Pub Date 15 Sep 2019
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Daybook 1918: Early Fragments is the first substantial selection in English from the prose poetry of the major Catalan writer J. V. Foix. The core of Lawrence Venuti’s edition is forty-five prose poems from the beginning of Foix’s career, supplemented by additional poems in prose and verse, prose fictions, and essays that immerse the reader in the heady cultural ferment of early twentieth-century Catalonia.
Deeply committed to the European avant-gardes, Foix explored experimental poetics in the service of Catalan nationalism as Catalonia itself carried out its notable experiments with autonomous government on the eve of Franco’s dictatorship. Foix was particularly attracted to the revolutionary energy of French surrealism, and he endows Catalan life and landscapes with a dreamlike quality while staging a series of unsettling encounters with the femme fatale Gertrudis.
In translations praised as both fluid and resonant, Venuti plumbs the expressive capabilities of English to evoke the profound impact that the Catalan texts had on their first readers. Daybook 1918: Early Fragments establishes Foix as a key figure in international modernism.
A Note From the Publisher
"These poems, hovering in the twilight zone between dreaming and wakefulness, often have an emblematic tone reminiscent of Kafka's parables." —Joan Ramon Resina, author of Iberian Modalities
“Just as Latin American surrealism is distinct from French surrealism, J. V. Foix’s Catalan surrealism—if that’s what his dazzling wormholes through convention, his “irregular, obscene curves” through narrative must be called—is a genre of its own, a parallel evolution of sleight-of-hand, a distant and overlooked species of literature as winning and marvelous as the platypus.” —Forrest Gander, author of Core Samples from the World and Be With