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The Inheritance of Modernisme: Antoni Fuster i Valldeperes

Abstract

This article explores the characteristics of the literature of writers who, when literary Catalan modernism had died out, used many of the features of the movement in their work. An analysis of the costumbrism-based novel Perot i l’Estel (1932), by Antoni Fuster Valldeperes, shows the return to the debate on madness, the expression of individual standpoints and the portrayal of a wide range of revolutionary ideals, the main themes of which are Catalanism, universalism, Republicanism and anarchism.

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The Literature of Exile after 1939: A Bridge between Catalan Collective Memory and Identity

Abstract

The present article reflects on and emphasises the importance of the still-unrecognised work by Catalan writers who bore witness to the exile of 1939 and the preceding historical period of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939) and the Civil War (1936–1939). The article explores how these exiled writers and their literary corpora played a fundamental role in recovering Catalan historical collective memory and identity. In particular, it focusses on two writers, Domènec Guansé and Vicenç Riera Llorca, in the light of recent studies of literary history, which have begun this process of re-evaluating the literature of exile, and thereafter relates their work to the theories of Lowenthal, Ricoeur and Traverso regarding the past and memory.

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Manuel de Pedrolo: Literature as Intellectual Engagement

Abstract

The article lays out the conceptual bases that Manuel Pedrolo developed –in the form of philosophical literature – in a section of his narrative. I describe the directionality of the author’s intellectual program with regard to the ‘double liberation' in detail. The interest of the work lies in exposing the inherent limitations of ‘literature for literature’ – with disregard of human nature – that can also be applied to any international literature, not only written in the fifties and sixties, but in the (ideologically) present time.

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“Remaining for the moment without an audience”: The Literary and Civil Commitment of Carles Riba

Abstract

Carles Riba (1893–1959) wrote several articles in which he showed his commitment to literature and reflected on the role of literature in society, as “Socrates in front of the judges” (1926), “Politicians and Intellectuals” (1927), “Literature and Rescuing Groups” (1938) and the presentations of the Revista de Catalunya (1939 and 1955). Many of these texts were written in turbulent political contexts: the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923–1929), the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and the post-war period under Franco (1939–1959). The aim of this paper is to study these articles and analyse Riba’s view of writers and intellectuals.

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Translation and Political Struggle in Exile: The Chile Group

Abstract

One of the consequences of the 1939 exile was the widespread emergence, or re-emergence, of cultural community centres, periodicals and magazines, brief treatises and books that gave priority to local events over outside influences. Xavier Benguerel, Domènec Guansé, C. A. Jordana, Joan Oliver and Francesc Trabal, who formed the Chile group, held translation as their weapon of choice in the political and cultural struggle. Here, we look at the most remarkable achievements, collective strategies and ways of thinking about language and translation.

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Xarxa Llull: The University Network of Catalan Studies Abroad

Abstract

This article provides an outline of the network of universities where Catalan is taught outside the Catalan-speaking territories. This network is coordinated and managed by the Institut Ramon Llull, the public body created by the governments of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and the city of Barcelona with the mission to promote the Catalan language and culture abroad. It consists of 145 universities in 28 countries, of which 87 universities receive funding from the IRL. The article describes the main characteristics and activities of this network, defines the value it creates for the various stakeholders that participate in it, and outlines its main objectives and projects for the immediate future.

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Book Reviews
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Dehierarchizing Space: Performer-Audience Collaborations in Two Portuguese Performances of Shakespeare

Abstract

This article addresses the key role of performance space in mediating between cultural locations. It discusses two Portuguese performances of Shakespeare where audiences were invited to become part of the performance and the ways in which this dehierarchization of the performance space framed a cross-cultural encounter between a globalized text and a localized performance context. In Teatro Oficina’s 2012 King Lear, both audience and performers sat around a large table in a production which reflected upon questions of individual and collective responsibility in Shakespearean tragedy and in the wider political sphere. In the middle of this performance space hung a large cube onto which the translated text was projected, setting up a spatial tension between text and performance that also foregrounded the translocation of the Shakespearean text to a Portuguese performance context. In Tiago Rodrigues’ 2013 By Heart, ten members of the audience were invited onstage to learn Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 “by heart and not by brain.”1 In doing so, Rodrigues emphasized the cultural embeddedness of Shakespearean texts in a wider European cultural context and operated a subtle shift from texts to performance as a privileged repository for the cultural memory of Shakespeare. The article explores how these spatial shifts signaled the possibility of enabling cross-cultural identifications with Shakespeare through performance.

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The Hamlet Project in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Apprenticeship

Abstract

Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, published in 1795, provides a fictional account of a theatrical production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Its initiator is young Wilhelm, whose experiences with this project, in the context of the novel, mark a decisive stage in his education and personal development; as well as, on another level, in the formation of a German national theatre, the mapping out of a theatrical space peculiar to the German national character. To realize his project Wilhelm has to negotiate with his manager and his fellow-actors; these negotiations can be considered reflections of the cultural aspirations and constraints prevalent late 18th-century Germany:

  • – The project itself, as represented by Wilhelm, appears to be informed by a cultural movement towards emancipation from French culture: The character of Hamlet was interpreted as representing a role model for young Germans.
  • – Informed by a theatrical practice based on French conventions, the manager objects to the lack of dramaturgical coherence of the Shakespeare play. As a compromise, Wilhelm composes an adapted version in which references to Wittenberg, Poland, France and England as well as several minor characters are cut, but the Hamlet scenes and speeches are retained.
  • – Wilhelm and his friends also take account of German audiences’ preferences and capacities.

The Hamlet project in Wilhelm Meister can be considered a case study of cultural appropriation. Shakespeare becomes a cultural import, used to define and map a cultural space for the German middle class, which in the nineteenth century set store by the quality of its educational make-up.

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