Catalan quatre
grans cròniques should be available in every university library. Professors
and students wishing to concentrate on (Bernat Escrivà) Desclot’s Llibre del
rei En Pere will be well served studying Cingolani’s edition in vol. 6 of the
Biblioteca Barcino.

Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan

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reviews 299

El Europeo (Barcelona, 1823-1824). Prensa, modernidad y universalismo. Ed.

Paula Sprague. Madrid/Frankfurt am Main: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2009.
364 pp. Estudio, índices y notas + 947 pp. reproducción facsímil de El Europeo.

T his is the first complete facsimile edition of El Europeo, the weekly journal
published for six months in Barcelona from 1823 to 1824 by an eclectic group of
lettered men who made common cause at the close of the Liberal Triennium in
order to disseminate contemporary European thinking on literature, science and
the arts. References to El Europeo within nineteenth-century studies have for the
most part been limited and highly selective. Few scholars have read the journal in
its entirety, and only a handful of articles have been anthologized. In addition,
critical interest in El Europeo has been strongly conditioned by relatively narrow
research interests. Scholars of Romanticism in Spain have turned to the journal
for early articles on the movement, and those interested in the Renaixença have
looked to it, with little success, for signs of Catalan nationalism. Neither ap-
proach has given the journal its due as a cultural phenomenon in its own right,
and both have painted a partial picture of its significance. With this edition Paula
Sprague aims to offer a new, broader interpretive framework for the journal. She
argues that El Europeo’s historical importance was predicated, not on romantic
particularities, but rather on its embrace of the universalizing, cosmopolitan
ethos of enlightenment thinking and its ideal of progressive modernization.
The volume is comprised of a brief Prologue by Carme Riera (11-17), a crit-
ical Introduction (17-72), a series of indexes, critical notes for each article (73-
290), an extensive Bibliography (291-364), and a facsimile of the three bound
volumes of El Europeo (original pagination). Sprague’s Introduction recontextu-
alizes the journal within the historical moment it sought to address. El Europeo
was founded just as Barcelona, which had become an international haven for
liberals across Europe, was bracing itself for the end of the Liberal Triennium. Its
five collaborators, Carles Bonaventura Aribau, Ramon López Soler, Luigi Mon-
teggia, Carlos Ernest Cook, and Fiorenzo Galli reflect the internationalist thrust
of liberal political ideology in the early 1800s. Shared commitment to liberal
principles brought these men together, above and beyond national differences,
and Sprague notes that their moderado brand of liberalism was a function of a
number of circumstances: disappointment over the schisms within Spanish liber-
alism during the Triennium, caution in the face a return to Fernandine absolut-
ism, and reformist rather than revolutionary political convictions.
The Introduction also makes much clearer the distinctive personalities and
areas of expertise that each contributor brought to the journal. Sprague recon-
structs and updates the biographies of each editor, providing fascinating insights
into each figure. Cook was largely responsible for scientific articles (56-57);
Galli was more a man of action, and he often focused on political philosophy
(57-58); Monteggia sought to “Europeanize” Barcelona through articles on
contemporary literature, moral philosophy and social theory (58-60); López
Soler discovered in journalism a mode of struggle that came to replace direct

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action (60-62); and the pre-Renaixença Aribau was “el que más aportó a crear
ese trasvase de información puntual desde Europa que enlaza con una tradición
ilustrada ya existente en la sociedad catalana del siglo xviii” (63). In the aggre-
gate, all five men participated in a project in which Europe, Enlightenment, Lib-
eralism and Modernity were fused together to form an organizing ideal of
progress in the midst of tumultuous political change. Sprague does an admirable
job repositioning the journal within these parameters. Her Introduction also
reminds readers that during the Liberal Triennium, Barcelona was perceived by
other Europeans as a beacon of modernity, precisely because liberalism seemed
to flourish there while it was very much on the retreat elsewhere.
Reframing El Europeo within the discourses of modernity is a salutary enter-
prise, and after this edition it will no longer be possible to entertain vague gener-
alizations about El Europeo. At the same time, for many readers the interpretive
template Sprague proposes will no doubt raise a familiar set of questions con-
cerning the historical particularities that in fact underpinned modern universal-
izing. Throughout much of the nineteenth-century, in Barcelona and elsewhere,
“the universal”, for example, was mostly limited to white, propertied, men of
letters. Similarly, what separated exaltado liberals from their moderado counter-
parts was precisely disagreement over how universal liberal freedoms and rights
should be. The moderados opted for a more restricted understanding, and much
of Spain’s nineteenth-century history was subsequently marked by moderado
political hegemony. Such topics, however, fall outside of Sprague’s critical pur-
view. Her aim is not to analyze or critique the discourses of modernity as such
but rather to provide a descriptive reconstruction of the conceptual universe of
El Europeo’s editors. On this front she does a superb job, making clear that, al-
though short-lived, the journal was an important vehicle for disseminating the
cultural discourses of European modernity in Barcelona. In short, Paula Sprague
has brought El Europeo out of the archives in a highly useful and welcomed edi-
tion. Coupled with an extensive and meticulous critical apparatus—extremely
useful indexes, author attributions, and erudite notes for each article—this edi-
tion will no doubt become a standard reference in nineteenth-century studies.

University of California, Berkeley

Feldman, Sharon G. In the Eye of the Storm. Contemporary Theater in Barce-

lona. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2009. 411 pp.

S haron G. Feldman’s study puts forward the view that the Barcelona stage is at
the core of Catalan theatre’s hurricane-like activity of the 1980s and posits that it
is a “nucleus that, although not immune to problems of financing and feasability,
is overflowing with vitality and creativity” (12). In order to prove this, she pref-

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aces her analysis with a panoramic of contemporary Catalan theatre homing in

on the highly emblematic Sala Beckett, a venue founded by José Sanchis Sinis-
terra in 1989, and which “nurtured and stimulated in varying degrees the careers
of several prominent Barcelona actors, directors and playwrights” (13), some of
whom are then studied in the later part of the present volume. The Introduction
that follows studies the resurgence of Catalan theatre in democratic Spain, once
again focusing on two venues: the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya and the Teatre
Lliure. Here Feldman develops the concept of “Catalunya invisible”, that is, the
elusive presence of anything directly linked to Barcelona or Catalonia or to any
cultural specificity in the text-based plays of the 1980s and 1990s in contrast with
the cutting irony used by the performance-based Catalan groups before the
eighties and since. Chapter 1, “From the Political to the Spectacular”, not only
traces the transformation undergone by the independent theatre group Els
Joglars from the years of Franco’s repressive regime to its post-transition firmly
established professional status, but also the changes and tensions within it and its
controversial success as a theatre of resistance, even within the emerging modern
Spain. Chapter 2, “An Aspiration to the Authentic”, addresses the evolution of
La Fura dels Baus highlighting their fascination “with the rapport between the
human being and his or her post-industrial surroundings” (77) in their search of
authenticity. It looks at how the group has excelled in setting up unmediated
experiences such as acts of violence, obscenity, etc. and become “an innovative
branch of the experimental theatre scene” (80), descending from the 1940s thea-
tre of Joan Brossa but also epitomizing “the counter-cultural language of the
movida” in Madrid (84), given the intensely participatory nature of their specta-
cles which gave the spectators “the sensation of being plunged into a barrage of
activity” (85). Chapter 3, “A Phenomenological Gaze”, centres on the work of
Josep Maria Benet i Jornet (1940) and his interest in popular genres as well as in
many mostly-contemporary literary sources, which have developed in him “a
penchant for melodrama, a theatrical paradigm that he has repeatedly cultivated,
betrayed, undermined and explored” (108). Often isolated from his contempo-
raries, his more recent involvement with TV series as screenwriter and producer
and as lecturer at the Institut del Teatre are seen by Feldman as reasons for his
more recent plays’ “inwardly direction to reflect upon an individualized or inte-
rior world” (119). Chapter 4, “Theatre of Pain”, studies the work of Sergi Belbel
(1963), offering an account of his artistic trajectory and of the circumstances that
gave rise to his relentless investigation “of the rapport between visibility and in-
visibility, between what is representable and what is not” (167). The detailed
analysis of his key plays places him at the forefront of his theatrical generation,
especially when his concerns the process of communication. Chapter 5, “The
Theatre of Enigma”, on Lluïsa Cunillé (1961), describes her productions as hav-
ing “seemingly unassuming and delicate aesthetic lines, frequently inspiring a
vast degree of doubt, hesitation, and even suspicion on the part of the spectator”
(231) and producing either complete acceptance or total rejection because of
their totally literal approach to theatrical realism. Chapter 6, “European Land-

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scapes”, is on Carles Batlle (1963): a playwright, professor, theatre critic and

dramaturge for whom “the notion of locality—both its presence and absence—
can communicate certain anxieties and preoccupations with regard to cultural
identity” (256). In this respect, Feldman sees Catalunya and contemporary Eu-
rope as “continually reconfigured and redefined” (256) in an unstable dialectical
impulse, developing what Batlle calls a “relative drama”, that is, a “non-affirma-
tive” one which requires “an active spectator who is compelled to create stories
to navigate his or her way through subjective fragments of plot, slices of interior
reality and shreds of exterior landscape” (259). Chapter 7, “Scenes of Miscom-
munication” shows Josep Pere Peyró (1959) as a top example of the seamless
integration of acting, directing and playwriting, as well as working in TV screen-
ing and teaching. His originality is presented as stemming from “the discursive
dilemmas that exist when men and women attempt to communicate with each
other” (209) and identifies his quasi-poetic discourse as the primary form of dra-
matic action. The book closes with the epilogue “New Spaces and New Visions”,
putting forward some ideas on current trends and future developments. Here
Feldman describes the changes endured by the Catalan theatre scene in the last
twelve years, including the demise of key figures, the closure of key venues and
the emergence of new groups and initiatives outside the Catalan capital, but go-
ing back to Barcelona’s new venues and promising new names, declares her hope
that the project of creating a Council of Art in Catalunya will ensure a stable
arena within which Catalan theatre can thrive. All in all, one can say that Feld-
man’s study, which does not purport to be a history of contemporary Catalan
theatre, does go to great lengths to contextualize all its analysis and capitalizes on
“the process of communication (the degree to which language determines dra-
matic action) and the phenomenology of theatrical space (the relationship be-
tween physical space and invisible, subjective, psychic realities)” (14), which are
what give her approach its originality. Feldman offers us not only clear and con-
cise information, but also her long experience as a sharp analytical mind, an as-
siduous and discerning theater-goer and an accomplished translator. And if that
was not sufficient, the Catalan translation of the book will be published by Edi-
torial l’Avenç this autumn.


University of Kent

Francés Díez, M. Àngels. Literatura i Feminisme: L’hora violeta, de Montser-

rat Roig. Tarragona: Arola, 2010. 318 pp.

In her prologue, Isabel-Clara Simó mentions the major axes of this compre-
hensive study: intertextuality, a broad feminism and the feminine, multiple
points of view, and women’s creativity. The prologuist is well chosen and apt,

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since Simó herself is a writer and was a friend of Roig; Simó’s comments are
cited frequently within the text.
The study is broader than the subtitle suggests. Francés divides the work
into three sections: the first echoes the title of the book and constitutes a com-
prehensive analysis of feminist criticism from Simone de Beauvoir’s The Sec-
ond Sex (1949) to the present. Francés had access to Roig’s archive near Barce-
lona and offers the reader Roig’s comments on her own holdings: she preferred
the Anglo-Saxon approach to the French, considering the former more practi-
cal, less theoretical and elitist, but her library and her work reflect an amalgam
of many points of view. Imbued with Marxism as well as feminism, Roig sees
the latter as an ideology, equivalent to any other. Roig seeks to develop the
three phases described by Julia Kristeva: criticism of the male canon; a search
for female literary tradition in a reevaluation of women’s work; and an analysis
of gender differences in writings by men and women. Francés considers L’hora
violeta (1980) as the point of convergence of a crisis of values, which reflects
conflicts between Marxism and feminism, socialism and Catalanism, silences
and polyphony, and she underscores Roig’s efforts to describe and create soli-
darity among women throughout her work.
The second section is called “Les primeres obres”, and offers a detailed
study of Molta roba i poc sabó...i tan neta que la volen (1971), Ramona, adéu
(1972), and El temps de les cireres (1977). While Francés rightly sees these works
as precursors to L’hora violeta, she gives them a comprehensive analysis in their
own right. The first book of related stories introduces characters, themes, and
techniques that will continue in Roig’s later works —the use of testimonial lit-
erature such as diaries and letters, multiple voices and points of view— but of-
fers a cyclical structure that nonetheless leads to a unitary whole. In this section
as well as in those to follow, Francés offers the reader graphs and outlines to
indicate relationships among the many characters and to identify voices, points
of view, and sources within the texts. In Ramona, adéu, the emphasis is on frag-
mentation, parallelism, and repetition, and Francés sees these techniques as a
way to analyze intersections of class, religion, and sexism. El temps de les cir-
eres, written five years later, reflects the influence of popular culture, especially
music and film, which point to the ongoing conflict between the independence
women seek and their continuing search for romantic love, along with a need to
mask themselves in various ways. The heteroglossia of earlier works is less evi-
dent here, but it still aids in the construction of the identity of characters, while
at the same time looking to the possibility of change, of building another world.
Francés considers L’hora violeta a turning point that culminates “un procés
de construcció intertextual que enllaça les quatre primeres obres de Roig, i sig-
nifica un punt d’inflexió envers una nova vessant literària, que obres com
L’òpera quotidiana o La veu melodiosa s’encarreguen de confirmar” (201). The
novel represents a unification of Roig’s previous work, and Francés rightly
emphasizes the writer’s efforts to concentrate on a single theme in order to
study it profoundly. The novel begins with a frame in which the protagonist /

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writer, Norma, is asked to piece together letters, diaries, and notes left behind
by her friend’s mother to write a story about the women of the previous gen-
eration. This prologue of sorts offers a setting for the many voices that make up
the following narrative. The construction of identities includes two genera-
tions: those who lived the war and its aftermath, and those whose lives form the
present of the story. A major theme is maternity, or lack of it, in an analysis
that debunks the traditional, idealized views of marriage and family. Francés
focuses on the poles of intertextuality here, from a reinterpretation of the Od-
yssey to Roig’s own previous work and certain “Ressons autobiogràfics” (280).
Women study their own condition through a “mirada bòrnia” (294) that looks
inward and outward at the same time, using a sort of interior dialogue in an
effort to establish identity in the face of conflicting voices.
This profound, detailed, and well-written book will greatly advance stud-
ies of this complex writer, and can be considered the definitive critique of
Roig’s work up to 1980. Francés mentions the later novels, but leaves them as
the “nova vessant”, to be analyzed in a later context.

West Virginia University

Gimeno Ugalde, Esther. La identidad nacional catalana. Ideologías lingüísti-

cas entre 1833 y 1932. Madrid/Frankfurt am Main: Iberoamericana/Vervuert,
2010. 371 pp.

La identitat nacional catalana. Ideologías lingüísticas entre 1833 y 1932 és una

documentada anàlisi dels discursos entorn de la llengua catalana entre els anys
1833 i 1932. Les dates escollides són prou significatives pel que fa al propòsit
del llibre. D’una banda, la història literària ens diu que el 1833 s’inicia oficial-
ment la Renaixença amb la publicació del poema “Oda a la pàtria” de Bonaven-
tura Carles Aribau. De l’altra, el 1932 apareix el Diccionari general de la llengua
catalana de Pompeu Fabra i s’aprova l’Estatut republicà que reconeix la coofi-
cialitat del català. Com molt bé reconeix la professora Esther Gimeno Ugalde,
es tracta d’un període absolutament decisiu en la recuperació del català que al-
hora és inseparable del sorgiment i consolidació del moviment polític del cata-
lanisme. L’autora assenyala tres etapes en aquest procés, tot seguint el model
trifàsic de Miroslav Hroch: 1. 1833-1879: dignificació i glorificació de la llen-
gua; 2. 1880-1900: establiment com a llengua de cultura i extensió del seu ús
social; 3. 1901-1932: consolidació com a llengua nacional.
Les tres primeres seccions del llibre són de caire introductori. Així doncs,
al capítol 1 es defineix una sèrie de conceptes claus per a l’argumentació poste-
rior: diglòssia, conflicte lingüístic, estatus, prestigi i valor comunicatiu de les
llengües, ideologia lingüística i llengua nacional. Al capítol 2 es proposa un

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marc teòric en què es defensa una noció constructivista de la nació fonamenta-

da tant en elements objectius (territori, cultura, economia, etc.) com subjectius
(símbols i mites). Finalment, al capítol 3 s’esbossen l’origen i l’evolució del ca-
talanisme, els quals coincideixen gairebé amb les esmentades etapes de Hroch:
1. 1833-1873: federalisme democràtic que aspira a aconseguir una certa autono-
mia dintre de l’Estat espanyol; 2. 1875-1898, des de l’inici de la Restauració fins
al Gran Desastre: naixement del catalanisme com a doctrina política; 3. 1899-
1932: creació, entre d’altres partits i organismes oficials, de la Lliga Regionalis-
ta el 1901 i la Mancomunitat de Catalunya el 1906.
Al capítol 4 s’examina a bastament l’evolució de la identitat catalana al llarg
del segle xix i començaments del segle xx, a partir del model de Hroch:

1. Recuperació de la llengua i la identitat catalanes (1833-1879). Des de la

Renaixença la llengua esdevé el factor decisiu en la construcció de la iden-
titat catalana. La restauració dels Jocs Florals el 1859 impulsa definitiva-
ment la recuperació del català com a eina vàlida per a la literatura. Hom
comença a plantejar-se també la qüestió ortogràfica, si bé des de punts de
vista oposats que oscil·len entre el popularisme i l’academicisme.
2. Reivindicació i defensa del català com a llengua nacional (1880-1898).
S’intenta de normalitzar l’ús del català escrit en tots els àmbits, no no-
més el literari, per tal de superar la situació de diglòssia. Cal enumerar en
aquest respecte les següents fites: la fundació del Diari Català de Valen-
tí Almirall el 1879; la celebració del Primer Congrés Catalanista el 1880,
a iniciativa també d’Almirall; les temptatives de codificació lingüística a
càrrec de l’Acadèmia de la Llengua Catalana i la revista L’Avenç; les
Bases de Manresa (1892).
3. Construcció d’una llengua moderna cultural i nacional (1899-1932). En-
tre les iniciatives més destacables d’aquesta fase hi figuren la Lletra de
Convit d’Antoni M. Alcover (1901); la celebració del Primer Congrés
Internacional de la Llengua Catalana (1906); i, com a culminació, l’ex-
traordinària obra codificadora de Pompeu Fabra des de la Secció Filolò-
gica de l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans (1907): Normes ortogràfiques
(1913), Diccionari ortogràfic (1917), Gramàtica catalana (1918) i Diccio-
nari general de la llengua catalana (1932).

A la segona part del capítol 4 es fa una síntesis de l’ideari lingüístic i polític

de nou autors representatius de l’evolució del discurs catalanista entre 1833 i
1932: Joan Cortada, Manuel Milà i Fontanals, Francesc Pi i Margall, Víctor
Balaguer, Valentí Almirall, Josep Torras i Bages, Pompeu Fabra, Enric Prat de
la Riba i Antoni Rovira i Virgili. Finalment, al capítol 5 es resumeixen les con-
clusions fonamentals de l’estudi, entre les quals en destacaríem dues: la relació
indissoluble entre catalanisme lingüístic i catalanisme polític, així com la que es
produeix entre llengua i identidat catalanes; i l’aparició d’un discurs espanyo-
lista amb distints graus de virulència, paral·lel al propi desenvolupament del

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306 reviews

catalanisme. No cal afegir que el procés històric de recuperació del català des-
crit en aquest llibre es trenca abruptament a conseqüència dels esdeveniments
polítics que marquen la història del segle xx a l’Estat espanyol: Guerra Civil,
triomf del bàndol nacionalista i persecució de les llengües minoritàries durant
la Dictadura franquista.
El mèrit principal d’aquesta monografia és el d’oferir una panoràmica deta-
llada, acurada i útil sobre els metadiscursos de la llengua catalana dins un marc
històric que va des de la Renaixença fins a l’aprovació de l’Estatut de 1932. Es
tracta d’una tesi doctoral molt ben documentada, fruit d’una recerca laboriosa,
que empra una metodologia adequada i que proposa a més una tesi convincent.
No obstant això, creiem que s’hauria d’haver revisat i escurçat convenientment
amb vista a la publicació. El llibre peca de prolix, ja que tarda massa a entrar en
matèria i les mateixes idees es van reiterant una i altra vegada fins a provocar un
cert enuig en el lector. Tot i aquestes mancances de tipus sobretot estructural,
el resultat final no és en absolut decebedor. Ens trobem, en summa, davant
d’una aportació important al tema que hauria de contribuir a una millor com-
prensió de la problemàtica inserció de Catalunya a Espanya, qüestió pendent i
candent de la democràcia postfranquista que no ha fet més que aguditzar-se en
els darrers anys. Tant de bo que sigui així.

Macalester College

Llull, Ramon. A Contemporary Life. Ed. and trans. Anthony Bonner. Barce-
lona/New York: Barcino/Tamesis, 2010. 88 pp. + 15 illustrations.

L es editorials Barcino i Tamesis han elaborat conjuntament una altra edició i

traducció a l’anglès d’un text clàssic català, la Vita coaetanea (o Vida coetània)
de Ramon Llull. Aquesta nova edició s’afegeix a la ja força extensa llista d’edi-
cions que fan accessibles els nostres clàssics al lector que s’acosta al català a
travès de l’anglès. Aquesta sèrie editorial, anomenada “Serie B: Textos” es va
inaugurar amb els versos d’Ausiàs March i ha continuat una prometedora tra-
jectòria amb textos de Muntaner, Eiximenis i del Llibre de Sent Soví.
El volum que tinc avui entre les mans fa avinent al públic anglòfon el text
llatí i la traducció anglesa de la Vita coaetanea, un interessantíssim relat de la
vida de Llull recitada per ell mateix als seus amics o deixebles a Paris el 1311 i
posteriorment redactada en llatí per un d’aquests estudiants o amics del beat
mallorquí. Tot i que la Vita coaetanea no es pot considerar una biografia verta-
dera de Llull sino, més aviat una recreació fictícia i propagandística, aquest text
constitueix un document inestimable per entendre tant la figura de Llull com el
seu pensament filosòfic, així com la dinàmica social, política i religiosa de la
societat en la qual va viure i sobre la qual Llull va intentar influir poderosament.

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Anthony Bonner explica a la seva introdució que aquesta Vita de Ramon

Llull s’ha preservat en tres versions. Dues d’aquestes versions, en llatí, fóren
publicades uns deu anys després de la mort de Llull pel seu deixeble, Thomas Le
Mýesier. La més cabdal d’aquestes dues versions aparagué a una vasta compila-
ció de totes les obres de Llull feta per Le Mýesier i intitulada Electorium i és la
que trobem traduïda en aquest volum que ens ocupa. El mateix Le Mýesier fou
responsable també de la tercera de les versions conegudes, anomenda Brevicu-
lum, la qual es caracteritza per ésser una versió abreujada de la Vita coaetanea i
per presentar una col·lecció de luxoses miniatures que il·lustren els episodis de la
vida de Ramon Llull. Aquestes il·luminacions éren de tal bellesa, originalitat i
destresa artística que el manuscrit fou, fins i tot, ofert com a present a la reina de
França, Jeanne de Borgonya-Artois, esposa del rei Felip V.
Sortosament per a nosaltres, aquesta edició de Bonner conté les reproduccions
facsimilars en color d’aquestes miniatures, veritables textos pictòrics que no només
complementen la narració escrita de la vida de Llull sino que, a més, enriqueixen
la percepció de la figura i el pensament de Ramon Llull per part del lector modern.
La traducció feta per Bonner en aquesta edició prové de dues obres seves
anteriors, publicades als Estats Units per Princeton University Press, Selected
Works (1985) i Doctor Illuminatus (1993), les quals van fer possible, ja en aque-
lles dates, que estudiosos de la cultura medieval tingueren accés als textos lul-
lians. El text anglès de Bonner reflecteix molt bé l’original llatí i crea una prosa
d’un estil amè i sintàcticament fluid, tot i conservant un registre formal que
intenta emular l’estil retòric medieval.
Tal com es pot apreciar en els altres volums ja publicats d’aquesta col·lecció
de Barcino-Tamesis, el llibre que ressenyo aquí ha estat elaborat amb molta
cura. Es tracta d’un volum prim que té un format còmode, fàcil de manejar. Té
una portada molt elegant de color negre a la qual, en aquest cas, s’hi ha afegit
una de les belles il·luminacions del Breviculum. La part interior és igualment
atractiva i de gran qualitat, amb les pàgines que reprodueixen el text emmarca-
des entre fulls gruixuts de brillant color vermell. És, per tant, un llibre que pot
ser utilitzat fàcilment com a llibre de text per a estudiants.
L’obra conté una introducció, una secció a on es reprodueixen les il·lumina-
cions i, a continuació, l’apartat que conté el text de la Vita coaetanea, en llatí i en
anglès. La cara verso o esquerra de la pàgina conté el text en llatí, mentre que a
la cara recto o dreta de la pàgina hi trobem la traducció a l’anglès. Bonner també
inclou en aquesta part de l’edició breus i utilíssimes notes a peu de pàgina que
aclareixen conceptes, contrasten el text de la Vita a fets històrics o detalls geo-
gràfics, i també fan referència a les investigacions d’altres estudiosos.
L’obra acaba amb una succinta pero excel·lent bibliografia que pretén ofe-
rir una primera mostra de les obres generals que hauria de tenir en compte
qualsevol lector que estigui iniciant-se en la coneixença de la vida i obra de
Ramon Llull.
Aquesta nova edició i traducció de la Vita coaetanea de Llull servirà, sens
dubte, per a una més àmplia difusió del llegat del beat mallorquí, personatge cab-

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dal però encara massa desconegut de la cultura medieval europea. Hem d’agrair a
l’editor i traductor, Anthony Bonner, i a les dues editorials, Barcino i Tamesis,
que hagin escomès i portat a bon terme aquesta tasca tan positiva com necessària.

Temple University

Milà, Lluís del. El cortesano. Estudi introductori i edició a cura de Vicent J.

Escartí. València: Institució Alfons el Magnànim, 2010. 464 pp.

The professor of Catalan philology Vicent Josep Escartí reexamines in a very

insightful way the text entitled El cortesano (1561)—The Courtier—written in
Castilian by the Valencian author Lluís Milà (1507-1559). This dialogue
presents the essential characteristics that a knight of noble lineage must possess
in order to behave properly in Valencia’s royal courts during the viceroyalty of
Dukes of Calabria (1526-1550). Milà used an idealized perspective and a cheer-
ful voice throughout the entire story. Escartí explains: “El cortesano no deixa
de ser una crònica dialogada amb interrupcions de caire teatral o parateatral,
fàcils d’identificar al text” (40). That is why this work has strongly interested
critics since the Modern Ages. Therefore, El cortesano is the best work of Milà,
who is considered the most famous Valencian Renaissance author.
Escartí, a specialist in medieval and Catalan literature, proposes a new ap-
proach for understanding the text of Milà. The philologist had previously studied
this work, resulting in one edition in 2001. This publication updates the first edi-
tion; he also includes an Introduction to cultural, historical, and social contexts,
which exhaustively outlines some of Escartí’s thoughts during these nine years.
The text begins with an excellent Introduction, which explains in a concise and
detailed way the social, cultural, and literary background of Milà’s work (9-48),
and ends with a complete bibliography (49-56). After the Introduction comes the
actual edition of the text (57-457), which ends with a glossary (458-464).
In the first part of the Introduction Escartí provides a deep and complete
historical context for a better understanding of the content. From my point of
view, this historical description is critical, and the author covers the topic com-
pletely. For example, we must bear in mind the existence of different spellings,
characters, and punctuation in 1874, which led to a number of alterations.
Moreover, Escartí simplifies and updates the original for today’s reader. Also,
the edition happens to be part of a legitimate and accurate copy of Milà’s orig-
inal text. It is necessary to note that the validity of this new edition comes from
the fact that Escartí renews the language of the Valencian author, but maintains
his essential peculiarities, which are explained in the glossary. Escartí presents
historical moments of Valencia’s Renaissance court; the following are a few
points from the detailed contextual information that the editor outlines in the

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Introduction: the Dukes of Calabria are appointed viceroys of Valencia by the

Emperor Charles V. Germana de Foix, who is the widow of King Ferdinand
the Catholic, is familiar with palace life at the Royal Palace of Valencia. She
enjoyed a comfortable life and wealth, far from the plague, the 800 death sen-
tences and the conflict in the Germanies (1519-1523), all of which was happen-
ing in Valencia. This way of life is well reflected in the story, as its ideological
intention is to explain how a nobleman must interact in various social events.
The work serves to show the centrality, but also the decline of Valencia as
capital city of the Crown of Aragon using an idealized scenario.
At the same time, Escartí outlines the influence and connection with Italy.
He reflects: “Si ens fixem en alguns dels temes que interessaven Castiglione,
veurem fins a quin punt la cort valenciana italianitzava les seues formes de vida;
i també, com és fàcil de suposar, la seua literatura” (15). Hence, the European
worldview of Milà’s work arises, and Escartí remarks on it in the Introduction.
Also, this work has a direct connection with Baldassare Castiglione (1478–
1529), and his previous book Il cortegiano (1528). This similar text is also a
didactic manual that shows the steps to become a great aristocrat: “tractava
d’adaptar l’humanisme a la noblesa” (21).
The book’s language is crucial. It is written in Castilian, although there are
some short dialogues in Catalan. It is also important to note that the language of
the aristocrats and their contemporaries changed from Catalan to Spanish. The
multilingualism of the work is a source of great interest. For instance, apart from
Castilian and Catalan, there are conversations in Portuguese, French, and Italian.
Another important issue is the concise explanation of the different genres. Milà’s
work can be considered a dialogue between many genres: Renaissance narrative
and theater; chronicles; Italian songs of love, poetry and verse that follows the
troubadour-provençal tradition. The combination of multilingualism and multi-
ple genres helps to show the idealized life of Germana de Foix’s viceroyalty.
All that is left to do, then, is to congratulate Vicent Josep Escartí. He made
an exhaustive work that connects and establishes the existence of the various
aspects and features that settle the existence of Humanism in the Crown of
Aragon. The reader will find a detailed and thorough critical edition, although
it is general enough to suit all types of audiences. Escartí puts together all these
aspects to provide a broad reading of the work, archival research, and a success-
ful methodology. Furthermore, the support of Institució Alfons el Magnànim
has to be highlighted. El cortesano is an exemplary effort to bring to light the
existence of Humanism at the Catalan and Spanish literature. Last but not least,
it has to be said that this is another example of the peninsular literature put into
dialogue with the European context. Escartí points out all these aspects in a
clear, succinct, and satisfying manner in this critical edition.

University of Maryland – College Park
UNED – Madrid

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310 reviews

Miralles, Eulàlia, ed. Del Cinccents al Setcents. Tres-cents anys de literatura

catalana. Bellcaire d’Empordà: Edicions Vitel·la, 2010. 574 pp.

Tres són els segles més desprestigiats de la literatura catalana, i d’aquests tres
segles —el Cinccents, el Siscents i el Setcents— s’encarrega el recull de catorze
articles dirigit per Eulàlia Miralles. Molts dels treballs aquí recopilats s’havien
publicat anteriorment, i ara, editats i millorats, tornen a aparèixer per, així, po-
der gaudir en un sol volum d’una panoràmica de la prosa, del teatre i de la po-
esia durant el renaixement, el barroc i els corrents il·luministes als països de
llengua catalana. Tots el articles, a part del darrer dedicat a Vicent Garcia, tenen
un caràcter general i tracten de diversos autors i obres de l’època.
L’editora comença amb la presentació del llibre, on ens recorda els esforços
lliurats des dels anys vuitanta fins els nostres dies per esborrar els clixés histo-
riogràfics d’un període malentès i anomenat erròniament “Decadència”. El re-
cull suposa un altre d’aquests esforços, i fins i tot un esforç superior, perquè
agrupa articles que individualment ja havien aconseguit un gran avenç durant la
seva primera publicació. Miralles divideix el volum en quatre parts: la primera
és introductòria, la segona està designada a la prosa, la tercera estudia el teatre i
acaba amb la part més llarga assignada a la poesia.
Albert Rossich inicia el bloc introductori assenyalant les raons de la crisi
del segle xvi. No es pot negar que durant el Cinccents són escasses les mostres
literàries en català. Ara bé: l’ús literari del castellà no es pot considerar com
causa de decadència perquè el plurilingüisme havia aparegut dècades abans. La
unió de la corona d’Aragó a la de Castella tampoc es pot apuntar com la causa
principal de la crisi, però sí que comporta una desvinculació dels territoris de
parla catalana. Amb tot, Rossich proposa una altra raó concloent: una raó de
mercat, és a dir, la impremta. Rossich continua amb un recorregut per la litera-
tura catalana moderna. Aquest recorregut s’integra perfectament amb el se-
güent article: el treball historiogràfic de Pep Valsalobre. L’estudi científic de la
literatura catalana s’inicia amb l’anomenada “escola històrica”. Milà i Fonta-
nals, Rubió i Lluch i Nicolau d’Olwer es centren en el període medieval, i avui
en dia, la literatura catalana medieval es troba ben normalitzada. No és pas la
mateixa situació per la literatura catalana moderna. S’han fet obres panoràmi-
ques i edicions de textos però encara resta molt per fer. I sobretot hi ha molt per
fer en la prosa catalana moderna. La raó, segons Albert Rossich i Modest Prats,
és que els estudiosos només s’han ocupat de la literatura de creació, i han deixat
de banda textos escrits en català que no es consideren estrictament literaris però
que posseeixen un registre culte. La literatura memorialística tanca el bloc de la
prosa. Un gènere amb consciència de gènere literari des de fa ben poc i amb uns
límits difícils de marcar. Tot i això, la memorialística ofereix moltes possibili-
tats i uns autors com Jeroni Pujades, Miquel Parets i el baró del Maldà que es
dediquen a descriure extensament el clima social i polític de Barcelona.
Passem al teatre, i específicament al teatre del barroc, on trobem una mica de
tot: comèdies de sants, passions, obres burlesques i històriques. Cal no oblidar

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les obres de Vicent Garcia i de Francesc Fontanella. Rossich també inclou el te-
atre breu, però és Gabriel Sansano qui s’encarrega del teatre breu al País Valen-
cià. Sansano proposa un nou enfocament i estudia la dramatúrgia autòctona del
segle xviii: un teatre popular, improvisat i que utilitzava la llengua del poble.
La mètrica italiana obre l’apartat de poesia. Quan pensem amb l’endecasi-
llabo italià ràpidament l’associem amb Boscà, i és per això que hi ha un abans i
un després de Boscà a l’article de Rossich. S’ha considerat la dificultat d’intro-
duir el vers italià a la poesia catalana com un signe arcaic. Tanmateix, a França
es produeix el mateix fenomen. Tant en el català com en el francès no es va
considerar necessari eliminar la pausa interna del decasíl·lab tradicional. Valsa-
lobre segueix amb la poesia catalana del Cinccents, que qualifica de segle “errà-
tic” pel Principat i de poetes emmudits i “desorientats” a València. Molt al
contrari és la poesia que genera la guerra dels Segadors. Certament, els abun-
dants poemes esdevendran armes polítiques i propagandístiques. Per acabar,
Mireia Campabadal presenta l’última panoràmica del volum dedicada a la poe-
sia catalana del Setcents. Les apologies que apareixen durant el segle xviii insis-
teixen en que s’escrigui en català i proposen com a models els autors medievals.
Del Cinccents al Setcents. Tres-cents anys de literatura catalana és un llibre
essencial per l’estudi de la literatura catalana del renaixement, del barroc i dels
corrents il·luministes. Sens dubte, estem davant d’un recull dels millors articles
produïts fins ara, i amb els investigadors més actius en la recerca de la literatura
catalana dels segles xvi, xvii i xviii. Esperem que aquest llibre promogui l’estu-
di d’aquests segles, i que més especialistes s’uneixin al grup de recerca. També,
esperem que apareguin més projectes i que finalment deixem de fixar-nos en el
maltractament rebut per la historiografia tradicional.

University of Wyoming

Montanyà, Lluís. Defensa de l’avantguardisme. Ed. Joan Herrero Senés. Bar-

celona: Acontravent, 2010. 357 pp.

“S i la crítica sense ciència no té més que la valor d’una impressió, el sol exa-
men tècnic de l’obra crítica té menys de valor encara”. This is what book critic
Lluís Montanyà, the focus of the present edition by Joan Herrero Senés and
arguably the lesser known author of the Manifest groc, thought of his profes-
sion (224). Writing a book review which deals with a literature critic places us
in an interesting position, as we feel compelled to reflect on our own way to
review the work by others. This book, the first devoted entirely to Montanyà’s
oeuvre, allows us to encounter or revisit numerous European authors of the
1920s and 1930s, while acting as a mirror in which critics will find themselves
identified in different degrees.

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According to Herrero, there is only one brief compilation of works by

Montanyà: Notes sobre el superrealisme i altres escrits by Esther Centelles, pub-
lished in 1977 (12), which is indicative of the value of his book. Herrero’s aim
is to find a place for the production of one of the most remarkable critics of the
Catalan avant-garde, and to rescue his revealing texts about a number of influ-
ential authors of a decisive period of the twentieth century (29). Whether Mon-
tanyà offers a critical overview of French literature in 1926 or whether he prais-
es J.V. Foix’s Gertrudis, the volume succeeds in presenting the Barcelona-born
author as a European critic who is worth listening to. The scope of his knowl-
edge, ranging from his awareness of Ortega y Gasset’s dehumanization of art
(183) to his understanding of the origins and principles of Surrealism (164-69),
to mention just a few examples, situates Montanyà at the heart of the Catalan,
Spanish and European Avant-garde.
The volume includes an Introduction by Herrero, forty-seven critical arti-
cles by Montanyà spanning from 1926 to 1938, a section with bibliographical
information about the original sources, and an appendix with photos, drawings,
invitations and a letter from Marguerite Yourcenar. Mostly extracted from
L’Amic de les Arts and La Publicitat, the forty-seven pieces roughly cover three
topics: the engagement with the Avant-garde, the intellectuals’ contribution to
the development of modern European society, and the discussions on the social
involvement of art and poetry. When necessary, the articles are footnoted with
details of the book/s under scrutiny. Moreover, “Cinema i literatura” has not
been published before, which also contributes to the interest of the volume.
Regarding the topic of the Avant-garde, “Proselitisme, no”, “Manifest
groc” and “Les arts. Guia sinòptica” were already included in Molas 1983, and
the two other texts co-authored with Dalí (“Les arts. Cinema” and “El cadàver
insepult”) appeared in Fanés 1995. The presence of “Proselitisme, no” helps us
to focus on the Sitges meeting in a different light, as this is mainly known for
the contribution by Dalí. Furthermore, I would argue that the inclusion of all
these co-authored pieces in the volume equalizes Montanyà and Dalí’s contri-
bution, and as a whole the edition presents this author beyond his involvement
in the “Manifest groc”. More particularly, Herrero’s collection highlights that
Montanyà’s criticism of La Nova Revista in the “Manifest groc” is at odds with
his own contribution to this publication on a number of occasions.
The second topic comprises a commentary on Défense de l’Occident by
Henri Massis, which Montanyà praises for its realization of the dangers of suc-
cumbing to the spiritual impassibility of the East following the First World
War (103-14). The third block sees the direct account of the Spanish Civil War
through the text on the assassination of Lorca and the piece on several young
English poets. Montanyà’s pieces also provide numerous comments on the na-
ture of modern literary criticism, which “s’interessa més per la personalitat de
l’escriptor que per la construcció de les seves obres; més per la seva posició
ètica i intel·lectual que pels seus personatges i llurs aventures” (99). This is also
apparent in his article on Canciones by Lorca, which echoes his personal ap-

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proach to book reviews: “ens trobem avui fent el seu elogi sincer i apassionat
—amb força signes d’admiració i grans gesticulacions d’entusiasme” (117).
Montanyà adds that a book must help us to live, dream or think, which appar-
ently explains his distaste for Relacions by Josep Pla (85).
Despite the many commendable aspects of the edition, some minor short-
falls are apparent. Firstly, the manuscript version of Yourcenar’s letter to Mon-
tanyà proves difficult to read (357). Although arguably not as aesthetically ap-
pealing, a word-processed version could have readdressed this issue. Secondly, a
few annotations to the critical articles with details about the context in which
they were written would facilitate the reading process, and would provide fur-
ther coherence to the volume. Whilst the Introduction serves this purpose to a
certain extent, some further pointers would keep the reader on track. Finally,
despite the indication that the selection of works is not comprehensive but rep-
resentative (12), it remains unclear which criteria have been followed to select the
pieces included and how much more we can find that is written by Montanyà.
Herrero’s work will delight both the general public and the academics who
are interested in Lorca, Cocteau, Yourcenar, Junoy, Bernanos, Maritain, Morand,
Giménez Caballero, Foix and Sindreu just to name a few of the authors under
scrutiny. Also, it will be welcomed by those specifically interested in Montanyà’s
assessment of such writers. The range of authors and ideas covered make this
book an essential tool for those keen to find out first hand more about the pulse
of the Avant-garde in Catalonia, Spain and France. And in particular, some pieces
will provide further elements to evaluate the intricacies of Surrealism.

Universiy of Leicester

Muntaner, Maria, et. al., ed. Transformacions: Llenguatges teòrics i relacions

interartístiques (1975-2000). Biblioteca Miquel dels Sants Oliver 36. Barcelona/
Palma: Publicacions Abadia de Montserrat, 2010. 440 pp.

F ruit d’un dels encontres organitzat per LiCETC de la Universitat de les Illes
Balears sobre la narrativa experimental catalana dels setanta i els primers vui-
tanta, així com sobre les poètiques de ruptura del període, aquest segon volum
recull un conjunt divers d’estudis. Es tracta, en conjunt, de treballs amb pàgines
penetrants i d’anàlisis perspicaços. A l’epígraf “Pràctiques interdisciplinàries
”s’agrupen treballs sobre Carles Santos (Fàtima Agut), Joan Brossa (Marc Audi
i Glòria Bordons), adaptacions cinematogràfiques (Eloi Grasset) i la col·laboració
creativa de Tàpies i Joan Brossa (Montserrat Roser). El punt en comú és, pre-
cisament, relacionar la literatura amb alguna altra pràctica artística.
Amb el títol “L’emergència d’una nova narrativa” apareixen sis estudis,
força interessants, sobre l’obra de Joan Barceló (Andratx Badia) i sobre el pri-

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mer Màrius Serra, interessat en l’enigmàtica (Josep Camps). Un dels textos ob-
jecte d’estudi és el diari de Rafa Gomar, Donato 2, 27, imbuït d’una voluntat
experimental que el converteix en un quadern d’aventures expressives. L’estu-
diosa Anna Esteve hi fa una analítica rigorosa i amena, tot contextualitzant el
llibre en la pràctica diarista de finals de segle. Força significatiu és l’estudi de
diversos textos arrenglerats amb l’estètica pop i especialment, Tot buscant Wi-
nona Ryder d’Edgar Cantero de la mà de Joaquim Espinós. Es tracta d’una
dissecció especialment lúcida que ens mostra com uns textos d’aparença banal
resulten ben vigorosos pel que fa l’estètica i la ideologia. Els dos estudis se-
güents aborden sengles obres de Quim Monzó. En el primer, Antoni Maestre
indaga l’experimentalisme contra-cultural de l’Udol del griso al caire de les cla-
vegueres. Un estudi rigorós que ens desvetlla la font on s’abeura l’autor i el
conjunt de propòsits, sobretot, ideològics del primer Monzó. Maria Rosell, per
la seua banda, fa una aproximació a La magnitud de la tragèdia, on destaca la
manera en què a través de l’ hipèrbole postmoderna l’autor ens radiografia al-
guns aspectes destacats de l’hedonisme social que va seguir a l’etapa ideològica
de la transició.
El rètol “Indagacions poètiques” agrupa cinc participacions que aborden
discursos poètics de caire rupturista. El primer és sobre Vicent Andrés Estellés
(Dominic Keown), una exploració de la poesia del de Burjassot, en la seua ves-
sant provocadora i bròfega. Talment el poeta valencià, s’estudien les obres de
Maria-Mercè Marçal, la col·lecció de poesia Tafal, Francesc Parcerisas i Ama-
deu Oller.
El volum clou amb el text de Joan Oleza, “La literatura a l’era de la infor-
mació: el salt evolutiu d’una pràctica social”. Es tracta d’una aproximació do-
cumentada i lluminosa a l’estat literari —i cultural— actual. L’autor hi fa una
síntesi fecunda del llegat postmodern o el que el mateix: allò que erosiona els
fonaments de la modernitat. L’autor hi analitza la incorporació de nous llen-
guatges, les noves formes de comunicació, on cal subratllar l’emergència de
discursos autoreferencials (la metaficció, l’autoficció. Oleza hi veu, en aquest
sentit, a El mal de Montano de Vila-Matas tot un exemple. En l’obra, el narra-
dor protagonista és un escriptor-crític literari que viu aclaparat per les seues
lectures i pensa mitjançant els pensaments d’altres escriptors, els seus records
són, igualment, records d’altres exponents del gremi de la ploma. En definitiva,
el protagonista és incapaç de tenir una visió pròpia. D’alguna manera, l’obra
esdevé un exponent d’allò que va definir Roland Barthes en el conegut article,
“La mort de l’autor”. Per a interpretar una obra, no cal la intervenció de l’autor,
car el text té una autonomia —ço és una lògica, una dinàmica pròpia.
Un altre text comentat per l’estudiós és la novel·la Soldados de Salamina, de
Javier Cercas. En aquest cas, es tracta de com l’obra incorpora el relat de la seua
pròpia construcció. L’obra parteix de la figura del protagonista i de les seues
circumstàncies biogràfiques, de les seues coordenades d’espai i de temps, per
anar incorporant “procediments novel·litzadors sinó també dades fictícies assu-
mides com a verídiques” (423).

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Per a l’estudiós, la nova configuració literària es caracteritza per la deshero-

ïficació de l’autor. Un fet crucial. La figura de l’autor ha deixat de ser una refe-
rència moral i ciutadana propera a la d’un rector laic o la d’un intel·lectual pro-
feta, talment va emergir al segle xix. Els nous mitjans, amb Internet al davant,
fan per transformar radicalment la ubicació de l’autor com un emissor destacat.
Hi proliferen, en xarxa, diversos emissors en una participació ininterrompuda i
amb una promiscuïtat d’escriptures i de veus. Hem arribat, en l’actualitat, a un
mercadeig constant i vivim en un nou escenari de creació, de generació de mis-
satges i de construcció artística gregària.
L’escomesa analítica de l’autor i el croquis que en resulta —bé que sempre
hi podríem posar objeccions— són encertats. Cal veure, però, el solatge que
deixen els canvis. L’avenir és llarg, com titulava l’autobiografia Louis Althus-
ser. I obert, quin dubte hi ha!

Universitat d’Alacant

Roig, Jaume. Spill. Ed. Anna-Isabel Peirats Navarro. 2 vols. Clàssics Valen-
cians 1. València: Publicacions de l’Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, 2010.
397+500 pp. + CD-Rom. 291 pp.

J aume Roig’s Spill, written in mid fifteenth century Valencia, trips and bounds
through some 16,000 four-syllable lines in rhyming couplets that are a relent-
less denunciation of women through the medium of two male voices: the eld-
erly narrator who reviews a long life with women, and the sapiential figure of
Salamó. There are only grudging hints of concession that any, save the Blessed
Virgin and the author’s deceased wife, can be excepted from the general mi-
sogynous rule. Nevertheless, much of the work is as tireless in its comedy as it
is in its denunciation of women, and it is perhaps because of this that it has at-
tracted widely divergent readings: for some critics it is a deadly serious warning
about women based on current medical ideas, while for others the misogyny is
merely a convenient source of humor. Roig himself declares that he has written
the book as an attempt to dissuade others from what can only bring them suf-
fering and hardship, namely women, marriage, love and the desire for progeny.
In large part, the long pseudo-autobiographical narrative of Spill enacts a proc-
ess by which a man comes fully to assume the truths handed down by misogy-
nistic tradition, and thus equips himself to resist the counter-offensive of his
own sexual and domestic desires. And in an important sense it also shows us
how comic discourse must not be confused with levity. The male reader, so
Roig intends, must finally take misogyny seriously for his own good. But he
also sees his work as an act of worship of the Virgin: if he tells the truth about
women, it is so that Her ineffable worth may be more easily grasped by mortal

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men. Moreover, some 3,500 lines are taken up with arguments in support of the
immaculate conception of Mary as well as the exposition of the Passion.
There have been several editions of Spill in the course of the last century.
The basis of most of them has been the widely used (and largely unobtainable)
one of Ramon Miquel y Planas of 1929-1950. Only very recently has a new
modern edition appeared, the impressive 891-page volume by Antònia Carré,
which is based directly on the one known manuscript and has made the diffi-
cult text more accessible by means of a facing-page Catalan translation and
copious endnotes (Quaderns Crema, 2006, 891 pages). Peirats’ edition is some-
thing quite different and is clearly aimed at a different kind of audience. It is a
fully critical edition, based on the manuscript and giving an extensive apparatus
criticus of the variant readings from the main sixteenth century editions. It con-
tains the fruits of many years of work on different aspects of Spill that origi-
nated in her doctoral thesis at the University of Valencia. It offers, at last, the
fully philological edition of Roig’s work that it has long deserved.
The first volume, which is prefaced by Albert Hauf, consists of a long and
substantial Introduction that sets out very cogently the complex background
to the work. Peirats discusses Roig the man of medicine, the coexistence in the
work of comic and moralizing elements, underlying medical concepts, misog-
yny and the immaculate conception of Mary. One section contains an impor-
tant comparison with the Lamentationes Matheoli of Jean de Lefèvre, a work
often mentioned in connection with Roig, but never before studied in detail.
There are sections on the rhetoric and other aspects of the style, a brief section
on its literary reception, and a lengthy study of the transmission of the text.
This includes a list of variants between the manuscript (Vatican Library) and
the editions of Valencia 1531 and 1561 and of Barcelona 1561. The text, set out
in double columns, comes in the second volume, with endnotes and a glossary.
It is clear that the punctuation of every line has been carefully thought through,
and it is this which makes Roig’s text easier to read than is normally assumed
possible, although frequent recourse to the notes is inevitable given the large
number of terms whose sense is not immediately clear. The edited and punctu-
ated text is available in the CD-Rom as well (and here one might have pre-
ferred simply to have the plain text of the manuscript). There is also a list of
variants between the manuscript and modern editions from 1735 to 1990 (and
thus Carré 2006, which may have come out too late to be taken into account
during the long process of publication, is not included). Also in the CD-Rom
are some very useful lists: folkloric motifs, proverbs, a table of rhymes, and
Biblical references of various kinds: Biblical figures, Christological aspects,
hagiographical allusions, the parables, and several other themes, all of which
are given together with references to commentaries by the Church Fathers as
found in the Patrologia Latina. In short, the philological support of the text
could hardly be more extensive.
This handsomely presented boxed edition is very well edited and set in a
clear typeface that is easily read even in the smaller print of the 180 double-

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column pages of notes, glossary and index in volume II. The physical attractive-
ness of the edition, combined with the solid scholarship behind Peirats’ text,
make it a fitting start to the Acadèmia Valenciana’s laudable and entirely appro-
priate project of publishing critical editions of classical Valencian literature.

King’s College London

Resina, Joan-Ramon, ed. Burning Darkness: A Half Century of Spanish Cin-

ema. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008. 310 pp.

T his collection of essays is a valuable contribution to the scholarship on Span-

ish cinema, and it will be of interest both to the specialist and to the newcomer
to this particular national cinema. Its fifteen chapters focus on fifteen movies
selected from the repository of Spanish canonical films and filmmakers from
1952 to the year 2000. The book is then another take on the Spanish “auteurist
tradition”; that is, it does not concern itself with commercial film or with what
we could call “Francoist” film, for instance. The clarification should be made
from the outset, since the “half century of Spanish film” of the title is, more
precisely, a half century of Spanish art cinema.
As it is usually the case with books on a national cinema that must pick and
choose, any expert on the subject could either add several directors or suggest
a number of movies absent from the selection, but these absences do not com-
promise the accomplishments of the volume. In other words, the book is high-
ly representative of the film-as-art production in Spain during the period cov-
ered, and it certainly strikes a healthy balance between offering a panoramic
view and deepening our understanding of key films in the history of Spanish
cinema. Plurality of critical approaches notwithstanding, one could say that in
this book a good dosage of film theory is used to do film history.
The Introduction is brief and, in fact, does not aspire to present the reader
with a clear and complete picture of half a century of Spanish cinema. It is, as the
editor calls is, a “rough outline”, and it reads like one. The reader of this first sec-
tion will not find in it the conventional brief commentary on the chapters to
follow either. The editor, instead, chooses to let the authors speak for themselves.
And the first one to do so is Eva Woods Peiró, with a new and revealing
reading of Berlanga’s classic ¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! (1952). In the sec-
ond chapter, Andrés Lema-Hincapié reads Muerte de un ciclista (Bardem,
1955) from a philosophical standpoint, while in the third Tom Conley does a
close, detailed reading of Viridiana (Buñuel, 1961). Chris Perriam’s piece on El
espíritu de la colmena (Erice, 1973) is an essay that handles in a complex yet il-
luminating way the concepts of memory, trauma and nostalgia. It is followed
by Ángel Quintana’s reading of La prima Angélica (Saura, 1974) as a paradigm

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of auteur cinema under late Francoism. Although the chapters are not sepa-
rated by subheadings in the list of contents, all these pieces would comprise the
section of the book on “dissident” cinema under the Franco regime.
The next two chapters concern themselves with the cinema of, or about,
the transitional period from dictatorship to democracy in Spain. Irení Depe-
tris-Chauvin writes on El corazón del bosque (Gutiérrez Aragón, 1979), and
Tatjana Pavlović tackles Los paraísos perdidos (Martín Patino, 1985). While the
former is the weakest chapter of the collection (confusing in some key critical
terms, and much less deep in its textual analysis), the latter offers a very rich
and nuanced approach to Martín Patino’s film, as well as a convincing view of
this director as an “archeologist of lost knowledge”.
The 1990’s is the best-represented decade in the book, with excellent pieces
by Jaume Martí-Olivella on Pilar Miró’s 1993 film El pájaro de la felicidad, Jo
Labanyi on La madre muerta (Juanma Bajo Ulloa, 1993), Dominic Keown on
La teta i la lluna (Bigas Luna, 1994), Barry Jordan on Tesis (Amenábar, 1995),
Robert A. Davidson on Los amantes del círculo polar (Julio Medem, 1998),
Josep-Anton Fernández on Amic/Amat (Ventura Pons, 1998) and Esteve
Riambau on Todo sobre mi madre (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999). At this point, the
chronological progression of the collection —conditioned by the socio-politi-
cal context or by the cultural politics of the moment— has given way to more
diverse approaches to the cinema produced in the Spanish state. Catalan cine-
ma or, better, Catalunya gains special prominence within this section of the
book, since three of the chapters deal with it either as a geopolitical reality or
as a cultural entity. To the essays on the films by Miró, Bigas Luna and Pons,
we need to add the one that closes the book on En construcción (Guerín, 2000),
where Joan Ramón Resina connects the Barcelona this movie films with film-
ing itself, in effect addressing the ontology of the cinematic image. In fact, it
must be underlined that most of the essays in the book engage with the medi-
um of the moving image in its specificity, a circumstance that may prompt a
final reflection not only on what this collection of essays does, but also on what
it represents, on the place it occupies in the existent corpus of critical writing
on Spanish cinema.
One can read in the Introduction that “[film] is now firmly established as
an academic discipline in its own right, enjoying pride of place within the larg-
er paradigm of Cultural Studies” (1). True in essence, such a statement needs to
be nuanced. Today, the discipline of film studies, usually with an academic
residence in communications arts departments, tends to favor research pro-
grams grounded in film theory and film history but with a special emphasis on
questions of political economy. In spite of a definite interest in national cine-
mas, film studies do not show much proclivity to do cultural analysis while
dealing with films and filmmakers. It is in modern languages departments
where such a task has been carried out in the last few decades.
Given the fact that the vast majority of the contributors to this collection
are indeed Hispanists, Burning Darkness it thus a good book to gauge the state

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of the art research in (North American and British) Hispanism. Interestingly

enough, Gilles Deleuze seems to be the theorist of reference. Seven out of the
fifteen authors make use of the concepts he put forward in his two incursions
in the medium. The work of a thinker foreign to film studies that relies on con-
cepts such as time, movement and the image to examine European art cinema...
This research program does not apply to each and every one of the essays in this
collection, but it certainly captures the essence of this volume as a worthy con-
tribution to what it means to think Spain through the art of the moving image.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Resina, Joan-Ramon. Barcelona’s Vocation of Modernity: Rise and Decline of

an Urban Image. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. 272 pp.

T he jacket of this volume bears an impressive photograph of Barcelona’s

Palau de la Música Catalana. With its Modernista façade illuminated at dusk, it
is surrounded by parked cars, ghostly human figures, and the time-lapse trails
of car tail-lights. This image of one of the city’s iconic buildings provides a fit-
ting insight into the book’s main themes: modernity; the desire to impress; the
relationship of Barcelona’s past to its present and future; and the place of Cata-
lan culture within the city and more widely. As observers of the photograph
we are also implicated: what —and how— do we see when we gaze on Barce-
lona, as insiders, outsiders, or from somewhere in between?
Resina’s exploration of these questions is largely conducted through liter-
ary analysis, with most of the chapters centered around works by some of
Catalonia’s best-known writers. Thus, “The Bourgeois City” of the late nine-
teenth century is the Barcelona depicted by Narcís Oller in L’Escanyapobres
(1884) and La febre d’or (1889-92), with a nod to La Papallona (1882). “The
Imagined City” of the early twentieth century belongs to Eugeni d’Ors, as the
chief representative of the Noucentistes. In contrast, the delights of the Barrio
Chino are seen largely through French eyes, including texts by Jean Genet and
André Pieyre de Mandiargues. The post-war period is fittingly devoted to
Mercè Rodoreda’s La plaça del diamant (1962), while the Transition is tackled
in a more controversial fashion with a discussion of Juan Marsé’s El amante
bilingüe (1990). A chapter on Eduardo Mendoza’s La ciudad de los prodigios
(1986) perhaps sits a little uncomfortably within the chronology but is de-
signed to illustrate the rekindling of interest in Barcelona’s past that took place
after the dictatorship. The final chapter, on “The After-Image of Barcelona’s
Modernity”, discusses Barcelona’s reliance on major world events —such as
the 1992 Olympic Games— to project its present-day cosmopolitanism and to
gentrify its marginal suburbs. This is the only chapter not to have a basis in

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literary texts, instead discussing the Olympics themselves and their failed suc-
cessor, the Universal Forum of Cultures (2004).
The selection of texts in itself speaks to one of Resina’s main concerns:
the progressive disappearance of the Catalan language from the city. In this
sense, the book bears an indirect relationship to the ongoing debate on the
apparent inability of Catalan writers to produce “the great novel about Bar-
celona”, although Resina makes no reference to this discussion. As he notes,
the post-war period saw mass immigration of Spanish speakers to Catalonia,
and the recent efforts of the Generalitat to promote Catalan have been sty-
mied by its lack of power to sanction or impose, as well as by the lack of
support —and in some cases overt hostility— from the Spanish government
and media. The disappearance of Catalan writing from the book therefore
mirrors Resina’s concern that Catalan, “once the natural idiom of all citizens
of Barcelona, [...] now lives in agony, vying for its rightful space against the
archness of cynical antagonists and the rationalizations of its defaulting
speakers” (177). It is as if Mercè Rodoreda’s disappointment at returning
from exile only to find “the language of Barcelona marred beyond recogni-
tion” (128) becomes the symbol for the point at which, for Resina, Catalan
writers can no longer do justice to their capital in its own language. Never-
theless, there are certainly texts in Catalan that could have been included in
the later chapters (Montserrat Roig’s work springs instantly to mind for the
Transition, for example), and Resina’s total exclusion of them therefore seems
rather artificial.
Resina can also be criticized for some of the other decisions he has taken in
putting together this volume: the style is sometimes crystal clear and some-
times unnecessarily complex; despite having all titles and quotations in English
as if to address the non-specialist reader, the book is not really accessible to
someone without at least a basic knowledge of the texts, contexts and debates;
and some of the chapters are better integrated into the overarching argument
than others.
However, for the knowledgeable reader the book provides a fascinating
tour through the city’s past and present. Resina skillfully employs an eclectic
range of sources and ideas, from Marc Augé to Émile Zola, Socrates to Pasqual
Maragall. His analysis of the texts is always sharp and illuminating, whether or
not you agree with his interpretations. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of
the book is when he takes us off the beaten track, to the construction of Barce-
lona’s railways and Eixample, and the delights of the Barrio Chino.
As we engage with the Barcelona of the twenty-first century, let us hope
that it continues to provide material for stimulating volumes such as this, and
that Resina’s conclusion that “Barcelona is at risk of dying from its own suc-
cess” (234) proves overly pessimistic.

University of Sydney

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reviews 321

Valriu Llinàs, Caterina. Paraula viva: Articles sobre literatura oral. Biblio-
teca Miquel dels Sants Oliver 31. Palma/Barcelona: Edicions UIB/Institut
d’Estudis Baleàrics/Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2008. 425 pp.

I cannot explain precisely why it is the Catalan-speaking regions most “outly-

ing” universities that show the clearest, most persistent interest in oral tradi-
tional literature, with more relevance being given to this subject on the curricu-
lums of their Catalan literature courses. Among others, this is the case of Rovira
i Virgili University (URV) and the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB).
It was at the URV that the Ethnopoetics Study Group was formed, gather-
ing together lecturers from all over different Catalan-speaking regions at the
initiative of Josep M. Pujol and Carme Oriol, the authors of the superb, funda-
mental work Índex tipològic de la rondalla catalana (2003) and the creators of
the Folklore Archives at the same university. Meanwhile, it is at the UIB that
Josep A. Grimalt and Jaume Guiscafrè are working on a rigorous, well-docu-
mented critical edition of the Aplec de rondaies mallorquines by Antoni M.
Alcover, five volumes of which have already been published, and where Gabri-
el Janer Manila is preparing a dictionary of glosadors, a Balearic Ethnopoetics
Research Group has been formed, and a study program has been conceived
that includes the book Paraula viva, the result of significant ongoing efforts in
the fields of teaching and research by UIB lecturer Caterina Valriu.
Divided into three parts, the book contains twenty-eight articles previ-
ously published between the years 1980 and 2008: fifteen referring to rondalles
or folk tales, seven to legends, and five to different aspects of oral poetry. There
are articles of longer and shorter length. Most are monographic, based on rig-
orous research work, and a few are educational but equally scientific in nature.
A foreword by Carme Oriol heads the book.
The first part of the book opens by giving a clear outline of basic features of
folk tales. Not only is this highly useful for anyone new to this fascinating, an-
cient, rich form of traditional oral narrative prose, but it also serves as a introduc-
tion to the fourteen following articles on more specific aspects of this genre.
Among other issues, it deals with the presence of folkloric root motifs in the
Història de Jacob Xalabín, and elements of folklore and legend in work by nine-
teenth and twentieth century writers like Canigó by Verdaguer, Visions i cants by
Maragall, and Tradicions i fantasies by Costa i Llobera, as well as exploring nu-
merous literary versions of legends relating to Count Arnau, Saint George and the
dragon, Ramon Llull and bandits like Joan de Serrallonga. It gives well-deserved
attention to the Aplec de rondaies mallorquines by Antoni M. Alcover, which not
only compiles tales from folklore but is also one of the greatest universal works of
Catalan narrative prose, comparable to the Brothers Grimm, despite the scanty
attention dedicated to it in dictionaries and histories of Catalan literature. It also
deals with the reactionary or subversive ideas that some academics wished to
highlight in these tales, together with the universal yet local nature of the Catalan
versions and the different types of women who are the protagonists of the tales.

Catalan Review XXV (2011), 321-322 - issn 0213-5949

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322 reviews

The second part focuses on a genre of oral narrative prose that has received
little attention, concerning three major figures from Catalan popular imagina-
tion. It contains six articles on the rich abundance of varied legends relating to
King Jaume I, the Conqueror, and the growth of his kingdom, explaining how
the king and historic events relating to him were incorporated into legend. An-
other is dedicated to the Comte Mal or Evil count (the Majorcan version of
Count Arnau), a character found in legends, popular ballads and more erudite
literature. Finally, the closing article of this section looks at legends relating to
Saint Vicenç Ferrer that take place in Majorca, where this Valencia-born Do-
minican spent six months in 1413 preaching and where he left vivid memories
of certain miracles that people say he performed, with stories handed down
from generation to generation through until today.
The third and final part opens with a fascinating article on a subject largely
ignored until recently. It is a compilation of expressions —often comic and in
rhyme— used repeatedly by adults as automatic responses when talking to
small children. They are absurd, evasive replies aimed at “fobbing off” certain
typical questions. I am referring to the typical trap-like questions and exhorta-
tions or exclamations that adults repeatedly made when dealing with small
children in certain situations. This is followed by another article dedicated to
testimonials of traditional collections of songs about love, sexuality and mar-
riage from a woman’s point of view in preindustrial Majorcan society. The
third article publishes and analyzes different glosats (improvised popular songs)
of a sociopolitical nature, tied in with events in Majorca between 1932 and
1936, while the fourth is devoted to Francesc de B. Moll in his capacity as a
scholar and publisher of collections of traditional songs; a task to which he
dedicated many hours, above all revising, classifying and studying the rich
abundance of material compiled by Rafel Ginard. This well-documented arti-
cle does justice to Moll by honoring one of the many contributions to Catalan
culture for which we must thank this great Majorcan philologist. The book
concludes with an article on elements of popular culture that inspired Miquel
Costa i Llobera’s work, Tradicions i fantasies.
Thus Paraula viva offers a major insight into traditional oral literature and ele-
ments of the latter that have continually been integrated into more erudite litera-
ture. Given the interest appeal of the subjects that are dealt with and the clarity and
scientific rigor of the twenty-eight articles, the book is a useful tool for specialists
in the subject and also an entertaining read for anyone interested in literature.


Universitat de Girona

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Catalan Review

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