Catalan Review


Catalan Review (2019), 33, (1), 39–54.


Within the thriving field of literary gerontology, several studies have demonstrated that new approaches and articulations of the self appear in the work of well-known writers in their old age. Besides revealing new facets about the authors’ work, these observations frequently entail discoveries about the meaning that ageing itself has for those writers. In the light of these studies, this article offers a close reading of the late poetry of Joan Margarit (b. 1938) at a time when the widely acclaimed Catalan poet has just entered his eighth decade. As will be demonstrated, the images of ageing that appear in Margarit’s late poems do not necessarily favor the narrative of decline with which old age was associated in earlier stages of the poet’s career. Rather, his later writings lead to a more integrative model of ageing, in which positive and negative views of old age coexist. All in all, a critical reading of Margarit’s most recent poems through the lens of humanistic gerontology throws light not only on the evolution of the poet’s oeuvre and the articulation of selfhood that is expressed in his latest collections, but also on the creative interaction between literature and old age, and the developmental view of ageing that such an interaction entails.

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