Talens, Jenaro 1946-
TALENS, Jenaro 1946-
PERSONAL: Born January, 1946, in Tarifa, Spain. Education: Attended University of Madrid; University of Granada, B.A., 1968, Ph.D, 1971.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—c/o Cátedra, Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena, no. 15, Madrid 28027, Spain. E-mail—jenaro. [email protected]
CAREER: Poet and educator. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, visiting professor, 1983-2000; University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland, professor of Spanish and comparative literatures; University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, professor of literary theory and film; has also taught at University of California—Irvine, and at universities in Canada, Germany, Argentina, Denmark, and Italy.
AWARDS, HONORS: Premio de la Critica de la Comunidad Valenciana, 1994, for Orfeo Filmada en el Campo de Batalla.
En el Umbral del Hombre, Veleta al Sur (Granada, Spain) 1964.
Los Ambitos, Veletas al Sur (Granada, Spain), 1965.
Vispera de la Destrucción, Fomento de Cultura (Valencia, Spain), 1970.
Ritual para un Artificio, Fomenta de Cultura (Valencia, Spain), 1971.
El Vuelo Excede la Ala, Inventarios Provisionales (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) 1973.
Otra Escena: Profanacion(es), Peralta (Madrid, Spain), 1980.
Proximidad del Silencio, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1981.
Secuencias, Don Quixote (Granada, Spain), 1983.
Purgatori, F. Torres (Valencia, Spain), 1983.
Tabula Rasa, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1985.
Jenaro Talens: Selecciónes, Quervo (Valencia, Spain), 1986.
Cinco Maneras de Acabar Agosto, Fundación Instituto Shakespeare (Valencia, Spain), 1986.
El Sueño del Origine y la Muerte, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1988.
Desde Esta Biografia Se Ven Pajaros: Itinerario 1964-1989, Alfar (Sevilla, Spain), 1989.
Cenizas de Sentido: Poesía (1962-1975), Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1989.
El Largo Aprendizaje: Poesía (1975-1991), Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1991.
Orfeo Filmado en el Campo de Batalla, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1994.
Viaje al Fin del Invierno, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 1997.
What Is the Color of a Princess, Studia Hispanica (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.
La Constancia del Nómada, Fundación Jorge Gullén (Valladolid, Spain), 2000.
Profundidad de Campo, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 2001.
J. Carlos Fernández Serrato, editor, Minimalia, Biblioteca Nueva (Madrid, Spain), 2001.
Hermann Hesse, Escrito en la Arena, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 1977.
Samuel Beckett, Detritus, Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 1978.
Poesía Expresionista Alemana, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1981.
Michael Nerlich, La Mirada Extranjera, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1987.
(With Juan V. Martinez Luciano) Manchas en el Silencio, Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 1990.
William Shakespeare, Noche de Reyes, o Como Queráis, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1991.
Edmond Jabès, Negrura de los Signos, Syntaxis (Canary Islands, Spain), 1991.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1992.
Wallace Stevens, Las Auroras de Otoño y Otros Poemas, Visor (Madrid, Spain), 1993.
William Shakespeare, La Tempestad, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1994.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Elegias de Duino, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1999.
Samuel Beckett, Obra Poética Completa, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 2000.
Jose de Espronceda, Obra Poética, Biblioteca Nueva (Madrid, Spain), 2001.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Canto de Calíope y Otros Poemas, Biblioteca Nueva (Madrid, Spain), 2001.
Una Perenne Aurora, Librería Anticuaria el Guadalhorce, (Málaga, Spain), 1970.
El Espacio y las Máscaras: Introducción a la Lectura de Cernuda, Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1975.
El Texto Plural: Sobre el Fragmento Romantico: Una Lectura Simbólica de Espronceda, Departamento de Lengua y Literaturas Españolas (Valencia, Spain), 1975.
Novela Picaresca y Practica de la Transgresión, Júcar (Madrid, Spain), 1975.
La Escritura como Teatrealidad: Acerca de Juan Ruiz, Santillana, Cervantesm y el Marco Narrativo en la Novela Corta Castellana del Siglo XVII, Universidad de Valencia, (Valencia, Spain), 1977.
El Cuerpo Fragmentario, F. Torres (Valencia, Spain), 1977
Elementos para una Semiotica del Texto Artístico, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1978.
Conocer Beckett y Su Obra, Dopesa (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.
Escriptura I Ideologia, E. Climent (Valencia, Spain), 1979.
El Discurso Poetico Lorquianoa: Medievalismo y Teatralidad, Universidad de Granada (Granada, Spain), 1983.
De la Publicidad como Fuente Historiografica: La Generacion Poetica Espanola de 1970, Centro de Semiotica y Teoria del Espectaculo (Valencia, Spain), 1985.
El Ojo Tachado, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1986.
El Rufian Dichoso: Pedro de Urdemalas, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1986.
(With Nicholas Spadaccini) Autobiography in Early Modern Spain, Prisma Institute (Minneapolis, MN), 1988.
Romanticism and the Writing of Modernity, Fundación Instituto Shakespeare (Valencia, Spain), 1989.
(With Nicholas Spadaccini) The Politics of Editing, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.
(With Leopoldo María Panero) Agujero Llamada Nevermore, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1992.
(With Nicholas Spadaccini) Through the Shattering Glass: Cervantes and the Self-made World, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1993.
The Branded Eye: Luis Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1993.
(With Silvia L. López and Dario Villanueva) Critical Practices in Post-Franco Spain, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.
(With Carilda Oliver Labra, Manuel Borrás, and Luis Alberto de Cuenca) Noche para Dejarla en Testamento, Episteme (Valenica, Spain), 1996.
(With Nicholas Spadaccini) Rhetoric and Politics: Baltasar Gracián and the New World Order, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.
(With Carilda Oliver Labra) Discurso de Eva: Antología General, Hiperión (Madrid, Spain), 1997.
(With César Simón) Por Aguas de memoria Ajena, Episteme (Valenica, Spain), 1996.
(With J. Aumont and Santos Zunzunegui Diez) Historia General del Cine, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1998.
(With Santos Zunzunegui Diez) Modes of Representation in Spanish Cinema, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.
(With Richard Abel and Santos Zunzunegui Diez) Historia General del Cine: Volumen III, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 1998.
(With Joan-Elies Adell and Luis Puig) La Música en el Era Digital, Milenio (Lleida, Spain), 1998.
(With Luis Puig) Las Culturas del Rock, Fundación Bancaja (Valencia, Spain), 1999.
(With Julio Herrera y Reissig and Luis Iñigo Madrigal) Las Pascuas del Tiempo, Biblioteca Nueva (Madrid, Spain) 2000.
El Sujecto Vacio, Cátedra (Madrid, Spain), 2000.
(With Alan Schneider) Film, Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 2001.
Founder and coeditor of "Eutopías" series for Hiperión (Madrid, Spain).
Talens's works have been translated into French, English, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, German, Bulgarian, Russian, and Lithuanian.
SIDELIGHTS: Jenaro Talens began an illustrious and prolific career as a scholar while an undergraduate at the University of Madrid, Spain. He was drawn to architecture and economic science, but when he continuing his education at the University of Granada, Spain, he began focusing on philology, or the study of language. In 1971, he was awarded his doctorate in Romance languages. He wrote his thesis on the early-twentieth-century Spanish poet Luis Cernuda.
Talens began teaching Spanish literature, literary theory, and communications at the University of Valencia and at Carlos III University in Madrid. Between 1983 and 2000 he split his time between Spain and the United States, where he had secured a position as visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. While at Minnesota, he and a number of colleagues, including Nicholas Spadaccini, collaborated on a series of books, which were published by the University of Minnesota Press. Though they all centered on Spanish studies, they ranged in subject matter from an examination of Spanish films (Modes of Representation in Spanish Cinema) to investigations of the seventeenth-century Spanish priest, writer, and moral philosopher Baltasar Gracián (Rhetoric and Politics: Baltasar Gracián and the New World Order).
Having gained an international reputation from his publications, Talens has been invited to teach at the university level throughout Europe and the Americas.
He has had professorships in countries that include Canada, Germany, Argentina, Denmark, and Italy. In addition to his position at the University of Minnesota, Talens taught at the University of California at Irvine. Most recently he was appointed professor of Spanish and comparative literatures at the University of Geneva, a position he holds along with a professorship of literary theory and film at the University of Valencia.
The scholar is also an accomplished poet and has published numerous volumes of poetry. His first book of poetry, En el Umbral del Hombre, appeared in 1964, before he even graduated from university. Among his various volumes of poetry are his two anthologies, Cenizas de Sentido: Poesía (1962-1975) and El Largo Aprendizaje: Poesía (1975-1991). In 1994 he was awarded the Premio de la Critica de la Comunidad Valenciana for his volume Orfeo Filmada en el Campo de Batalla.
As a translator himself, Talens has tackled the classics of Western literature, including William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Other translations include plays by Samuel Beckett, and poetry by Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Derek Walcott, and Seamus Heaney. In addition, he has translated into Spanish works from the German (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Novalis, Friedrich Hölderlin, Georg Trakl, Hermann Hesse, Bertolt Brecht, Rainer Maria Rilke), French (Edmond Jabès, Yves Bonnefoy), Italian (Alda Merini and Nuno Judice), Portuguese (Fiama Hasse Pais Brandão), and Chinese (Lu Hsün).
The theory of translating and editing is an area to which the scholar has devoted particular scrutiny. In The Politics of Editing, edited by Talens and Nicholas Spadaccini, one third of the contributors address the task of editing manuscripts, while a majority of essayists, each holding a different ideological perspective, consider the difficulties inherent in editing already published texts. Some of the topics the authors discuss include the issues involved in translation and editing; one school of Hispanists stick to the convention of opposing literary exegesis and simply attempt to present a faithful edition of original text to modern audience; another school is comprised of editors who try to reveal "anything of importance contained in the manuscripts that would not be immediately apparent on the edited page," commented Ian Michael in ModernPhilology. Talens and his coeditor, in selecting contributors, weighed issues of whether interpretive notes are distracting or enlightening, and whether one should avoid "politicizing" text with Marxist, feminist, or deconstructive approaches to translation. "As a result, far from promulgating a shared ideological bias," Michael concluded, "The Politics of Editing has something of interest for every Hispanist."
In another work on a similar subject, Talens acted as editor to study the challenging art of translation, or, as Joseph V. Ricapito wrote in World Literature Today, "the myth of translation." Talens contributed the first essay in Critical Practices in Post-Franco Spain, which, Ricapito wrote, "demonstrates how the translation art had gone through numerous phases, [and] how at the moment we are finally viewing translation as a serious effort to retain authenticity of the original." In Critical Practices the author acknowledges that creation and interpretation are just two of the critical components of a good translation, and that a third—adding a contemporary dimension to the translation—is equally important. Critical Practices was part of a series initiated by Talens and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota, with the express purpose of presenting for publication books with a challenging literary-theoretical and critical inclination. "Each edition in the series focuses on important critical issues," wrote Ricaputo, "from reception to aesthetics, frequently placed within a Marxist context." Ricapito was one of many critics who believed Talens' efforts in this regard brought Spanish intellectuals to the forefront as leaders in critical and literary theory.
Again collaborating with Spadaccini, Talens edited a book of essays on Jesuit priest and writer Baltasar Gracián, titled Rhetoric and Politics: Baltasar Gracián and the New World Order. Gracián was an advocate, and remains perhaps the best example, of conceptism ("conceptismo"), a once-popular stylistic literary form prevalent in seventeenth-century Spain. Practitioners of conceptism attempted to convey profound ideas in literature through the use of world play (puns, epigrams, etc.). The editors state in their introduction to Rhetoric and Politics, "Following general lines of thought that argue for the reciprocities of power relations . . . we will [show] that while a homogeneous subject may indeed be posited through a variety of cultural and artistic products oriented toward 'mass' consumption . . . the possibility of alternative positions cannot be excluded." Though critics argued over the notion of a "new world order," "[T]his is a must-read for anyone interested in the dual subject of Gracián and modernity," wrote Julio Baena in Modern Philology.
As the editor of Autobiography in Early Modern Spain, Talens offered an examination of texts largely from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and included a transcription and translation of the "curriculum vitae" of Cervantes. Writing for the Hispanic Review, critic Randolph D. Pope found the volume was an important contribution to "the appraisal of the genre of autobiography in Spain." Pope added, "Taken together this collection of articles is an exceedingly valuable contribution to the field still to be defined, described, and explored in Spanish letters."
Talens co-wrote another book on Spanish literature, Through the Shattering Glass, which Edward H. Friedman in Modern Philology called "a daring and provocative study that invites readers to reexamine the artistry and the ideology of Cervantes." Talens and Spadaccini's observations, Friedman claimed, "should engage, enlighten, and challenge readers. Notable in breadth and depth, the book is a model of inspired commentary and a major contribution to Hispanic criticism." J. G. Hughes, reviewing the volume for Choice, called it a valuable contribution to the field of Cervantes studies. He praised the authors for placing Cervantes "as a writer who not only subsumes previous and coincidental cultural voices but who also speaks directly to modern literary concerns." The authors derived the title of this study from "the idea of the metadiscursive nature of Cervantes' writing that is characterized by a sustained reflection on the medium that serves it as a discursive anchor." Through the Shattering Glass aims to illustrate, in part, that Cervantes' Quijote is a formidable investigation of the limits between the real and the fictitious, and the authors suggest that the real world, as demonstrated by Cervantes, is only palpable through "culturally inherited ideas," and that we are tyrannized by past and present myths.
Talens founded and is a coeditor of the "Eutopías" series for the Spanish publisher Hiperión, which includes books on critical thought with an unusual mandate. Eutopías was devised to fill the enormous political and intellectual void existing by 2000. The aim of the series is to make a significant difference in the field of contemporary knowledge by encouraging a "rebirth of critical thought" free of dogmatism and the seeming indifference of much academic writing. Eutopías, its editors write, "represents the unique opportunity to return to a discussion of social and political values, of theoretical reflection at all levels," in a world where, like it or not, "nothing is foreign to us."
Talens applies his background as a historian and theoretician to his understanding not only of literature but also to genres of popular culture, such as film and music. He has written numerous books and papers on Spanish film and film in general, and co-authored the monumental General History of Film, a twelve-volume endeavor. In Modes of Representation in Spanish Cinema, Talens and Zunzunegui offer a examination of the period between 1930 and 1970, when Spanish filmmakers developed a signature style that transcended the repressive Franco years. Talens has also written widely on the Spanish filmmaker and cinematic Surrealist Luis Buñuel. In Music in the Digital Age and Rock Cultures he examines the sociological aspects of contemporary music.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporanea, 1993, Silvia Bermúdez, pp. 183-192.
Choice, May, 1993, J. G. Hughes, review of Through the Shattering Glass, p. 1471.
Hispanic Review, spring, 1990, Randolph D. Pope, review of Autobiography in Early Modern Spain, pp. 249-251; autumn, 1995, Eduardo Urbina, review of Through the Shattering Glass, pp. 619-621.
Modern Philology, May, 1995, Ian Michael, review of The Politics of Editing, pp. 488-492; November, 1995, Edward H. Friedman, review of Through the Shattering Glass, pp. 253-265; August, 2000, Julio Baena, review of Rhetoric and Politics: Baltasar Gracián and the New World Order, p. 52.
World Literature Today, winter, 1996, Joseph V. Recapito, review of Critical Practices in Post-Franco Spain, p. 168.
Cátedra,http://www.catedra.com/ (July 1, 2002).
Eutopías,http://www.uv.es/ (July 1, 2002).
Otrocampo,http://www.otrocampo.com/ (July 1, 2002).
University of Geneva,http://www.unige.ch/ (March 4, 2002).*