Lluís Calvo on the Com ellas anthology

(Lluís Calvo by Carles Mercader)

is an anthology curated by Mireia Vidal-Conte that gathers
a whole series of poets, of the first order. This work
has appeared in the La Fosca collection by the publishing house Lleonard Muntaner, all one
referring to when talking about current poetry. From the idea of the anthology in
the show was born Like them, what
it was performed for the first time at Seca in 2014. 

An anthology of poets.
Many have appeared, certainly. One should ask, therefore, what it contributes
as a substantial novelty this new delivery. Says Marc Romera, in the prologue of
book, which Mireia Vidal-Conte, "did not want to make a choice based on genre,
rather, he wanted to enter the genre and once inside he made a choice a
starting from the literary value".
Let's look at the word to enter.

(Marc Romera for Ariadna Nalda)

Entering implies an attitude of
research, exploration. You enter somewhere with the will to be welcomed by
someone or something There is a dialogue, an encounter.
After reflecting on the
Marc Romera's phrase, even thinking that it might contain something
of sophistic wit, I think the approach is correct and has to do with theexistence per se of something, versus the dynamic explanation of. In other words,
the dilemma lies between reification or reification - what the Germans call it Verdinglichung–, the tendency to
turn everything into things or into objects, i.e. into static structures,
in opposition to a fluent and dynamic vision of the phenomena, which becomes in
multifaceted and that is changing, subjective and polymorphous.
It must be said that the philosophical sense
of this word, now that there is so much talk about reification, it is well before the current one,
that is to say to the use of the body as a commodity and pure object of pleasure. Because
there are certainly those who have created a too static image of women - respectable,
yes, but static in any case – and everything that doesn't fit is rejected. Of these
there are dozens of univocal images and very few with philosophical results or
remarkable concepts. Because Lacan already said that the woman not all
to is. Because it is always incomplete and cannot even be defined
never fit into any taxonomy.
Vidal-Conte therefore opts for
this second option: for
the fluency It does not lend itself to a fixed explanation
of the phenomena, but precisely because they are phenomena it seeks its own meaning
and singular, even if this entails clashing with rigid visions of reality,
often also full of conservative academicism.
Contrary to the chosen option
for Mireia Vidal-Conte, making a choice based on gender would not have involved one
understanding from within this genre – the fact of entering it – but a militancy
full of apriorisms. That's why I also agree with Romera about the fact that Com elles it is not a collection of poems female
but a sample of great poetry. Not a collection of slogans, but one
meeting of great poets. Females
or not
In any case, making this anthology has to do with the lack of visibility of certain poets. Totally unjustified and unfair lack. Since
from here, therefore, an open discourse can be developed, with so many poetics
like poets Discourse of singularity and diversity. From the need more
round and radical of equality.
The need for the room
is still valid and there is still a lot of marginality in the world of
women, also in the West, the reference point of the anthology. However, be
woman writer, like being a man writer, does not mean much, since this simple
statement tells us nothing about the goodness of what is written. Of writers and
there are thousands of women writers. Taking it as an a priori condition is one
error Quality, therefore, must be the determining criterion.

In this sense it is very true,
as Mireia Vidal-Conte says, that female poets are not as well known as poets.
But above all, the publisher claims quality and is not interested in remarking
the condition of a woman who simply picks up a pencil and writes.
The anthology does not want
to be, in his words “a catalog of ladies and full stop; of beings with vagina that
they make verses, whatever their literary quality".
He doesn't care about that
to the person in charge of the edition. And so he defends his point of view with
bluntness and vehemence, even with a point of healthy controversy.
If Mireia Vidal-Conte, like this
so, he has made an anthology of women is because there are all voices that despite the
their extraordinary quality is not recognized as it should be. And as he argues
Odile Arqué in the epilogue, this anthology of poets overcomes any moat that
wanted to circle them.
, therefore, is a witness that allows us to realize
the extraordinary quality of the poetry written by these "unrecognized" poets.
In the anthology we find poets from
twentieth century Obviously many names are missing, those born at the end of the 19th, for
example But it is understood that the volume had to be manageable and could not exceed one
certain number of pages.
As for the choice one of the
successes of the anthology is to bring Catalan poets together with female poets
let's call them universal. You see that Vidal-Conte has always defended, like Felicia
Fuster, Zoraida Burgos, Antònia Vicens or Margarita Ballester. And others like
Maria-Mercè Marçal and Anna Dodas. 
Next to it are great poets of all time, well known and absolutely unavoidable, such as Ingeborg Bachmann, Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath. Absences? There are, and they meet the author's selection criteria. There are, for example, neither Hilda Hilst nor Marianne Moore (although she was born in the 19th, like Clementina Arderiu), but neither was Elizabeth Bishop. There are also certain absences in the Catalan area. But choices are always personal and must be respected. And it is also necessary to place oneself in the presuppositions of the anthologist and understand their choice, depending, needless to say, on their quality criteria. And why not, of their addictions and phobias.
Be that as it may, the anthology allows you to "discover" new voices, and others that sounded to the reader but on which the necessary depth had not been exercised.
Another bonus hit is
to have included poets who write in Spanish, which they obviously do not need
translation. Voices like Chantal Maillard, Ana Becciu, Dulce Chacón, Olvido García
Valdés or Blanca Wiethüchter.
And we must also talk about the
translations Some are from Mireia-Vidal Conte herself, such as Teresa Rita Lopes, or Anne Carson. But the list of translators is long and
insigne: Ignasi Pàmies, Montserrat Abelló, Felícia Fuster, Dolors Udina, Arnau Pons, Núria Busquet or Carles Duarte, among others.
This anthology is not
usual among us, because of its ambitious nature and also because of the
inclusion of Catalan poets alongside those usually considered universal
(all are, however, ofuniversal)
And precisely for that reason it is a work that serves as an introduction to avid readers
of poetry, although it also becomes an ideal point of reference for more advanced readers
since it allows access to many diverse voices and gathers, at the same time, a sufficient spectrum
wide range of authors, all of them of great stature. An anthology, fact and fact, that us
allows you to know the writing of great poets. So, from his voice. Com elles.

(Anne Sexton)

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