benjamin portada presentacio BR

Presentation by Francesc Codina, director of Reduccions. Poetry Magazine, Pilar Parcerisas, president of the Fundació Angelus Novus, and poet Carles Duarte.

Thursday 10th June at 7 pm at the Casino de Vic (Verdaguer, 5 Vic)

ACVIC Centre d’Arts Contemporànies, the Fundació Angelus Novus, Editorial Reramús, Casino de Vic and Foster & Wallace bookshop invite you to the presentation of the book Art i Literatura de masses, by Walter Benjamin, translated into Catalan by Antoni Pous.

The figure of Walter Benjamin was barely known or studied in the context of Spain’s university education, but events such as May ‘68 and the new European intellectualism of the sixties put his up-to-date thinking squarely in the centre of debate.

Passionate about language and literature, Antoni Pous chose six key essays from among Benjamin’s body of work on art, literature, language, translation, the transformation of the city of Paris, and the masses of our time. Pous undertook an adventurous translation on themes of relevance to modernity, a concept far removed from the colourless state of the country under the Franco dictatorship, and, in addition to this, he attempted to provide the Catalan language with a body of contemporary universal thought which it had always lacked. His achievement is to have been the pioneer, to face the difficulties of a huge task, not without flaws. In spite of its imperfections, Art and Literature has been a reference book for those of us who started reading the work of Walter Benjamin in the early 1980s.

Walter Benjamin (Berlin, 1892 - Portbou, 1940). Writer, philosopher, literary critic and essayist, he is considered one of the most unique critical and unorthodox voices of the twentieth century. His writings exude German idealism, romanticism, historical materialism and Jewish mysticism, making him a key figure in contemporary thought. With the advent of Nazism in 1933, he was compelled to emigrate, first to Ibiza and then to Paris. When war broke out, he refused German philosopher Theodor Adorno’s invitation to move to California. Persecuted by the Gestapo, on the night of September 26th, 1940, he died in Portbou after poisoning himself, as if he had thought that all was lost. His remains lie in the cemetery at Portbou.

Antoni Pous (Manlleu, 1932 - Barcelona, ​​1976). Poet and translator, from 1965 he worked as a teacher of Catalan language and literature in Tübingen (Germany). During this time, he translated a collection of essays by Walter Benjamin that would not be published until 1984 under the title Art and Literature by Eumo Editorial. In 1970, he published with Johannes Hösle the poetic anthology Katalanische Lyrik im Zwanzigsten Jahrhundert. In 1974 he published his poetic work, entitled El nou bon sempre seguit del desconhort a Jaume d'Urgell, and made translations of Paul Celan’s poems that would see the light in the volume Traducciones de Paul Celan, published in 1976 by Lumen publishing house.

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