Gimferrer, Pere 1945–

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Gimferrer, Pere 1945–

(Pere Pedro Gimferrer)

PERSONAL: Born June 22, 1945, in Barcelona, Spain; son of Pere and Carmen (Torrens) Gimferrer; married Maria Rosa Caminals, 1971 (a pianist; deceased); married Cuca Decominges, March 17, 2006. Education: Attended University of Barcelona law school, 1963. Hobbies and other interests: Cinema, travel.

ADDRESSES: Home—Rambla de Catalunya 113, 08008 Barcelona, Spain. Office—Editorial Seix Barral, Diagonal 662-664, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.

CAREER: Editorial Seix Barral (publishing company), Barcelona, Spain, began in literary department, 1970, became director, 1981–; Ediciones 62 (publishing company), Barcelona, Spain, poetry advisor. Academician, Real Academy Española, 1985–.

AWARDS, HONORS: Premio Nacional de Poesia, 1966, for Arde el mar, and 1988, for El vendaval; Critic's Prize, 1983 and 1989; Gertrude Stein International Prize, for Tapies and the Catalan Spirit; elected to Spanish Royal Academy of Language, 1985; Premio Nacional de Las Letras Españolas, 1998; Premio Reina Sofia de Poesia Iberoamericana, 2000.

WRITINGS:

IN CATALAN, EXCEPT AS NOTED

Mensaje del tetarca (title means "Message of the Tetrach"), Editorial Trimer (Barcelona, Spain), 1963.

Arde el mar (title means "The Sea Is Burning"), El Bardo (Barcelona, Spain), 1966, reprinted, Catedra (Madrid, Spain), 1997.

Tres poemas, Librería Anticuria el Guadalhorce (Malaga, Spain), 1967.

La muerte en Beverly Hills (title means "Death in Beverly Hills"), Editorial Ciencia Nueva (Madrid, Spain), 1968.

(Translator) Joan Brossa, Teatro: Oro y sal, el gancho, Novela, Editorial Cuadernos para el Dialogo (Madrid, Spain), 1968.

Antología de la poesía modernista, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1969.

Poemas, 1963–1969, Llibres de Sinera (Barcelona, Spain), 1969.

(Translator) Samuel Beckett, Molloy, Editorial Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1969.

Els miralls (title means "The Mirrors"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1970, published with Spanish translation as Els miralls/Los espejos, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 1978.

Treinta años de litertura (title means "Thirty Years of Literature"), Editorial Kairos (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

Hora foscant (title means "Dark Hour"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.

Foe cec (title means "Blind Fire"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1973.

La clau del foe, Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1973.

La poesía de J.V. Foix, Ediciones 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1973.

(With Antoni Tàpies) Antoni Tàpies i l'esperit català, Ediciones Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1974, translation by Kenneth Lyons published as Tàpies and the Catalan Spirit, Rizzoli (New York, NY), 1975.

(With Antoni Tàpies) Tàpies: indagacions i presències, Galeria Maeght (Barcelona, Spain), 1974.

L'espai desert (title means "Desert Space"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1977.

(Author of introduction) Juan Goytisolo, Obras completas, Aguilar (Madrid, Spain), 1977.

(With Max Ernst) Max Ernst: o la dissolució de la identitat, Ediciones Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1977, translated by Norman Coe, Rizzoli (New York, NY), 1984.

Radicalidades, A. Bosch (Barcelona, Spain), 1978, reprinted, Ediciones Peninsula (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.

(Author of introduction) Ausias March, Obra poética, Ediciones Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1978.

Poesía, 1970–1977, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 1978.

(With Joan Miró) Miró, colpir sense nafrar, Ediciones Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1978.

(With Joan Miró) Miró y su mundo, Ediciones Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1978.

Imagenes y recuerdos, 1910–1920: la pérdida del reino, Difusora Internacional (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.

Lecturas de Octavio Paz, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1980.

(Editor) Joan Brossa, Antología poética: 1941–1978, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1980.

Antología de la poesía modernista, Peninsula (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.

Dietari, 1979–1980, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.

Mirall, espai, aparicions: poesía, 1970–1980, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.

(With Juan Goytisolo) Juan Goytisolo, Montesinos (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.

(Translator) Ramon Llull, Obra escogida, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1981.

Octavio Paz, Taurus (Madrid, Spain), 1982.

(With Giuseppe Sansone) Curial y Gielfa, Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1982.

Segon dietari, 1980–1982, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1982, Spanish translation published as Segundo dietario, 1980–1982, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.

Apariciones y otras poemas, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 1982.

Fortuny, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1983.

(Author of introduction) El cuento de invierno; La tempestad (translations of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and The Tempest), Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1983.

(With J.V. Foix) Antología poética, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Los raros, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.

Cine y literatura, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.

(With Francisco Ayala) Pefil de Vicente Aleixandre: discursso leido el dia 15 de diciembre de 1985 en el acto de su recepción pública, Academia Espafiola (Madrid, Spain), 1985.

(Author of introduction) Magritte, Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1986.

(Author of introduction) Ramon del Valle-Inclan, Sonata de primavera; sonata de estío; memoiras del Marqués de Bradomin, Espasa-Calpe (Madrid, Spain), 1988.

(With others) El jardí dels guerrers, Lunwerg (Madrid, Spain), 1988.

Giorgio de Chirico, Ediciones Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1988, translation published as De Chirico, Academy Editions (London, England), 1989.

El vendaval, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1988, bilingual edition (Catalan and Spanish), 1989.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Academy Editions (London, England), 1991.

(With Justo Navarro) La llum/La luz (Spanish and Catalan poetry; title means "The Light"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1992.

Pere Gimferrer: una poética del instante, Anthropos (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.

Las raíces de Miró, Ediciones Poligrafa (Barcelona, Spain), 1993, English translation published as The Roots of Miró, Rizzoli (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Joaquim Noguero) Valències, 1971–1993, E. Climent (Valencia, Spain), 1993.

(With J.M. Castellet) Dietari complet, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.

(With Merce Rodoreda) Espejo roto, Editorial Debate (Madrid, Spain), 1995.

Obra Catalana complete, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), Volume 1: Poesia, 1995, Volume 2: Dietari complete, 1979–1980, 1995, Volume 3: Dietari complete, 1980–1982, 1995, Volume 4: Figures d'art, 1996, Volume 5: Assaigs crítics, 1997.

(Author of prologue) Miguel Delibes, La hoja roja: versión teatral, Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

(With Joaquin Jorda) Itinerario de un escritor, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

Noche en el ritz, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

Mascarada, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

(Author of prologue) Sobre los ángeles; sermones y moradas, Galaxia Gutenberg (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

L'obrador del poeta, La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

Literatura catalana i periodisme, Generalitat de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

(With Antonio Gala) Poemas de amor, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1997.

24 poemas, Plaza & Janés (Barcelona, Spain), 1997.

Piedra de sol (lecture on Octavio Paz), Mondadori (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

L'agent provocador, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

(With Salvador Espriu) Sinònims i antònims de la llengua catalana, Biblograpf (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

(Author of prologue) Poesies i altres escrits, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

(Editor) Pablo Neruda, Poemas, Plaza & Janés (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

Memorias y palabras: cartas a Pere Gimferrer, 1966–1997, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1999.

Antología poètica, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1999.

Los raro, Consell Insular de Mallorca (Palma Mallroca, Spain), 1999.

(Author of text) Perejaume, Dis-exhibit (catalogue), Museu d'art Contemporani (Barcelona, Spain), 1999.

(With Terenci Moix) Chulas y famosas, o Men, la venganza de Eróstrato, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1999.

(With Daniel Alcoba) Cinco decadas de literatura international, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1999.

(Author of prologue) Maria-Mercè Marçal, Raó del cos, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.

(Author of prologue) Jose Maria Fonoliosa, Ciudad del hombre: New York, Acantilado (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.

(With Luis García Jambrina) Marea solar, marea lunar (poetry in Spanish and Catalan), Patrimonio Nacional (Madrid, Spain), 2000.

(With Julia Barella) Poemas, 1962–1969: poesía castellana completa, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 2000.

El diamant dins l'aigua, Columna (Barcelona, Spain), 2001.

(With others) La revolta poètica de Joan Brossa, Generalitat Catalunya, Departament de Cultura (Barcelona, Spain), 2003.

Rimbaud y nosotros, Publicaciones de la Residencia de Estundiantes (Madrid, Spain), 2005.

Interludio azul, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 2006.

Amor en vilo, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 2006.

Contributor to Generation von 27: Gedichte (Spanish poetry translated into German), Suhrkamp, 1984; Poetas de los 70, Diputacion de Biskaia, Departamento de Cultura, 1989; and Llibre d'amiga, Alzira, 1998.

SIDELIGHTS: The cultural renaissance of Spain's post-civil war era spawned many new voices in poetry. Chief among them is Pere Gimferrer, who writes in the traditional language of Catalan. In the words of Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor Glenn Morocco, Gimferrer, who began publishing in the 1960s, "adopted a confrontational attitude and represented himself and his work as 'una ruptura' (a breaking away) from the then-prevalent social poetry which had held sway since the 1950s."

A native of Barcelona, Gimferrer trained for law but found his passion in creative expression in many forms. He followed the Spanish "Generation of 1927" writers, admired the poets of the seventeenth century, and listened to modern jazz. Gimferrer also found his muse at the movies, particularly in the American films of the 1940s and 1950s. "However, the major literary associations in his life were with [Vicente] Aleixandre and [Octavio] Paz, whom Gimferrer called his teachers," noted Morocco.

Gimferrer produced his first notable work in Arde el mar, which presents the young poet as a figure "whose actual life is interwoven with a remote poetic life," wrote Morocco. "Poetry is thus the experience of another existence rooted in the totality of the poet's cultural background and felt in terms of his present emotions." The poet, Morocco noted, "is an 'other' who communicates his inner lights in a language that does not submit to logic or biography. The vision that emerges in [Gimferrer's] poetic existence is made of imaginative evocations that become beautiful, sometimes melancholy, events."

Between Arde el mar, and the follow-up collection La muerte en Beverly Hills, Gimferrer helped establish the guidelines for the "new generation" of Spanish poets. The latter volume includes allusions to America's "Golden Age" of film in presenting themes of nostalgia and young love. Gimferrer refers to real-life stars such as Jean Harlow and Ava Gardner and, in a major passage, retells Shane, the classic American cowboy picture. "In these texts," remarked Susan Martin-Marquez in Anales de la Literaturea Española Contemporanea, "the author establishes in self-aware fashion a complex relationship with the cinema." To Hispania writer Timothy Rogers, the use of such characters as Shane commits the reader to "a universal acknowledgement of the existence of an archetypal Western hero…. One questions whether the present-day reader knows who Shane is or was." But the poem in which the cowboy plays a role "appears to accentuate the virtues of Shane as the primordial good qualities that constitute the explicit comparison to the inferred 'other person.'" In Morocco's opinion, Shane "is a symbol of Gimferrer's skepticism about poetry and also, by implication, provides the poet with several roles through which he may represent his doubts; a disappointed boy, as in the film, who watches his hero ride away, and the other missing part of the simile, who, like Shane, once spoke of distant places and has also gone away."

Another Catalan-language collection, Els miralls, was translated by the author into Spanish as Los espejos and the two versions were published together in a single volume. This work, as Gimferrer was quoted in Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature as explaining, is "a book about marking out a game plan; it is a book of poems, but at the same time it is an exploration of the meaning of poetry. That which I have written since then also is distinct." In the same article, contributor Margaret Persin noted that the change in language would seem to show "this contemporary writer [making] a break with the fruits of his initial artistic efforts in order to establish an entirely new direction for his verse." The metaphor of the mirror, Persin continued, is an apt one, as it "captures the essence of an object, but on closer analysis, one discovers that the reflection ultimately is not the object itself, but rather only a flat approximation. Thus, by pointing to the collection's reflective nature, the poet also underlines the difficulty of the writer's (impossible) task, namely to force language to refer to something outside itself."

As for the juxtaposing of the two languages, Persin quoted Gimferrer's comment that the Spanish text "does not attempt anything other than to be a faithful tracing of the text in the original Catalan, to facilitate its reading by those who do not know that language." But can a "mirror image" of a poem reflect the original's intent? Persin thought not: "The poet's intent is to foreground the original Catalan version of his work. But in the refracted image of the translated text, the reader is brought face to face with the impossibility of that task." In addition, "the Spanish version of each poem is located on the right-hand page, the better to catch the reader's eye, while the Catalan text is on the left. Thus, the Spanish version is the supplement to the poet's Catalan text, but this Spanish version has established itself a subversively primary function."

El vendaval, a 1988 collection of sonnets, "is appropriately concerned with what the winds of life carry off and leave behind," stated Patricia Hart in a World Literature Today article. Gimferrer used the sonnet form again in the 1991 publication La llum, described by Morocco as showing "the evolution of a poet who is attentively writing toward the limits of modernity." Reviewing Gimferrer's Dietari, 1979–1980 in World Literature Today, Peter Cocozzella concluded: "There can be little doubt that Pere Gimferrer … is the living poet extraordinaire of Catalonia." The same critic went on to note that Gimferrer has developed a "language with a distinctive malleability, highly suitable for his own intellectual/artistic journey from baroque complexity to the bold new idiom of postmo-dernity."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 134: Twentieth-Century Spanish Poets, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1994.

PERIODICALS

America, December 21, 1985, Dennis McNally, review of Max Ernst: o la dissolució de la identitat p. 449.

Anales de la Literaturea Española Contemporanea, Volume 20, issue 1-2, 1995, Susan Martin-Marquez, "Death and the Cinema in Pere Gimfer-rer's La muerte en Beverly Hills," pp. 155-172.

Choice, January, 1985, review of Max Ernst, p. 671; February, 1994, I. Spalatin, review of The Roots of Miró, p. 925.

Hispania, May, 1984, Timothy Rogers, "Verbal Collage in Pere Gimferrer's Poemas, 1963–1969," pp. 207-213.

Library Journal, October 1, 1993, Kathryn Finkelstein, review of Max Ernst, p. 1841; September 15, 1993, Paula Baxter, review of The Roots of Miró, p. 71.

Publishers Weekly, October 27, 1975, Albert H. Johnston, review of Tàpies and the Catalan Spirit, p. 49; August 10, 1984, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Max Ernst, p. 66.

Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature, winter, 1992, Guillermon Carnero, "Cuturalism and the 'New' Poetry," pp. 93-107; Margaret Persin, "Snares: Pere Gimferrer's Los espejos/Els miralls," pp. 109-126.

World Literature Today, spring, 1978, M. Duran, review of L'espai desert, p. 277; autumn, 1981, Alexander Coleman, review of Lecturas de Octavio Paz, p. 647; spring, 1982, Peter Cocozzella, review of Mirall, espai, aparicions: poesía, 1970–1980, p. 323; winter, 1984, Peter Cocozzella, review of Segon dietari, 1980–1982, p. 87; winter, 1987, R.F. Benavides, review of Los raros, p. 79; winter, 1990, Patricia Hart, review of El vendaval, p. 92; autumn, 1995, Peter Cocozzella, review of Dietari, 1979–1980, p. 775; spring, 1997, Albert Forcadas, review of Mascarada, p. 369.

ONLINE

Brown University Web site, http://www.brown.edu/ (April 7, 2006), album of Pere Gimferrer.