Josep Pla: Seeing the World in the Form of Articles

Josep Pla: Seeing the World in the Form of Articles

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By Joan Ramon Resina
Toronto Iberic
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
336 Pages
ISBN 9781487501846
Published May 2017
Online discount: 25%
 $75.00    $56.25
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781487514075
Published May 2017
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $75.00

Josep Pla is Catalonia’s foremost twentieth-century prose writer. He witnessed and wrote about some of the twentieth-century’s most notable events including the Spanish Civil War and the foundation of the state of Israel. Due to a lack of translations of his work he is only now being discovered by the international audience and will soon join the ranks of major realist writers in world literature.

In Josep Pla, Joan Ramon Resina teases out the writer’s deep-seated intellectual concerns and challenges the assumption of Pla as an anti-intellectual. Resina condenses Pla’s forty-seven volumes of work, including travel books, narrative fiction, and history, into eleven thematic units: including time, memory, perception, life, religion, metaphysics, utopia, and self-delusion. Resina acutely explores the writer’s authorial gaze and invites the reader to see the world through the eyes of one of the most underappreciated observers and writers of the twentieth-century.

Joan Ramon Resina is a professor in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures as well as the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University.

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1. Journalism as Literary Praxis

Chapter 2. Journalism on the High End

Chapter 3. The Gray Notebook: Between Chronicle and Memoir

Chapter 4. Difficulty of the Novel

Chapter 5. Rural Roots of Catalan Modernity

Chapter 6. The Catalan Landscape Seen As a Painting

Chapter 7. Remembering the Region

Chapter 8. Shipwrecks with Monsters

Chapter 9. A Sui Generis Liberal

Chapter 10. Of Women and Days

Chapter 11. Encroaching Death

Works Cited


"Josep Pla is famed for the depth and fluidity of his prose. Layered, nuanced and with an enticing elegance of expression, his discourse lures the reader away from the profundity of the speculation towards the elegance of the style. This ‘deceivingly simple’ author is notoriously slippery. There are many Plas hiding behind the richness of the journalistic prose; and rarely has this polyfacetic dimension been so perceptively exposed as by Resina’s penetrating and perceptive monograph. The elusive obliqueness of this transnational itinerant, whose repertoire covers the entire intellectual, academic and vital spectrum, requires an academic sleuth of the sensitivity of fellow-Catalan Resina to elucidate the enormity of the ethical and ideological machinations which rumble in the depths of Pla's chronicle. This is a brilliant study on a brilliantly astute writer."

Domenic Keown, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Cambridge

"Josep Pla is an excellent piece of scholarship. Joan Ramon Resina provides an effective introduction of Josep Pla’s literary oeuvre to English-speaking audiences while at the same time offering a brilliant re-examination of the significance and meaning of his work."

Edgar Illas, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Indiana University