Juan Ramon en su reino / Unidad (Cuaderno de Textos) de Zenobia y Juan Ramon (Y estudios juanramonianos) / Moguer (Poesia y prosa)

Juan Ramon en su reino / Unidad (Cuaderno de Textos) de Zenobia y Juan Ramon (Y estudios juanramonianos) / Moguer (Poesia y prosa) / La ardilla y la rosa…

Wilcox, John C

Francisco Garfias, Juan Ramon en su reino. Huelva: E. de la Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1995. 187 pp. Unidad (Cuaderno de Textos) de Zenobia g Juan Ramon (Y estudios juanramonianos). Ed. Carmen Hernandez-Pinzon Moreno. Huelva: Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1996. 97 pp. Juan Ramon Jimenez, Moguer (Poesia y prosa). 4th ed. Huelva: E. de la Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1996. 214 pp. Ernestina de Champourcin, La ardilla y la rosa (Juan Ramon Jimenez en mi memoria). 2nd enlgd. ed. Huelva: E. de la Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1997. 193 pp. Exposicion internacional de arte correo “Homenqie a Juan Ramon Jimenez”/Mail Art International Exhibition “An Homage to Juan Ramon Jimenez.” Ed. Fernando Serrano. Huelva: E. de la Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez & Junta de Andalucia (Consejeria de Cultura), 1998. 131 pp. Juan Ramon Jimenez, Ideolojia II. Metamorfosis IV. Intro. & ed. Emilio Rios. Huelva: E. de la Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1998. 184 pp. Juan Ramon Jimenez, Un andaluz de fuego (Francisco Giner de los Rios). Intro. & ed. Maria Jesus Dominguez Sio. Huelva: E. de la Fundacion El Monte & la Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1998. 218 pp.

This cluster of books signals the initial publishing venture of the “Fundacion Juan Ramon Jimenez,” the editorial branch of the “Casa Museo de Zenobia y Juan Ramon” located in the poet’s birthplace of Moguer. The Director of the “Casa,” Luis Manuel de la Prada, intends the Foundation to issue comparable editions and studies on a regular basis; indeed, it recently published a magnificently revised and enlarged edition of Antonio Campoamor Gonzalez’s 1982 Bibliografia general de Juan Ramon Jimenez (1999). With respect to the seven books under review, one is a catalogue of an art exhibition and another is the first number of a journal. Three others are editions of the poet’s works (Moguer, Ideolojia and Un andaluz de fuego). Francisco Garfias is honored here with a collection of his essays, and the recently deceased Ernestina de Champourcin with a revised version of her memoirs on Zenobia and Juan Ramon.

The catalogue itself is intriguing. It reproduces the “mail art” of one hundred and fifty-two artists from twenty-seven countries who responded to an appeal by Moguer to commemorate by mail the fortieth anniversary of Juan Ramon’s Nobel Prize for Literature (1956). The inspiration for the exhibition, as de la Prada documents in his brief and informative introduction, was the fact that letters themselves played such an important role in Juan Ramon’s own life. The artifacts submitted are most diverse in nature but comparable in size (because they were literally mailed to Moguer in an envelope or small package). Joan Brossa and Christo, who for your reviewer are the only well-known contributors, do not even allude in their pieces to juanramoniana, but many of these artifacts and collages do (to Platero, in particular). Mail-art is Dada inspired; it is counter-[k]ultural and anti-bourgeois, but far more humorous than Antonio Orihuela allows in his provocative and ponderous introduction. In one instance, your reviewer caught his traditional, male gaze fixated on a pristine, white-lace brassiere; the prurience of that gaze was shattered when his eyes, traveling slowly down the collage, found the garment to be incongruently juxtaposed above: “Los dioses no tuvieron mas sustancia que la que tengo yo” (a delightful, if momentarily shocking, debunking of Espacio’s first sentence).

Unidad is the only issue so far of a new journal to be devoted to juanramoniana. It was edited by Carmen Hernandez-Pinzon Moreno, who has now assumed responsibility for the Jimenez estate from her father and Juan Ramon’s nephew, don Francisco Hernandez-Pinzon Jimenez. Unidad contains several sections: one dedicated to unpublished work by the Jimenez; another of homages; another of essays and studies (by Garfias, Palau de Nemes, Rios and Dominguez Sio), and a final section of brief reviews of books devoted to the field. This journal could well foment extensive interest in Jimenez’s work.

La ardilla y la rosa is Champourcin’s collection of reminiscences on Juan Ramon and Zenobia. The first seven of these essays were published in 1981; the concluding five were written sporadically by Ernestina between 1987 and 1993. In the 1920s and ’30s, she visited the Jimenez regularly; and in the 1940s she saw them at times in Maryland, while she worked in Washington as a translator for congresses organized by the United Nations. She captures Juan Ramon’s magnetic effect on young poets; she discusses the attraction young women had for him (and discusses the question of Zenobia’s jealousy). The squirrel of the title refers to those Jimenez befriended in the garden of their house in Riverdale, in which setting the stunned Ernestina watched Juan Ramon, wrapped in a cloth that served as his apron, cracking eggs and chopping ham for an omelet for lunch (88-89). Essays in the book’s second half are more somber; they discuss details of Juan Ramon’s depressions and hospitalizations, as well as Zenobia’s onerous responsibilities. Hence, it is a multifaceted Jimenez and his wife who emerge from this elegantly written memoir, which concludes with the letters Juan Ramon sent to Ernestina and Juan Jose Domenchina between 192[6] and 1941.

One of the Foundation’s goals is to recover and issue Jimenez’s unpublished work, as demonstrated by three of the above volumes (Moguer, Ideolojia II, Un andaluz de fuego). The collection Moguer, as the poet’s nephew explains in his “Epilogo,” was planned by Juan Ramon on his death bed; it was the poet’s way of expressing his debt of gratitude to that “blanca maravilla” of his birth. There have been three previous editions of Moguer in 1958, 1984 and 1992 (for which see Campoamor Gonzalez’s revised bibliography, pp. 36-37) all of which are slender (85 pp. or less). The present edition is much larger; it contains one hundred and nineteen selections about Moguer from the entire “Obra.” Unfortunately, it lacks an introduction in which the compiler could have explained the rationale for the present selection.

Ideolojia II supplements Antonio Sanchez Romeralo’s unsurpassable Ideolojia (1897-1957) of 1990 (Anthropos), a compendium of 4116 of Juan Ram6n’s aphorisms. Ideolojia II offers us six hundred and sixty-five additional aphorisms (discovered by Jimenez’s heirs since Romeralo’s edition appeared). The editor, Emilio Rios, has divided them into six sections (“Poetica,” “Obra,” “Critics” etc.) and the alert reader will encounter further subdivisions within each category. Rios also began his numbering with 4117, where Romeralo left off; the question now arises as to how to integrate these aphorisms into Romeralo’s masterly scheme. As is to be expected, Jimenez never ceases to surprise: e.g. “Goya es el primer pintor ingles” (#4281).

The most enlightening edition of Jimenez’s unknown work, indeed the best of the volumes under review (for its careful documentation and critical acumen), is Maria Jesus Dominguez Sio’s edition of Un andaluz de fuego. Upon Francisco Giner de los Rios’s death in 1915, Juan Ramon announced his intention of writing a book on the influential Andalusian’s charisma, impact and legacy, and in effect, as demonstrated here, Jimenez completed some sixty-seven prose pieces on the educator, his circle and the Instituto Libre de Ensenanza. Dominguez Sio, with the help of Jimenez’s heirs, has recuperated this material from archives and has prefaced her edition with an indispensable, one hundred page introduction and explanation for all pieces included. In addition to eulogizing don Francisco, this book provides insight into the evolution of Juan Ram6n’s ethical ideals, the liberal turn of his political philosophy, and his encounter with a father figure.

Finally, the eminent and inveterate champion in Spain of Juan Ramon Jimenez, Francisco Garfias, is represented by a collection of his essays and lectures, written in the 1960s, many of which concern the poet’s literary relationships (with Dario, A. Machado, Tagore, Kazantzakis, F. G. Lorca and M. Hernandez). The remainder deal with Jimenez’s connections with Central and South America, his prose works (including Platero), and his Andalusian characteristics. These essays contain much useful information-epistolary, in part-which is presented in an elegant-and utterly non-academic-style.

The Fundacion has made a good start on fostering awareness of Jimenez’s work today. It is to be hoped that it will now begin to encourage a range of scholars to participate in such promising editorial and critical activities.


University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

Copyright University of Pennsylvania, Romance Languages Department Summer 2002

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