Articulated in two independent stories (Angel Salvador and Salvador Alas), Finales is presented as a narrative diptych whose stories are connected by related formal and conceptual elements, namely, the theatrical genre, the dramatic monologue delivered by an artist and addressed to a single receiver, the opera as a sound background directly or indirectly related to the action, and the premeditated consummation of death, either through voluntary euthanasia or reflexive suicide.
Set out as an allegory about the impossibility of escaping the tentacles of the system, The circles of the South speaks to us about the high price that the liberated must pay when breaking with everything. The protagonist of the story, Mario Mundi —a multifaceted and cosmopolitan artist—, decides to turn his life around and acquires a small farm located in a remote and unpopulated region. On the ruins of the old house he builds a circular house, where he settles down to live with his wife. A short time after their stay in the region, both will live, along with other neighbors in the area, an apocalyptic experience that, given the concurrence of not a few fantastic situations, could well be considered a simple, or not so simple, nightmare.
The novel is articulated in three blocks, of seven chapters each, and a final coda, and is constructed as a collage composed with different writing techniques. Without a single narrator, the story is woven with the testimony of the characters, whose voice flows through monologues, soliloquies and film scripts, as well as letters, diary notes, dreams, transcriptions of sound documents or journalistic interviews.
After several years of writing letters to his late wife, all of them full of scientific arguments related to a fossil fish, the ichthyologist Santiago Miralda writes, before his death, what will be the last of the series. It is, in this case, a letter very different from the previous ones and in which Professor Miralda makes no mention of his obsessions except in the prolegomena of the letter. The rest of the letter is entirely devoted to the story of a dream that the scientist had had some time before and in which his brother-in-law, Alberto Miralpeix de Castellfort —an aristocrat as cultured as he is arrogant— becomes the main character in a nocturnal race plagued with crazy situations. The oneiric story is presented as a descent into hell that drinks, among others, from Homer, Dante, Wagner, Joyce or Cervantes, and its protagonist will end up witnessing a redemptive vision and will fall down like Paul on his way to Damascus.
This story is a fiction based on two personal experiences. The first, having been a victim of sexual abuse by a pedophile priest; the second, having found myself, two decades later and unexpectedly, in front of my aggressor, who by chance had been sent to officiate at the funeral of one of my brothers. In awe and repressing my most primal instincts, I just looked at the priest from the emotional position of the one who has the last laugh. I know, I read it in his eyes, that seeing himself before me in such a predicament was a humiliating penance for him. On the contrary, I lived that outcome as a retaliation that destiny was working for me.
The correspondence that Marian Espinal (Terrassa, 1897 - Cunit, 1974) kept in his desk consists of a set of letters and postcards that the painter wrote to his family between 1916 and 1931, and a collection of letters and postcards that his friends, colleagues and other people sent him between 1915 and 1965. Of particular interest are the letters and postcards sent from Paris between 1919 and 1921 from the first group, but also the postcards sent from Tossa in the summer of 1918 or the letters he wrote to María Vancells the years of courtship, without forgetting the letter where he refers to his parents the help he has given Togores, a help that we can now know was transcendental. Both are delicious documents that show us the vision of the world of a young, enthusiastic and generous artist, driven by the ambition to build a work and become a recognized painter.
Incorporating a more accentuated lyric than usual, the poems that give shape to this book do not abandon the path that in my previous collection of poems would mark personal experiences, nor do they abdicate some of my usual subjects: the poem and the fact of composing it, love in its double carnal and spiritual component (if love can be subject to categories or dualities) and the seas and gardens, of Almería or of the land of dreams. Practically all the texts in this book —presented in reverse order of their date of composition— are the result of an introspective journey that allowed me to experience poetic trances of unprecedented intensity, trances that I fostered by sheltering myself in almost absolute silence or in music that helped me to acquire a state of profound serenity. Once that juncture was achieved, the poem came out of me like a fluid that oozes through the walls of the mind, like a secretion that transcends, that rises from its formless larva and acquires a body with a soul and its own entity.
Months after finishing the book Prolongations, I resumed my poetic activity by composing some loose pieces, at all times groping and without the concurrence of premises or rules of the game. However, it did not take me long to notice that those new poems had certain common and not insignificant features. Namely, all the texts had been written in one go, with me in a garden or in front of the sea, and the natural environment acting as an agent of provocation for my more subtle intuitions. This observation would end up defining the channels and limits of what would become the new project Seas and Gardens, a project whose undisguised and sought-after formal diversity does not contradict the elements that form the backbone of its background, a project that does not disdain the seas and gardens that recreate the mechanisms of desire, nostalgia and mourning or those others that can only be visited in the regions of reverie or in the oneiric realm of the blank night.
In 2014, shortly before finishing the third book of Peripheries, I devised a new poetic project entitled Fuentes y afluentes (Fountains and tributaries). My intention was to choose a verse from someone else's work and use it as the starting point for a new poem. The project was finally postponed, and it wasn't until July 2016, after reading a poem by Emily Dickinson, that I decided to modify the conditions of the initial idea: the new project would be entitled Prolongations and the rules of the game would consist of taking the last lines of twenty poems —or whole poems if they were very short— composed by two great poets, and then prolonging them as I pleased, while trying to conserve, as far as possible, their characteristic style. I will not deny that most of these prolongations are pastiches that incorporate a certain degree of imposture, but this does not prevent me from affirming that the collection as a whole is indebted to much truth, to what is authentically true in one's life.
The three books that make up the poetic cycle Peripheries (Light, Death and Wind) were written in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Although I imposed certain conditions on myself from the outset, over time I freed myself from any guiding centre and opted to let the poem itself define its own workmanship, its own periphery, through its natural, automatic flow. The final result is presented as a series of formally and thematically very diverse compositions, whose only and sought-after structural common denominator are the liminal and closing poems of each book.
Originally written in Catalan, The universe in three verses can be considered both a collection of haikus without further ado, and a tripartite poem where each element connects with the rest and with none at the same time. Its verses are punctuated by the astonishment that the world generates in man, by the (always mistaken) idea of death, by the occasional play on words, by the celebration of love or by the mention of the shadows of the last century.
Black diptych is made up of the poems Still life and 15 August. The first, written in 2006, is divided into five sections and is a text that draws on invented dreams or personal experiences related to death, as well as reflections on the poetic act and the poem itself. On the other hand, 15 August, composed in 2003, is a poetic remembrance of the agony, death and burial of my maternal grandfather, events that occurred when I was seventeen and my interests were still far from poetry. Without such a defined form as in Still life, 15 August incorporates into its discourse foreign verses (some dedicated to my late ancestor) and the occasional fugitive vision provoked by the nostalgic memory of a world that no longer exists and whose atmosphere made it possible for the author of this note to become who he is.
The common theme of the poems in Chronicles of Failure, the first of my three collections of poems written in Catalan, is nourished by the impossibility of achieving perfection and the irremissible condemnation to failure to which every human project is doomed, whether the causes are the limits set by talent, insecurity in the face of the storm of the days, strategic errors, emotional traps or outright fatality tout court.