Pere Gimferrer - Every poem has a single theme: How the word says something else. The sparrow hawk lives blind and serene In the murk of the final words. I walked on these streets in the years When my youth was a dead she-wolf, But they were unreal, not drawn out Yet, or drawn out and entombed.


Pere Gimferrer, Fortuny, Trans. by Adrian Nathan West, Verba Mundi Books, 2016.

'[Pere Gimferrer] is a great poet and also knows everything.'- Roberto Bolaño

Scion of an artistic dynasty, inventor, photographer, and costumier of genius, Mariano Fortuny was a touchstone of the Belle Époque: he built stages for Wagner, designed dresses for Sarah Bernhardt, and was a crucial inspiration for Proust's philosophy of memory. The list of his illustrious acquaintances ranges from D'Annunzio to Chaplin, from Caruso to Isadora Duncan, and in this, the first novel by Spain's Pere Gimferrer to be translated into English, they gather like actors on a stage, in Venetian palaces, in Parisian apartments, and in the village squares of the small towns of Catalonia, forming an historical tableau of the vigor and dissipation of Europe's artistic demimonde from the end of the Third Republic to the outbreak of the second World War.
Employing the unmatched lyrical inventiveness and range that have made him recognized as Spain's most distinguished poet, Gimferrer has composed a paean to vanished artistic grandeur, suggesting the fragility of the line dividing the real from the imagined: Whatever the eye can see dissolves into a tapestry of prose woven of light and shadow. Proust's description of Fortuny's fabrics applies equally to Gimferrer's words: 'faithfully antique but markedly original, [they] brought before the eye like a stage décor, and with an even greater evocative power since the décor was left to the imagination, a Venice saturated with oriental splendor . . .'

A rather strange book by a rather strange Catalan writer has just been published in English by Godine in Adrian Nathan West’s translation. The book is Fortuny, and it is the closest thing to a novel Pere Gimferrer has written, despite publishing some 50 books.
I emailed Nate eight questions on this strange book and its strange writer, who, according to one of his friends “writes like Proust.” We talked about just who Fortuny was, why (and how) to write a book novel him, and what this book contributes to American letters at the moment.
Nate previously wrote about Michel Houellebecq in The Quarterly Conversation, and we’ll be publishing a translation of his from a novel by the experimental Spanish author Germán Sierra in the next issue.
Scott Esposito: Pere Gimferrer is the author of some 50 titles. So why did you want to translate this one?
Adrian Nathan West: Years ago, my college French professor, who is still a good friend, said, “There’s a Catalan who writes like Proust.” I didn’t catch Gimferrer’s name at the time, because this person is constantly making recommendations and foisting books off on me, but what he said stuck in my head, and a few years later, I asked him about it again. At the time, I knew nothing of Gimferrer’s work, and I think the Catalan original was out of print, because I had to order a used copy that was old and fairly expensive. I thought the book was marvelous: it’s very challenging, because his Catalan is almost its own language, full of archaisms, unusual variants, and words that are just shy of inexistent, but I enjoy that sort of thing (I only hope others do too, since I’ve tried to mirror that in the translation). This book is special among Gimferrer’s work in that it’s the closest thing to a novel proper, and there is little like it in English: maybe Ruskin, maybe Virginia Woolf in The Waves, but Ruskin is bombastic and Woolf’s sensuality has a warmth and psychological depth that are intentionally absent in Fortuny. I translated the first chapter in early 2013 and was fortunate enough that an editor I showed it to ended up at Godine and wanted to do the book. In the meantime, I did publish a book of his poetry, Alma Venus, with Antilever, but Fortuny was my introduction to his work.
SE: Looking around, the names I see in conjunction with Gimferrer are names like Proust, Claude Simon, Luis de Góngora. Could you give some sense of this author’s context?
ANW: There’s an essay by Bolaño where he talks about winning the Rómulo Gallegos Prize and he calls Gimferrer to ask him where the Venezuelan author had lived in Barcelona, because Gimferrer “knows everything and has read everything.” Having just met him the other day, I can confirm that he gives such an impression, though I did manage to find two writers he didn’t know—Cristina Campo and Harold Nicolson, two favorites of mine. He reads in seven or eight languages and has written in four, and could talk for hours about Ariosto, Dickinson, or Bolaño. If you are looking for direct influences, the writer whose impress I see most clearly in his work is Góngora, particularly in regards to this trick of delayed signification, where discreet and at times seemingly contradictory sensory details accumulate vertiginously and the reader struggles to reconcile them into a concrete image. He’s also written abundantly on film, and his narrative work is deeply cinematic, with episodes framed in the manner of shots married by match cuts and so on. He himself has said that the Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship perverted the course of Spanish literature, particularly with regards to the innovations of modernism, and that he has tried, in a sense, to overcome that breach and to write, not as though the war hadn’t occurred, but as though Spain had been able to follow the kind of formal evolution undergone by poetry in, say, England or France. Of course, he’s Catalan as well, and most of his poetry is in Catalan, so there you are dealing with a separate culture and a separate set of influences: the chivalric novel Tirant lo Blanch, which is one of the great masterpieces of Western literature, and the Valencian poet Ausiàs March, and many other writers who haven’t made it into English.
SE: So the title character of this book, Fortuny, was a real person, quite a cultural force all throughout Europe up until the Second World War. He built stages for Wagner, designed gowns for Condé Nast, was admired by Proust. As you were poring over this text as its translator, what sorts of insights did you get into the question of why write a book based on this individual, and to do it in the way Gimferrer has chosen to?
ANW: To start with, we have to distinguish between the two Fortunys, father and son. Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874) was a painter born in Reus, in Catalonia. Several of the book’s chapters, most notably the first, are in essence prose poems devoted to his paintings, and his grandfather, who sculpted figures in wax, makes a cameo as well. Certainly, there is a desire to bring attention to this key figure of Catalan culture, whom Gimferrer has described in a lecture as one of the first European modernists, despite certain fusty aspects of his style. Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo is a different case: here you have a bridge from Wagner to Proust to Orson Welles, a person who excelled in numerous arts and exemplified a special kind of creative dynamism. Gimferrer has said he’d ruminated on the idea of doing a novel for some time, that he had a store of images and threads of plot, and that on a visit to Venice in the early 1980s, he suddenly saw how the dynasty formed by the Fortuny and Madrazo families was the keystone for a story he wished to tell about the artistic spirit from the Belle Époque to the Second World War.
SE This book is composed of many, many little chunks of a page or two, each centering around a different individual or scenario, and many of them deal with great European artists that will be familiar to readers. It’s a little like a pointillist novel, a little of the French New Novel. How radical was it to write a book like this in 1983, when Gimferrer first published it, and what do you think it contributes to Anglo letters now in translation?
ANW: Well, it is very different from anything that was being done in Spanish or Catalan at the time. Of what you might call “experimental” fiction, you had the Latin American writers of the first and second boom, and then in Spain there were figures like Ferlioso, and in Catalan, Pere Calders, Terenci Moix, or Quim Monzó. These are all important writers, but contemporary and a bit edgy, of an extremely different tenor from Pere Gimferrer. On the one hand, Fortuny is formally unusual, but thematically, it is in a kind of time capsule. Whereas something like The Death of Virgil takes a theme from antiquity and imbues it with great vitality, Gimferrer intentionally shows the figures of Fortuny as though dead and covered in dust. This is in part serious and elegiac, and in part an homage to the style of Fortuny y Marsal, whose vivacious brushwork is not devoid of a measure of kitsch. The book had a deep impact at the time of its publication, and was widely hailed as a masterpiece. For an English-speaking reader now, it is, I believe, the best introduction to the themes and style of someone who occupies a position of unquestioned authority in Spanish and Catalan letters; it is an impressionistic history of one of the richest periods of Western arts and letters; and it vindicates a kind of sober, erudite elegance that is in danger of getting lost in English letters amid the fervor for authenticity, in the sense that Lionel Trilling employs the term.
SE: Could you expand on what you mean, about vindicating a kind of elegance that is being lost amid a fervor for authenticity?
ANW: Lionel Trilling makes a distinction between sincerity, which implies a consonance between inner and outer and is inseparable from the moral relation of its possessor to the broader world, and authenticity, which he calls “the unmediated exhibition of the self.” For me, this is important to understanding a great deal about modern art and literature as well as the way various ethical and political discourses are or are not accorded legitimacy. At their best, artists concerned with authenticity rend the fabric of hypocrisy, stress the claims to dignity of people excluded from dominant discourses, and reveal things that cry out to be seen, but are more comfortably ignored. But anything that someone does well, someone else will do badly, and there will always be readers who can’t tell the one from the other. To pick an example of something that arcs more toward authenticity, Marie Calloway’s What Purpose Did I Serve in Your Life was timely and heartbreaking and a very laudable book; but alt-lit at its worst betrays a sense that as long as there’s enough violence, drugs, weird sex, and feelings of exclusion, then there’s no need for deliberation, good sentences, or literary culture. Particularly in America, where the stress on authenticity dovetails at times with a widely credited notion that craft means breaking down complicated clauses and cutting adjectives and adverbs, you end up with a huge number of books so uniform as to lead one to despair. There is room for exuberance and risk, for effort and for artifice, and particularly now, when looking things up is easier than ever, there’s no crime in an author’s asking a bit of legwork of the reader.
SE: And to bring it back to Gimferrer, what would you say is Fortuny’s contribution to this authenticity/sincerity (and maybe also craft) issue that you see in American lit?
ANW: It’s an unusual book in that there is an utter absence of psychology, whether with regard to the author himself, who has no voice, or to the characters, whom we see but never hear. From Henry James hitting on the theme of the Aspern papers to D’Annunzio, who sees Eleonora Duse on stage and composes a sonnet in her honor, they are receptacles of very dense impressions and recollections, but their feelings are hidden from us. In this way, the moral as such, and along with it the moral dilemmas that define this sincerity/authenticity dichotomy, are expelled in favor of a vision that may be pre- or post-moral but is in any case thoroughly impressionistic. As regards craft, the prose is immensely polished and lush, but not at all laborious, and is filled with poetic effects which I have tried to reproduce in my version.
SE: Of the many fragments in Fortuny, which are your favorites?
ANW: At the level of diction, I think the first chapter, “The Man in the Turban,” is just short of miraculous. It’s so bewitching, even if you have no idea what’s going on (which was my case when I first read it). It’s a description of several paintings by Mariano Fortuny y Marsal: of an odalisque, of a pair of Arabs shoeing a mule, of a battle in Tétouan, and two self-portraits, and of the interior of the Fortuny palace. Gimferrer has stressed many times that there is no need for the reader to chase down every reference, that the important thing is a kind of poetic vigor, but for those so inclined, the book is a treasure chest: every detail in it is based on some kind of real event or drawn from a film, painting, photograph, or play; my editor at Godine and I discussed illustrating the book with some of them, but for various reasons, that fell through. “Visions” is a lovely re-imagining of Proust’s conception of the character Albertine while staring at a Fortuny gown. I also love the moment in “Table Talk” when Fortuny sees himself portrayed in a painting by his father and utters the words, “It’s me,” which I think is the only instance of direct speech in the book.
SE: Other than the anarchisms, etc, that you mentioned at the top of this interview, were there any particular translation challenges to this book?
ANW: It was very difficult and very slow-going, much more so than anything I’ve worked on thus far. The cast of characters is huge, and for my own understanding of the book, I needed to have a sense of who everyone was. The same is true of the artworks, hidden citations, and so on in the text. When Henry James has a vision of a man in an asylum with “greenish skin,” in a sheet of “coarse” linen, this is a quote from William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience, and the translation needed to reflect that; this is one of numerous similar instances. There are myriad poetic effects that needed to be imitated: thus “la nit californiana és àvida, gruixuda, obsedida i eixuta” became “the California night is restive, firm, obsessive, and burned.” And in the Valentino chapter, which is full of alliterated letter Vs, I read almost the whole V section of the OED before settling on the word “vauntmure,” which, believe it or not, doesn’t form part of my everyday vocabulary. - Scott Esposito

Pere Gimferrer, Alma Venus Trans. by Adrian West. Bilingual edition. Antilever Press, 2014.

The poetry of Spanish and Catalan writer Pere Gimferrer now appears in book form for the first time in English, translated by Adrian West. ALMA VENUS is a long unified poem blending the individual and the collective, the past and the present, and far-flung allusions to literature, film, and painting. Voices ranging from classical Latin poetry to those of contemporary critics like Antonio Negri and Noam Chomsky are enlisted in service of a vision of the subversive power of love in capitalist society. ALMA VENUS expands on themes explored in the author's previous work, Rapsodia, which was selected as the best book of poetry of 2011 by ABC and El Mundo. In its treatment of present-day social and political circumstances, the breadth of its cultural field of reference, and the intensity of its vision, this is a poetry as timeless as it is timely, one that for English-speaking readers will bear affinities with works of great lyricism and historical consciousness like Geoffrey Hill's The Triumph of Love. In the words of the translator, "Gimferrer vindicates the dialectic nature of poetry, the inalienability of its pedigree, and its freedom and duty to intervene in the historical moment of which it forms a part."

Alma Venus Translator's Note
Adrian West

Years ago, in a conversation about what he considered to be the dispiriting state of Spanish letters, a friend and former professor mentioned a short novel by a Catalan who wrote like Proust. Later, when I had begun to read Catalan, I asked after the book, Fortuny by Pere Gimferrer. The prose was reminiscent less of Proust than Góngora, though it is true that, with the exception of Proust, no other writer of the twentieth (and now twenty-first) century has brought such precision and attentiveness to the description of the play of light and shadow. I published a short selection from Fortuny in January of 2013 and began work on the present text six months later. Gimferrer’s writings are demanding, for the reader and particularly the translator; apart from employing a broad and refined vocabulary, they depend for effect on a system of multiple meanings and textual echoes that span not only the whole of Spanish language literature, but also references to contemporary history, art, music, film, and design. But at a time when a degree of colloquialism (representing less the quest for an authentic voice than a relinquishment of the ideal of Bildung) has reduced so much modern verse to an ineffectual monotony of unworked self-expression, Gimferrer vindicates the dialectic nature of poetry, the inalienability of its pedigree, and its freedom and duty to intervene in the historical moment of which it forms a part.

With the antipodal lights of the air,
The batting of darkness's eyes;
The sun resides amidst culverts:
The sun, of grimacing laughter,
The sun, of sulphurous sheets,
The bazaar of the redheaded clouds
By winter's wicker hands sown.
The sky, in decapitated light,
Ignites, proclaiming red syllables;
Life is not a poem about landscapes,
It is the cobra of fire of death,
The darkness's certified post.
But we live bereft of the scalpel
That lances the schwingmoor: imago mundi
In the instant, not its succession,
But hanged from the ignited flint,
On the concave cuirass of air.
Che morte tanta n'avesse disfatta
We never believe it: the villa
With the phosphorescent loggia
Is only a glimmer in our eyes,
Like the light of the wind in Compostela,
Like the garden of gargoyles and spirits,
Like the white-horned sky's disarray
In the night of ferruginous lime;
Let us pass through the burnt air to heaven,
Let us pass through yesterday's mist;
The day has reaped its tarantulas
Engulfed by the light's condescension:
Drawn up in themselves, the storm clouds
Prolong not, but gather the air,
Like life in a coffer of snowflakes,
As in the inertness of years;
We feel the wind in our groin,
A friend's voice echoed back in carved stone,
The blind cavalcade of Tiresias.
Unreal City, but city of escutcheons:
Escutcheons of pomp borne aloft,
Hothouse in eyeless combustion.
Thus the ice foresaw the bonfire, wavering:
Thus death stalked the springtime of life.Alma Venus, 1.I

“the hand of a white washer”
With a rapid-fire succession of metaphors, similes and allusions, Alma Venus presents itself with descriptive force and sustained energy. Adrian West’s translation is razor sharp, passionate, courageous, and resourceful. This is not poetry for the timid, nor is it poetry for despisers of dictionaries. Gimferrer is historical, epic, didactic, ironic, visionary, and above all, never alone. Anthologizing words, ideas, memories and achievements of representative poets and artists from across the western tradition Gimferrer intermingles life and death. In the process, he finds his own voice. What is a poem if not the poet’s own biography? And what is a poet’s biography if not the poet’s own reading history?
They are in the past and today I cross them,
In a sheet draped, chasing myself.
Everything is a pact of irreality:
The intermingling of life and death means that nothing is absolutely in one world or another. The poet himself resides between light and shade, sun and shadow, in the poem itself.
Real, above all, in the poem…
I came from living in the poem
So that thus, the poem would live in me.
Reality, a major theme throughout Gimferrer’s work, is not only about perception, language and history, but more specifically about living amongst shadows and shades.
How the black-mouthed sun devours us:
We have lived by clinging to shadows.
This reappearing trope assures us that Gimferrer’s pathway through poetry is inter-personal. When he writes “They are in the past and today I cross them”, “them” refers to the members of his library. “We” refers to us poets and readers in the realm of the living. Gimferrer is a fraternity of atemporal voices, an anthology of inner-space reunion with time past.
Moreover, Gimferrer paints with fire-eating hands. “The fire-eaters of the stolen word, / Surrounded by the image-crafting wind.” Gimferrer’s school, founded by Don Quixote himself, understands its capacity for illusion, that is, for delusional perception, and accepts this consciously. “I, who projected myself, am projection; / design for Living, poetizing.”
Venus is a song sung by many voices, containing multiple philosophies, principles, projections, memories, allusions.
The poem, a mosaic of voices:
All poems are a single voice
That murmurs words wearing makeup,
the smeared eyeshadow in the voiceless light,
the wave that arriving departs.
The philosophical foundations of Gimferrer’s eccentric poetics are the combined force of the ages. Gimferrer indeed is a man of the ages.
Octavio Paz dedicated his poem “La Arboleda” (“The Grove”) to Gimferrer. In this poem the late Nobel Laureate describes the grove (which I assume to refer to Gimferrer’s poetry) as “a web of fronds and branches [with] flaming spaces / and, fallen into these meshes, -restless, / breathing- / is something violent and resplendent, / an animal swift and wrathful.” There is, in Gimferrer’s style, an innovative fury, a thought-provoking violence, and a very personal social conscience. Such a social conscience is the honest revelation of the prison-house of culture itself.
Significantly, throughout Alma Venus, Gimferrer presents himself as both reader and writer throughout Alma Venus, variously recounting his personal history alongside his reading history, reflecting himself vicariously through authors and artists and cultural productions. With Gimferrer, the writer is the reader. Gimferrer’s memories are our memories. Gimferrer’s readers are part of the pact, participating in a Quixotic visionary reading of western poetry along with the author. “All poems are one”, writes Gimferrer. Suddenly we too, having become part of the text, feel used. It was, after all, the author who made this pact on his own, when he set out to write such a poem. While Gimferrer periodically speaks from the perspective of we and our (i.e “Our Homer”), generally, he avoids pronouns altogether. For example, when Gimferrer talks about whitewashing the walls he writes.
In this last stage, no longer the hand
Breathes in the voices of pigment,
In the breath of the walls as it whispers:
No more is it the hand of the resuscitated,
but rather the hand of a whitewasher.
This new voice that emerges is the voice of the hand of a whitewasher. It has become useless to talk about he or she or it. The meaning of identity has been made empty and useless. The artist’s hands themselves have become subject and object of their own discourse. Above all, there is a connection between the poet’s hands and the walls themselves.
There is a time when wall and hand are
A lone thing, articulated night…
The hand gropes in search of the wall
In each of the cracks’ respiration…
For Gimferrer darkness and death allude to the realm of the shades, the underworld, visited by all the epic masters of poetry, including Homer, Virgil and Dante. It is in this realm, that all the words and languages that have ever been spoken remain forever stored. Interweaving the words of the fallen and departed, the poet interweaves death with life, restoring the dead to life, bridging the two worlds, while passing through the underworld of spirits. “Let us pass through yesterday’s mist”, writes Gimferrer, implying passing backwards in time.
With the harvest of words dead
Because the poem petrified them.
I am the harvester of shadow.
One who takes the time to read Gimferrer’s book will find that while the poet lives and breathes shadows and shades, his reflections on the originality and freshness of language remain permeated by a dark scepticism.
The deadly cavalcade of memories,
the pink trophy table of non-being.
Each word, bereft of meaning,
is only the clamour of secondaries,
the hoarse caw of scrap-dealers,
An exchange of falsifications
Thus, according to Gimferrer, it would appear that we are none other than reflections of our cultural-personal histories, the poem itself being a “reflection of a reflection.” Gimferrer’s poem reveals his private and public tradition, his legacy in the western whirlwind. “The mask of my yesterday looks at me.” He is a mirror of his yesterday’s perceptions, and of all who contributed to the cultural creation of his illusory world. That said, there is much more to Gimferrer. Alma Venus cuts across the past with heroic detail, unassailable passion, presenting an ode to the memory of culture, society, Europe, the canon, the death of the poet. Gimferrer is a modernist magician, revealing a multiplicity of voices and the extraordinary gifts of scholarship, lyricism and wit. Ultimately, while Gimferrer presents life as a mirror of his complex vision of poetry itself, for all its contradictions, pessimism, and far-reaching allusions, such a vision harbours radiant light.
Death ahead, for poetry:
Manifestly leads to the prow the eyes of living.
Alma Venus: love, revolution.
 David Swartz

From Alma Venus, First Book
Every poem has a single theme:
How the word says something else.
The sparrow hawk lives blind and serene
In the murk of the final words.
I walked on these streets in the years
When my youth was a dead she-wolf,
But they were unreal, not drawn out
Yet, or drawn out and entombed.

They watched me with painted eyes
Or from photos incandescent
Those streets today blurry, clear,
At the same time narrow and precise:
They are in the past and today I cross them,
In a sheet draped, chasing myself.
Everything is a pact of irreality:
The serenade of the rosebush of time.
I will see myself unfolded, on turning this corner
As in the Rinascente department store
One afternoon in Turin made of plaster
In the dark grisaille of the porticoes.
(Then I remembered it was carnival,
Seeing lights in the February snow.)
Hunters of the hunter,
We crouch, loggia to loggia, corner
To corner, mercury zigzag
That slips through my hands, my years.
Like a gargoyle in the Piazza Solferino,
The mask of my yesterday looks at me.
To have reached the end of the road:
The moon could linger in the end.
The poem, a mosaic of voices:
All poems are a single voice
That murmurs words wearing makeup,
The smeared eyeshadow in the voiceless light,
The wave that arriving departs.
The predella of Urbino is the shuttering
Word of Paolo Uccello:
Shadows of quicksilver, incensing light
In the muzzle of air in flames.
But the predella is not a rampart;
The heirloom’s absolute word,
The waxen gloss of clarity.
All that pisses me off!
Jean Genet
Urganda the unknown? Not at all:
In a separate claim, Palma Arena,
Packages stuffed with brass and straw
And the larceny that shines in the night;
Rag-and-bone men the color of lead
And a pansy with pupils of blue.
The marauders of light
Wed not the figurines,
With the display window papered over.
The country of foam’s terracotta
Sees not the gold braids of sawdust,
The saturning nocturne of werewolves,
The rabble of scoundrels,
The scramble of the blue of the sky.
Joan Miró lived by this sea:
That is why we watch our words,
So as not to make peace with paper money,
With the veterinary of chemists and fodder.
Death in a Tyrolese hat
In the hills the color of hay,
Death with his vagabond eyes,
Will discover the asps of the day,
The Cleopatra in the suburb of tango
Touched with the picture hat with the plumage of toucan.
Our Homer will be Santos Discépolo
(Or perhaps he will be our Juvenal?).
The landscape has a date of expiry:
A suspension, between two wars,
A vacated instant of basil,
As well as discolored thyme,
Full sunlight with an odor of cyanide.
Flatland distant, instance annoying. 
More tiresome than fatal: landscapes
For a panoply of scrapyards.
The deadly cavalade of memories,
The pink trophy table of non-being.
Each word, bereft of meaning,
Is only the clamor of secondaries,
The hoarse caw of scrap-dealers,
An exchange of falsifications:
The rube and the ha, the gullible’s fair,
Of card-sharps and number-runners, nothing more.
Death of Blas de Otero in the summer sun:
The dignity of the word on foot.
Yes, the rest is excess. The bowspirit pushes on,
Death ahead, for poetry:
Manifestly leads to the prow the eyes of living.
Alma Venus: love, revolution.

Pere Gimferrer: The Man in the Turban

Pere Gimferrer (b. Barcelona, 1945) is the author of numerous books of poetry, criticism, and fiction, both in Spanish and in Catalan. His body of work has been awarded the National Prize of Spanish Letters (1998), the Reina Sofia Prize for Iberoamerican Poetry (2000), and the Octavio Paz International Poetry and Essay Prize (2006). His writing is notable for its visual power, the range of its references, and its extraordinary lexical refinement, as well as its profound concern with the role of the artist in his engagement with his forebears and the historical responsibility of the intellectual. - See more at:


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