I el primer que fa es desfer-se progressivament dels coloms. Entre les motivacions que porten a escriure, hi ha la de ser admirats i, per tant, estimats. Fins i tot quan no escriuen per ser estimats, tots els autors escriuen per ser llegits. Oh corba de periples! Poques vegades, per exemple, un participi rima amb un participi una, per confirmar la regla: despintades amb esventrades al poema LXX. Es pot veure llegint-ne un, que proposo que sigui el XVII.
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As is the case with the works of all the writers of her generation, the novels of Rodoreda show the effects of the Spanish Civil War - a war that broke lives, loves, and families, and that led to uprooting in the form of exile for many , profound unhappiness, and destruction. Often, nonetheless, her writing allows us to catch a glimpse of hope at the end in such symbolic elements as flowers and jewels. Her work is also a reflection on the female condition and love.
The experience of exile stretches the limits of literary realism, which are in no way sufficient for reading Rodoreda or sharing the memory of the world from which her books and characters speak. Born together with the cinema, as she liked to say to so many of her contemporaries Pere Quart , Rafael Alberti , Rodoreda was a self-taught writer whose literary education was obtained through popular and patriotic verse, the emblematic works of Verdaguer and Ruyra , the literature of book-stalls, and later on, through journalism, by means of which she would come to know the Catalan literary elites of the nineteen-thirties.
Nonetheless, it was during the Spanish Civil War Aloma, her first valuable novel, was completed in , and above all after the experience of the Second World War and the exile, that she succeeded in giving form to her project, which can be considered as one of the most ambitious in the Catalan literature of the twentieth century and as part of the cultural heritage of contemporary Europe.
It is the result of experience and experiment, or in other words, the result of fragmentation. It was an intense cultural debate that would involve the various layers of Catalan society and that in the years to come would assume a new form both along the pathways that would lead to self-government and through the struggles for social transformation: the most radical ones, those of the popular classes anarchism, the formation of cultural circles or atheneums, the emergence of self-taught people and those aiming at the modernisation of the mass media society newspapers, journals, radio, cinema, the Dictionary by Fabra, novels, publishing-houses, the graphic arts, and photography.
The life and works of Rodoreda are closely linked to cultural and political events. She went to school for only three years between and , and in that time attended two different institutions. One year later, in , a boy was born from this union. Living the life of a married woman awoke in the young mother an increasing desire to be independent, to write, to exercise an occupation. She wrote verse, a comic play of which no trace remains, and a novel.
Meanwhile, the Second Republic was proclaimed. And as if she were transported on its very own impulse of liberty like Aloma, who goes down from Sant Gervasi to the Rambla, where she will see what is new in the city and will buy C.
Am I a Decent Woman? The girl from Sant Gervasi had taken a decisive step. The publication of this book was accompanied by a striking physical transformation, and these two factors make of the young Rodoreda one of the most interesting types of Catalan woman of the nineteen-thirties: upright, daring, unrestrained. She herself began to make her clothes in accordance with the tendencies popularised in magazines and the cinema. She also started to make her mark with contributions to newspapers.
It was a generation that had a great deal to do when the war or, as Rodoreda always used to say, the revolution, began. Between and she wrote political articles for newspapers.
She also wrote for the catalanist journal Clarisme, which supported the new orthographical and grammatical norms of Pompeu Fabra and was in favour of a thorough debate on the limits of self-government. In that same journal she published a series of very interesting interviews with the literati of the time. She also published short stories in other acknowledged standard-bearers of Catalan-language press: La Revista, La Veu de Catalunya, Mirador. In her fourth novel, Crim Crime made its appearance.
The war overturned everything. And it awakes in Rodoreda her true narrative self, which appears for the first time in Aloma. This is a novel inspired by her own life, and one that the author would subject to a radical re-writing thirty years later on. The version that we know today represents an exhaustive pruning of details and characters of the period: the doll created after the free-thinking and scandalous manner of the black singer and dancer Josephine Baker, the witty conversations of the writer who so resembles Trabal and which fascinate Aloma.
Through the self-censoring of her youth the author seems to grasp that the pre-war period contained, as well as the seed of revolution, the irreducible spark of the condemnation of personal liberty and of the destruction of free morality that the case of Rodoreda herself, as a woman, clearly exemplifies as in the censure that she had to endure for her extra-marital love affair with Armand Obiols.
Very rarely is a writer so willing to mutilate the written and created memory the first Aloma had certain virtues that the author annihilated in order to rescue poignancy. In France she lived in Bordeaux, Limoges, and Paris, either writing short stories in the time that she had free between making one shirt and another she earned a living for quite some time as a seamstress , creating poetry to show it to Carner and eventually to win the Floral Games in exile she became Mestre en Gai Saber in in Montevideo, which means that she had won three prizes in the Floral Games , or painting when a strange paralysis of her arm prevented her from writing.
Armand Obiols was often her sole reader in those years in which, as she herself would say long afterwards to Montserrat Roig , "Writing in Catalan in a foreign country is like wanting flowers to bloom at the North Pole".
In her short stories, and afterwards in her later works - Viatges i flors Travels and Flowers , Quanta, quanta guerra Rodoreda uses the first person, and monologues in particular, a great deal, but it is perhaps in the short stories that this confessional and discursive formula is more profuse, as the unrestrainable expression of these cast-aside characters who dare to speak.
From where do the characters speak? From their home country? From where the author lends them a voice: Bordeaux, Paris, Geneva? It was a literary option that allowed her to use exile as a territory of reconstruction: the reconstruction of the narrative memory and of the reading public.
In the seventies, and after the death of Obiols, she returned once and for all to Catalonia and began on the rescue of her imagination from beyond the frontiers of literary genres. This is the second great period in her creativity, one that culminates in the extraordinary La mort i la primavera. If Rodoreda had made in the nineteen-fifties a choice that in one way or another can be considered realistic, in the nineteen-eighties she opted for the responsibility that return, as a territory on the other side of the coin of exile, required of her if she wanted to continue to make use of her creative freedom.
This was a kind of relationship with her own work that allows us to think of other contemporary literary projects such as that of the Russian writer Nina Berberova , of the Italian Italo Calvino , or of the Ukrainian-Brazilian Clarice Lispector , both in what they have in common - the transit through literary genres and their transformation - and in what separates them or what they resolve in different ways - the meaning given to exile and its literary expression, or interior exile.
"Aloma", de Mercè Rodoreda
A dalt de tot, entre rodones i cargols de ferro despintat, mig decantada i coberta de rovell, es veia una data: Llegia Llull en havent sopat. Ell no jugava mai. Llegia: Les condicions totes que Evast desitjava en sa muller, eren en Aloma, i aquells qui cercaven muller per a Evast segons sa voluntat, foren certificats de les bones costumes de Aloma. Si em voleu fer content, digueu-li aquest nom. Els papers es van tornar cendra i Aloma va plorar tota la nit.
ALOMA De Mercè Rodoreda 1−. Resum
A dalt de tot, entre rodones i cargols de ferro despintat, mig decantada i coberta de rovell, es veia una data: Llegia Llull en havent sopat. Ell no jugava mai. Llegia: Les condicions totes que Evast desitjava en sa muller eren en Aloma, i aquells qui cercaven muller per a Evast segons sa voluntat, foren certificats de les bones costumes de Aloma. Llibre I, cap.