By Vicent Andrés Estellés
This feature of the verse of Valencian poet Vicent Andres Estelles (1924-1993) is observed via a translation into English from the unique Catalan. The structure of an leading edge discussion with classical authors — a cornerstone of Estellesian expression — constitutes an creative invocation and parodic observation at the output and ethos of the Latin poets Horace, Ovid, Virgil and Catullus, the medieval patriarch of Valencian letters Ausiàs March and the Renaissance Castilian poet, Garcilaso de l. a. Vega. For Estellés, Octavian Rome presents a parallel to the Franco dictatorship and the historic framework surrounding those writers offers the neophyte a chance for ideological denunciation, inventive wit and lyrical grace in addition to righteous anger on the oppressive pettiness of lifestyles less than autocracy. The translators have tried to deliver to an Anglophone readership the wealth of feat of this author who, regardless of the severity of fascist repression, sang and celebrated the adventure of his personal group via its personal oppressed language.
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Extra info for After the Classics: A translation into English of the selected verse of Vicent Andrés Estellés
Estellés, Obra completa, II (Valencia: 3 i 4, 1974), p. 308. 22. ’ The InÂ�ternational Journal of Psychoanalysis, vol. 27, 1946, pp. 99–110. 29 Horacianes: after Horace The thematic structure of this collection composed between 1963 and 1970 develops along the axis of an imagined projection of the Battle of Valencia onto the backdrop of Augustan Rome. And the parallels are both rich and intriguing. Octavian’s durable regime was based precisely on those same values of authority, monogamy, subservience, duty, intolerance and virtue which were part and parcel of the Generalísimo’s crusade and its dictatorial imposition.
Herein, true democratic ideals were to make themselves felt for the first time in the contemporary history of the state as is evinced, in our particular area of interest, by the recognition of national difference crystallised by the promulgation of a Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia in 1932 recognising, with the re-establishment of its medieval parliament – the Generalitat –, its laws, language and institutions. A similar constitution for Galicia and Eukadi was about to be issued (with the same proposal for Valencia debated) when this and other reformist measures were interrupted by General Franco’s rebellion, leading to the outbreak of Civil War in 1936.
Significantly, this was also the date of the proposal of the Pla Cerdà for the redevelopment of Barcelona. The events further underline the link between linguistic recovery and commercial advancement; and this project in town planning – which took as its basis the ultra-modern grid system of New York – transformed the Catalan capital from a walled city, more in keeping with the middle ages, into a completely up-to-date international business hub. By the end of the century all these elements of national reconstruction had come to a head under the hegemony of the autochthonous bourgeosie conquérante.
After the Classics: A translation into English of the selected verse of Vicent Andrés Estellés by Vicent Andrés Estellés