Skip to main content

Professor Mercedes Juliá, Ph.D., Examines the Poetry of Juan Ramón Jiménez

Mercedes Juliá, Ph.D.

Mercedes Juliá, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, has been working extensively in the poetry of Juan Ramón Jiménez, an author considered today to be the father of Spanish contemporary poetry.

Juliá´s book, El universo de Juan Ramón Jiménez: Un estudio del poema Espacio (Madrid: Ediciones de la Torre, 1989), examines the poem, “Space,” vis-à-vis the entire corpus of Jiménez, while her annotated critical edition of Time (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 2001) shows how the Spanish author was writing two poems simultaneously to situate himself and humankind in relation to the universe. In addition, Dr. Juliá has published numerous essays dealing with the last epoch of Juan Ramón, an epoch that deals with his exile in America, which today is considered by many scholars Jiménez’s best.

Currently, Dr. Juliá is preparing an annotated critical edition of Vida, a work that Juan Ramón Jiménez left unpublished.

“It is a fascinating project,” Dr. Juliá said. “In fact, in some of the prose Juan Ramón Jiménez wrote, he mentions that this work will probably be posthumous, and his family has entrusted me with the project.”

There are about l,500 handwritten manuscripts that needed transcription, and Dr. Juliá has spent the last two years transcribing and typing the entire project. A professor from the University of Alcalá de Henares, Dr. Maria Ángeles Sanz, has been invited by Dr. Juliá to work with her in the project, given the monumental size of it.

Vida is a book about Jiménez´ life, influences, poetry, prose, literary criticism, and translations, a kind of collage of his life and his generation, Dr. Juliá said. When it is ready for publication, it will probably be divided into three volumes.

Mercedes Juliá, Ph.D.

More About Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958)

Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958) belonged to the group of writers who, in the wake of Spain’s loss of its colonies to the United States (1898), staged a literary revival.

His early poetry was influenced by German Romanticism and French Symbolism. It is strongly visual and dominated by the colors yellow and green. His later style, decisive, formally ascetic, and dominated by white, emerges in the poetic prose of his delicate Platero y yo (Platero and I), 1914, and is fully developed in Diario de un poeta recién casado (Diary of a Newly-Wed Poet), 1917, written during a trip to the United States, as well as in Eternidades (Eternities), 1918, Piedra y cielo (Stone and Sky), 1919, Poesía (Poetry), 1923, and Belleza (Beauty), 1923. In the 20s, Ramón Jiménez became the acknowledged master of the new generation of poets.

He was active as a critic as well as an editor of literary journals. During the twenties and thirties he lived in Madrid and devoted himself to the revision of his earlier works. Six years later, as the result of the Spanish Civil War, he left Spain for Puerto Rico and Cuba. He remained in Cuba for three years and, in 1939, went to the United States, which became his residence until 1951, when he moved definitely to Puerto Rico. During these years Juan Ramón taught at various universities and published Españoles de tres mundos (Spaniards of Three Worlds), 1942, a book of prose portraits, and several collections of poems, among them Voces de mi copla (Voices of My Song), Espacio y Tiempo (Space and Time), 1941-1953 and Animal de fondo (Animal of Depth), 1949. The latter book, perhaps his most spiritual, clearly reveals the religious preoccupations that filled the last years of the poet's life. Selections from most of his works were published in English translation in Selected Writings of Juan Ramón Jiménez and Three Hundred Poems, 1903-1953. Ramón Jiménez received the Nobel Prize of Literatura in l956 and died in Puerto Rico in 1958.

Biography From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969. This autobiography/biography was first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures.

a sample of the original writing of Juan Ramón Jiménez

Here is a sample of the original writing of Juan Ramón Jiménez, an author considered today to be the father of Spanish contemporary poetry. Mercedes Juliá, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, has been working to translate the more than 1,500 pages of original writing, which, when ready for publication, will most likely be divided into three volumes.

Media Contact

Jennifer Schu

Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

jennifer.schu@villanova.edu

Share your story

Know a current student, faculty member or alumni doing great work? Please email your nominations and help us tell their story.