Riba, Carles 1893-1959

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RIBA, Carles 1893-1959

PERSONAL: Born December 23, 1893, in Barcelona, Spain; died July 12, 1959, in Barcelona, Spain; son of Antoni and Adela (Bracons) Riba; married Clementina Arderiu (a poet). Education: Attended University of Barcelona.

CAREER: Poet, literary critic, translator, and professor. University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, professor of Greek; Bernat Metge Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, director.


Primer llibre d'Estances, La Revista (Barcelona, Spain), 1919, republished as Estances, Observador (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Carles Riba, prologue by M. de Montoliu, Edicions Lira (Barcelona, Spain), 1923, revised edition, edited by Jaime Bofill y Ferro, 1938.

Tres suites, Edicions de la Rosa dels Vents (Barcelona, Spain), 1937, new edition, edited by Jordi Malé i Pegueroles, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.

Elegies de Bierville, Santiago de Xile (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1942, new edition, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1994, translation by J. L. Gili published as Elegies de Bierville/Bierville Elegies (bilingual edition, English and Catalan), Dolphin (Oxford, England), 1995.

Elegies de Bierville; Salvatge cor; Altre poemes, Observador (Barcelona, Spain), 1942, new edition, 1991.

Del joc i del foc, Editorial Selecta (Barcelona, Spain), 1946, republished in a bilingual Spanish/Catalan edition as Del juego y del fuego, Spanish translation by José Augustin Goytisolo, prologue by Jaume Pont, Edicions del Mall (Barcelona, Spain), 1987.

L'ingenu amor: edició definitiva illustrada amb cinc gravats sobre boix a tot color, Ll. Sibils (Barcelona, Spain), 1948.

Les aventures d'En Perot Marrasqui, Editorial Selecta (Barcelona, Spain), 1950, new edition, Observardor (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Salvatge cor: sonets, Óssa (Barcelona, Spain), 1952, translation by J. L. Gili published as Salvatge cor/Savage Heart (bilingual edition, English and Catalan), Dolphin (Oxford, England), 1993.

Més els poemes: notes sobre poetes i poesia, J. Horta (Barcelona, Spain), 1957.

Esbós de tres oratoris: Els tres reis d'Orient: Llàtzer, el ressuscitat: El fill Pròdig, Ossa Menor (Barcelona, Spain), 1957.

Poems of Carles Riba (bilingual edition, English and Catalan), English translation by J. L. Gili, Dolphin (Oxford, England), 1964, revised edition, 1970.

Obres completes, two volumes, Ediciones 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1965, new edition, edited and introduced by Enric Sullà, 1992.

Versions de Hölderlin, preface by Gabriel Ferrater, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

Antologia poetica, prologue by Joan Triadú, Proa (Barcelona, Spain), 1979, new edition, edited by Enric Sullà, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1982.

Esbossos de versions de Rilke, edited by Enric Sullà, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Papers de joventut, Generalitat de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), 1987.

Cartes d'Alemanya i Grecia, edited by Carles-Jordi Guardiola, Edicions de la Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1987.

Cantares d'amor e d'amigo, edited by Xosé Lois Garcia, Ediciós do Castro (Sada, A Coruña, Spain), 1990.

Centenari Carles Riba, 1893-1993, edited by Joan Triadú, Generalitat de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.


Sis Joans, Sabadell (Barcelona, Spain), 1928, new edition, Observador (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Les aventures d'en Perot Marrasquí, Editorial Selecta (Barcelona, Spain), 1947.

Seis Juanes, Editorial Juventud (Barcelona, Spain), 1951.

(Translator) Jean de Brunhoff, Babar i la vella senyora, Ayma (Barcelona, Spain), 1957.

(Adaptor) Homer, Las aventuras de Ulises, illustrated by Fina Rifà, La Galera (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.


Escolis, i altres articles, La Revista (Barcelona, Spain), 1921.

Els marges, Observador (Barcelona, Spain), 1927, new edition, 1991.

Per comprendre, 1927-1935, La Revista (Barcelona, Spain), 1937, new edition, Observador (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Resum de literatura llatina, Editorial Barcino (Barcelona, Spain), 1933.

Resum de literatura grega, Editorial Barcino (Barcelona, Spain), 1937.

Llegendari català, Editorial Catalana (Barcelona, Spain), 1950.

Llengua i literatura, edited by Joaquim Molas, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1965.

Clàssics i moderns, edited by Joaquim Molas, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.

Carles Riba en els seus millors escrits, M. Arimany (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Sobre poesia i sobre la meva poesia, edited by Enric Sullà, Empúries (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Polítics i intellectuals i altres assaigs, Observador (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Súnion: antologia comentada, La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1995.


Virgil, Las Bucòliques, [Barcelona], 1911.

Homer, L'odissea, Editorial Catalana (Mallorca, Spain), 1919, new edition, Edicions de la Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.

(And editor) Xenophon, Obres socràtiques menors:Economia, Convit, Defensa de Sòcrates, Fundació Bernat Metge (Barcelona, Spain), 1924.

A. Gudeman, Historia de la literature latina, Editorial Labor (Barcelona, Spain), 1926.

(And editor) Plutarch, Vides parelleles, Fundació Bernat Metge (Barcelona, Spain), 1926, republished as Alejandro y César: vidas paralelas, introduction by E. Valentí Fiol, Salvat Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.

Xenophon, Els Due Mil, Fundació Bernat Metge (Barcelona, Spain), 1927.

(And editor) Xenophon, Records de Sòcrates, Fundació Bernat Metge (Barcelona, Spain), 1929.

Aeschylus, Tragèdies, Fundació Bernat Metge (Barcelona, Spain), 1932.

Sophocles, Tragèdies (bilingual edition, Greek and Catalan), Fundació Bernat Metge (Barcelona, Spain), 1951.

Edgar Allan Poe, Els assassinates del carrer de la morgue, Editorial Selecta (Barcelona, Spain), 1953.

Constantine Cavafy, Poemes de Kavafis, Editorial Teide (Barcelona, Spain), 1962.

Euripedes, Tragèdies, edited and introduced by Carles Miralles, Curial (Barcelona, Spain), 1977.

Joseph Bédier, El romanç de Tristany i Isolda, Edicions dels Quaderns Crema (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.

Also wrote prologues for a Catalan translation of the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, and for Anthologia Poetica, by Joan Maragall, 1954.

ADAPTATIONS: Riba's poetry has been set to music by Francesc Taverna-Bech and Alan Rawsthorne.

SIDELIGHTS: Carles Riba was a poet, literary critic, translator, and professor of Greek. He was an important voice for Catalan literature, encouraging discussions between Catalan and Castilian writers and introducing Catalan culture to other parts of the world. Writing in World Literature Today, Janet Pérez stated, "[Riba] is important above all in the normalization of Catalan language and expression."

Riba was born in Barcelona and studied law and literature at the University of Barcelona. He went into exile in 1939 to France, returning to Barcelona in 1943. After translating classical works for the Bernat Metge Foundation, he eventually became its director.

Riba's first book of criticism, Escolis, i altres articles, was a declaration of his adherence to the classical and distinctly anti-modernist "Noucentisme" movement of Eugenie d'Ours. Besides critical work, Riba wrote well-received children's stories and a varied body of translations ranging from Greek tragedy to the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Riba's primary form of writing, however, was poetry. By the 1920s he had established a positive reputation as a poet, following the publication of his first poetry collection, Primer llibre d'Estances. Tres suites, a collection of thirty poems written in sonnet form published in 1937, confirmed Riba as a master poet. Pérez noted that early inspirations for Riba's verse came from classical sources, while his later verse was influenced by French symbolism.

Elegies de Bierville is cited by many critics as Riba's finest poetry collection. The work reflects upon his experience of exile in Bierville, France, during the Spanish Civil War. It explores themes of physical isolation and spiritual deprivation, and ultimately recognition of a Christian God. Two later works expand on religious themes, Salvatge cor: sonets and Esbós de tres oratoris: Els tres reis d'Orient: Llàtzer, el ressuscitat: El fill Pròdig. Riba experimented with alternative forms of poetry in other works, as in Del joc i del foc, in which he uses the Japanese tanka form.

Riba's works have been translated into twelve languages. A poetry prize has also been established in his name.



Guardiola, Carles-Jordi, Carles & Clementina: àlbum de Carles Riba i Clementina Arderíu, La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.

Montero, Xesús Alonso, Carles Riba e Galicia: homenaxe no I centenario do seu nacemento, Galaxia (Vigo, Spain), 1993.


Catalan Review, June, 1987, Graciel la Edo i Baste, "Erotisme i temps a Salvatge cor de Carles Riba," pp. 101-110; Volume 6, 1992, Manuel Duran, "Carles Riba on Josep Carner: Four Studies (1914-1929)," pp. 431-454; Volume 8, 1994, Jordi Male i Pergueroles, "Una tipologia poetica de Carles Riba als Escolis," pp. 245-264.

Journal of Catalan Studies, 2000, Isidor Mari i Mayans, "Rilke i l'orfisme a les Elegies de Bierville," p. n/a.

Llengua & Literatura, Volume 1, 1986, Jaume Medina, "El lexic poetic de Carles Riba: Index de frequencies de mots," pp. 305-359.

Nueva Estfeta, May, 1983, Jimenez Martos, "Riba y cunqueiro, poesia litoral," pp. 75-78.

Quimera, Volume 125-126, 1994, Birute Ciplijauskaite, "Aclimatacion de la tanka: Carles Riba y Alejandro Duque Amusco," pp. 66-69.

Romance Languages Annual, 1990, Yolanda Gamboa, "Botticelli's Primavera and Riba's Elegies de Bierville as 'The Allegory of Love,'" pp. 406-409.

World Literature Today, spring, 1985, Janet Pérez, review of Obras Completas, p. 258.


Lletra,http://www.uoc.edu/lletra/ (September 15, 2002), "Carles Riba."*