J. V. Foix Analysis

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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(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

The domain of the Catalan language comprises most of the eastern sector of the Iberian Peninsula (Catalonia proper, that is, and the Valencian region), the Balearic Isles, the Republic of Andorra, and, to a lesser extent, the French territories of Cerdagne and Roussillon. The Catalan-speaking people, today some eight million strong, boast their own distinctive Romance tongue, a time-honored cultural heritage, and a brilliant literary tradition which goes back to the dawning of the Middle Ages. Thanks to a dramatic resurgence (commonly called the Renaixença) which began in the early 1830’s, Catalan literature and art are flourishing today more vigorously than ever, despite the cataclysmic convulsions brought about by the Spanish Civil War and the repressive measures imposed by the Franco regime.

Together with a number of distinguished contemporary writers, painters, sculptors, and avant-garde artists of all types (Salvador Espriu, Joan Oliver, Mercé Rodoreda, Josep M. Subirachs, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, and Antoni Tàpies, to name but a representative few), J. V. Foix stands out as a worthy champion of the best that Catalan culture has to offer to Western civilization. Few Catalan writers can vie with Foix in devotion to motherland, erudition, breadth of vision, and sheer genius for bringing to fruition the highest potential of the Renaixença. Though worlds apart from Espriu in the ultimate resolution and implication of a truly personal and original poetic, Foix, like Espriu, strikes a happy balance between, on the one hand, aesthetic sophistication and avant-garde exploration, and, on the other hand, a sound understanding of the solid, broad infrastructure of the living language of his society. What has earned Foix a rank of special distinction is, above all, his unique talent for articulating through poems, through essays, and,...

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(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

Boehne, Patricia J. J. V. Foix. Boston: Twayne, 1980. An introductory biographical study and critical analysis of selected works by Foix. Includes bibliographic references and an index.

Cocozzella, Peter. Review of Tocant a mà, by J. V. Foix, edited by Joan R. Veny-Mesquida. World Literature Today 68, no. 1 (Winter, 1994): 107. Cocozzella provides a summary in English of Veny-Mesquida’s introduction in Catalan to Tocant a mà. Complementing positivistic analysis with the insights provided by current literary theory, Veny-Mesquida, in a substantial introduction of some eighty pages, calls upon foreign and homegrown pundits—Norman Friedmann, Gerald Prince, Carles Miralles, Maurici Serrahima, Enric Sulla, Ferrater, and Gimferrer, among others—to help him shed light on Foix’s engrossing masterpieces.

Gimferrer, Pere. La poesia de J. V. Foix. Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1997. Critical interpretation of selected works by Foix. Published in Catalan.