The incessant cultural activity of Juan Ramón Masoliver (1910-1997) in Barcelona during the 1940s gave rise to the following judgment to the young professor Antonio Vilanova: “Masoliver is a man who is exorbitant in his things” (1948). Things were nothing more and nothing less than his participation in the weekly Destino, the founding of the Yunque publishing house (1939) and the collection Poesía en la Mano, the creation of the magazine Entregas de Poesía (1944-47), which together with The previous collection explains, according to Martín de Riquer (10-4-97) “the great critical sense, the universality and the passion for literature that Juan Ramón always felt”, and that led him to get involved in the Nadal Prize, while he was saving complete loyalty to the Ateneo Barcelonés, of which he was a very active member.
Llàtzer Moix and Sergio Vila-Sanjuán, upon the death of someone who had collaborated in La Vanguardia for more than six decades (his literary and cultural comments are essential for knowledge of the postwar and transition), described him as “vehement and extroverted.” A few days later, his nephew Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas delved into his personality, “capable of giving logic to all the contradictions in which he lived: anarchist monarchist, as he liked to define himself, Catholic with the tolerance of the Renaissance. ”.
Míriam Gázquez has studied Masoliver's personality in the settings of publishing and culture in post-war Barcelona. His book, the product of his doctoral thesis, is dense, with extensive documentation (sometimes prolix, although important works by other researchers such as Blanca Ripoll or Raquel Velázquez are silenced) and, above all, presented with a dynamic prose that required its complexity. However, the few references to Sònia Hernández, a pioneer in the rigorous approach to the figure of this reader, critic and translator, whose importance this book gives a precise account of, are striking.
Book that focuses on Masoliver's speech and activities, from his important avant-garde learnings, the forging of his cultural profile under the tutelage of Ezra Pound and his oceanic work in the postwar period, such as the volumes of Poetry in the Hand or the Entregas de Poesía magazine – “publication not of a group or chapel”, as César González Ruano noted in La Vanguardia (5/28/44)–.
Also the participation in the Academia del Faro, the Academia Luliana de la Cultura and the gatherings of Ester de Andreis, “two until now unpublished testimonies” as highlighted by Gázquez, who does not neglect the countless critical columns in La Vanguardia, where, in his opinion, by Josep Pla, which Gázquez contributes from the Diario de Andreis, wasted his talent.
However, those columns from the Godós' diary would deserve more prominence, so their splendid cultural cosmopolitanism could be defined, for example, in the magnificent articles about the Poetic Conversations of Formentor and the I International Novel Colloquium (1959).
Important book that demonstrates the cultural heterogeneity during the Franco regime, the nonexistence of a wasteland and the lying ease (now already in ruins) with which the culture of those long years has been dispatched. And it demonstrates, in turn, the irreplaceable role played by Juan Ramón Masoliver's own call “the burned generation” (La Vanguardia, 9-9-65): “a burned generation and a lot of honor. Given the choice, it is better to be a fire than a cauldron.