The Life & Works of Javier Egea

Javier Egea is considered to be one of the most important Spanish poets from the 1980s. Despite publishing a relatively small amount of books, he still managed to play a large part in the founding of the poetic movement called 'La otra sentimentalidad', alongside Luis García Montero and Álvaro Salvador Jofre. He also received many prizes and awards for his work over the years, including the 'Antonio González de Lama' Prize for his book Troppo Mare and the 'Premio Internacional de poesía Juan Ramón Jiménez' for Paseo de los Tristes.

Javier Egea - Life

Javier Egea was born in the city of Granada in 1952. From an early age, around 14, he began to write poetry, which at the time was influenced by a large number of writers including Lorca, Rubén Darío, Machado, as well as some of the classic writers like Góngora and Garcilaso. All of these influences can be seen in his first published book Serena luz del viento which had an amorous tone influenced by the sonnet form.

However, by the time he released A boca de parir (1976), he had already broken away from his initial poetry roots, introducing a more generalized form, a freer meter and a significant change in the tone of the poetry. Argentina, written in 1979, was a juxtaposition of the celebrations for the football World Cup in Argentina with the reality of the dictatorship of Videla. It is in this work that the strong and authentic political side of Egea's poetry began to appear.

In 1980, Javier Egea traveled to Cabo de Gata in Almeria where, thanks to the influences of Marx, Althusser and Juan Carlos Rodríguez, he began to cultivate the movement which would later be known as the 'Otra sentimentalidad'. This movement would cease to exist in 1983, but not before Egea wrote Troppo mare and Paseo de los tristes. Both of these books received prizes.

During the 1980s, Egea participated actively in poetry recitals in various universities and Spanish language schools in Spain, both alone and alongside other poets. This activity was named 'poeta en la calle' and increased in popularity during the 1990s.

In 1987, work on the last book Egea would publish during his lifetime, Raro de luna, began. This book was more surrealist and dreamlike than others, mainly due to the fact that he wrote it whilst undergoing psychoanalysis sessions. Raro de luna was published in 1990. From then on, Javier Egea spent much of his time cut off from cultural life, in particular the commercialization that came with the election of the socialists in the country.

During the 1990s he continued to write a number of works, including 'Sonetos del diente de oro' which were mostly published in poetry magazines. In 1997, Javier Egea organized an anthology of his works written between 1970 and 1990, entitled Soledades. Antología (1970-1990). Unfortunately, this work was never completed during his lifetime as Egea died in 1999 in his hometown. Some of his poems are published in various Spanish poetry anthologies, mostly those which are focused on Andalusian and Granadian writers.

Javier Egea - Works

A number of critics have attempted to include Javier Egea in the section of poets who wrote poems based on experience, however, his writing was always removed from the parameters and principles of this particular poetic direction. Egea was also not an 'academic' poet, but rather a much more down-to-earth poet, who lived in a close relationship with his poetry.

Javier Egea is most famous for his contribution to the poetry movement in Granada called 'La otra sentimentalidad', alongside other poets like Álvaro Salvador and Luis García Montero. This reaction to the culturalismo movement supported realist poetry with simple language that dealt with daily-life situations and searches for emotions. This movement was also influence by people like Jaime Gil de Biedma, Ángel González and Francisco Brines from the earlier Generation of '50.

As we mentioned earlier, despite having such a great impact on contemporary Spanish poetry, he actually published a relatively small amount of poetry books. These include Serena luz del viento (1974), A boca de parir (1976), Troppo Mare (1980), Paseo de los tristes (1982), and Raro de Luna (1990). To this day, Paseo de los tristes is considered to be the most representative collection of the Spanish poet's style and is therefore studied in many schools in Spain today.

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