Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

X

Xirinacs, Olga

b. 1936, Tarragona

Writer

Active in the cultural life of her native city, the prolific Catalan Xirinacs has won many prestigious prizes for her poetry, among them the Carles Riba for Llavis que dansen (Dancing Lips) (1987) and for her prose, including both the Crítica and the Sant Jordi for Al meu cap una llosa (A Gravestone at my Head) (1985). In this latter novel, she pays tribute to Virginia Woolf, one of her favourite writers. Xirinac’s themes are often philosophical, exploring such topics as the nature of evil and the creative process. Much of her verse is love poetry, sometimes with an erudite literary base, with quotations from other poets, ranging from Virgil to Giuseppi Ungaretti. Xirinacs is a piano teacher and has studied painting; these aesthetic activities inform her work and are occasionally reflected in titles such as Interior amb difunts (Interior with Deceased) (1983) and Música de cambra (Chamber Music) (1982). The latter is written in the form of a lyrical diary covering three years (1979-81) with reflections on the past and projections to the future that greatly expand the time period evoked. Tempesta d’hivern (Winter Storm) (1990) relies on music for theme as well as imagery: a successful orchestra director returns home after a long absence to find ghosts from the past. The description of her triumphant concert is impeccable.

The protagonist of Enterments lleugers (Light Burials) (1991) is a house, in the sort of subgenre used by writers such as Latin America’s García Márquez and Allende, and Catalonia’s own Rodoreda. The wall referred to in the title La muralla (The Wall) (1993) is the Roman wall of Tarragona; this long poem is a monument to her historic birthplace and its inhabitants. Sense malícia (Without Malice) (1994) is a chilling psychological study of a violent young boy, who ‘examines’ the suffering of his victims while showing a polite, sweet demeanour to the world.

Based on the newspaper story of an aristocratic double suicide, Cerimònia privada (Private Ceremony) (1993) uses wedding guests turned funeral mour-ners to reflect on meanings and motivations. The novel opens with a quotation from Peter Handke and includes references to Peter Pan. Xirinacs’ latest work, Sucant el melindro (Dipping the Pastry) (1996), is a collection of realistic, ironic, and tender stories written originally for the Barcelona daily paper Avui. The sea and death are often present in the work of this versatile author. She has also written literature for children, and some of her work has been translated into Russian, German, English and Spanish.

See also: Catalan culture; women’s writing

KATHLEEN McNERNEY


Xunta de Galicia

Established via a decree of the pre-autonomous Assembly of Galician Parliamentarians in March 1978, article 152 of the constitution of 1978 and a Statute of Autonomy in April 1981, the Xunta de Galicia is the government of the autonomous

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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