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Salvador Espriu a l’Europa eslava: compromís cívic i projecció intercultural [Salvador Espriu and Slavic-speaking Europe: civil engagement and intercultural projection]

Keywords: Espriu , postwar Catalan poetry , politically engaged literature , Communist regimes , poetry translation , Soviet Union , Russia , Poland , Czechoslovakia

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Abstract:

Early versions of some of Salvador Espriu’s works in Russian, Polish and Czech were published in the 1970s, a period in which the figure of Espriu as a politically engaged poet was still current in Catalonia, due to the patriotic interpretation of "La pell de brau" [The Bull’s Skin] (1960). In this essay the situation in Catalonia during the last years of Franco’s rule is contrasted with that of the Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. By illustrating the attitude of several intellectuals towards the dictatorial power we wish to offer ways of understanding Espriu’s reception in those countries. Thus, we aim to explain the apparent contradiction between two interpretive approaches: on the one hand, an ideology loyal to the government, which saw Espriu as a symbol of the anti-Franco resistance; and a rather anti-Communist attitude on the other, which certain cultivated groups could identify with, as opposed to the Soviet-Marxist-oriented systems. Moreover, we comment some of the translated works and discuss several strategies for editorial planning. Finally, we propose a short but representative anthology of Espriu’s "civic" poetry in all the three mentioned languages, accompanied by the original poems.

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