Juan Ramón Jiménez citations

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Juan Ramón Jiménez

Date de naissance: 24. décembre 1881
Date de décès: 29. mai 1958

Juan Ramón Jiménez, né à Moguer, en Andalousie, le 23 ou 24 décembre 1881 et mort le 29 mai 1958 à San Juan, à Porto Rico, est un poète espagnol de la génération de 14.

Il a notamment développé l'idée de « poésie pure », à savoir une poésie d'inspiration platonicienne, habitée par un idéal supérieur de beauté et détachée de tout contenu idéologique, politique ou social. Jiménez se veut un poète du raffinement et de la nuance, soucieux de développer de nouvelles recherches esthétiques et rythmiques dans l'expression d'une douce mélancolie. Ses compositions sont par ailleurs dotées d'une large dimension musicale.

Jiménez reconnaît le symbolisme français et les travaux de Rubén Darío, à l'origine du mouvement moderniste en Amérique latine, comme influences déterminantes pour son œuvre.

Son récit poétique le plus célèbre est Platero y yo, sous-titré Elégie andalouse et dont l'édition intégrale parut en 1917. Opposant au régime franquiste, il s'enfuit à Porto Rico en 1939. Il y reçut le prix Nobel de littérature en 1956 alors qu'il vivait en exil avec d'autres figures marquantes de la Péninsule, telles que Pablo Casals et Francisco Ayala.

Citations Juan Ramón Jiménez

„Dynamic ecstasy is absolute romanticism, absolute heroism.“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

"Heroic Reason", as translated by H. R. Hays, in Selected Writings of Juan Ramon Jimenez (1957) edited by Eugenio Florit, p. 231.
Contexte: Dynamic ecstasy is absolute romanticism, absolute heroism. And here I return to my point. From my point of view, after the catastrophe which we feel and think is universal, a catastrophe resulting from an excess of useless dynamism of useless progress, of useless realism, of useless technology, after this an unattainable democracy is to be reached through the conception and realization of a new romanticism.

„Transition is a complete present which unites the past and the future in a momentary progressive ecstasy, a progressive eternity, a true eternity of eternities, eternal moments.“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

"Heroic Reason", as translated by H. R. Hays, in Selected Writings of Juan Ramon Jimenez (1957) edited by Eugenio Florit, p. 231.
Contexte: A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition. When we say an artist is in a state of transition, many believe that we are belittling. In my opinion when people speak of an art of transition this indicates a better art and the best that art can give. Transition is a complete present which unites the past and the future in a momentary progressive ecstasy, a progressive eternity, a true eternity of eternities, eternal moments. Progressive ecstasy is above all dynamic; movement is what sustains life and true death is nothing but lack of movement, be the corpse upright or supine. Without movement life is annihilated, within and without, for lack of dynamic cohesion. But the dynamism should be principally of the spirit, of the idea, it should be a moral dynamic ecstasy, dynamic in relation to progress, ecstatic in relation to permanence.

„And the food for the soul passes, candid and free, without paying tribute to the customs.“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

Source: ‪Platero and I‬ (1917), Ch. 2 : White Butterflies, as translated by Eloïse Roach (1957).
Contexte: The man wants to stick his iron pick in the little basket, and I do not prevent him. I open the knapsack, and he sees nothing in it. And the food for the soul passes, candid and free, without paying tribute to the customs.

„Island of grace, of freshness and of joy, Golden Age of children; always I could find you in my life, a sea of mourning“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

"A NOTE TO THOSE GROWNUPS WHO MIGHT READ THIS BOOK TO CHILDREN", as translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas (1985), p. xv.
‪Platero and I‬ (1917)
Contexte: Island of grace, of freshness and of joy, Golden Age of children; always I could find you in my life, a sea of mourning; let your breeze lend me its lyre high and sometimes senseless like the trill of the lark in the white sun of morning.
I have never written nor will I ever write anything for children, because I believe the child can read the books that grownups read, with some few exceptions that come to everyone's mind. There are of course exceptions too for men and for women.

„He is as loving and tender as a child, but strong and sturdy as a rock.“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz, livre Platero

Source: ‪Platero and I‬ (1917), Ch. 1 : Platero, as translated by Eloïse Roach (1957).
Contexte: He is as loving and tender as a child, but strong and sturdy as a rock. When on Sundays I ride him through the lanes in the outskirts of the town, slow-moving countrymen, dressed in their Sunday clean, watch him a while, speculatively:
"He is like steel," they say.
Steel, yes. Steel and moon silver at the same time.

„A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition.“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

"Heroic Reason", as translated by H. R. Hays, in Selected Writings of Juan Ramon Jimenez (1957) edited by Eugenio Florit, p. 231.
Contexte: A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition. When we say an artist is in a state of transition, many believe that we are belittling. In my opinion when people speak of an art of transition this indicates a better art and the best that art can give. Transition is a complete present which unites the past and the future in a momentary progressive ecstasy, a progressive eternity, a true eternity of eternities, eternal moments. Progressive ecstasy is above all dynamic; movement is what sustains life and true death is nothing but lack of movement, be the corpse upright or supine. Without movement life is annihilated, within and without, for lack of dynamic cohesion. But the dynamism should be principally of the spirit, of the idea, it should be a moral dynamic ecstasy, dynamic in relation to progress, ecstatic in relation to permanence.

„If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

As quoted in the epigraph in Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury; Susie Salmon also uses this quote in The Lovely Bones, and Daniel Quinn published a book in 2007 with the title If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways (2007)
Spanish: "Si os dan papel pautado, escribid por el otro lado" (If they give you lined paper, write on the other side)
"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" is often attributed to William Carlos Williams who was contemporary with JRJ.
Misattributed

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„Sharp nostalgia, infinite
And terrible, for what I already possess!“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

Nostalgia aguda, infinita,
terrible, de lo que tengo.
"South", in Poesía, en verso, 1917–1923 (1923), p. 97.

„This short book, where joy and sadness are twins, like the ears of Platero, was written for … I have no idea for whom! … For whomever lyric poets write …“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz

"A NOTE TO THOSE GROWNUPS WHO MIGHT READ THIS BOOK TO CHILDREN", as translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas (1985), p. xv.
‪Platero and I‬ (1917)

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