Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

In addition to his poetry, J. V. Foix published a number of works that are impossible to define in terms of conventional genres. Typical of his idiosyncratic manner are his “letters” to Clara Sobirós and Na Madrona Puignau, both invented personages. The Sobirós missive, which appropriately heads both the Obres poètiques and the first volume of the Obres completes, is a veritable manifesto of Foix’s aesthetics. In “Na Madrona,” he combines commentaries on contemporary events with a peculiar expression of concern for the ills of his society. In a third epistle, written in 1962 and addressed to Joan Salvat-Papasseit, that most engagé of Catalan poets, Foix, while amicably vindicating the honesty of his own convictions, conveys to his former associate the warm sympathy of a kindred soul, rising, at long last, above all the differences in temperament and upbringing that poisoned their relationship. In Allò que no diu La vanguardia (1970; what La vanguardia does not say)—the reference is to the noted Barcelonese newspaper—Foix parodies the reporter’s jargon, distorting the idiom of the short bulletin and the somewhat longer newspaper column until he attains a magnificent absurdity. In still another vein, he devised a tale of fantasy, La pell de la pell (1970; skin’s skin), complete with outlandish apparitions and magical transformations of time and place; there are infernal links between this work and...

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