Gran Canaria poet Juan Jimnez dies at 78 – The Province

Gran Canaria poet Juan Jimnez dies at 78 - The Province

Natural of Carrizal de Ingenio, in Gran Canaria, Juan Jiménez was part of one of the most outstanding generations of island literature known as'Canary Poetry Last', of which authors like Ángel Sánchez, Eugenio Padorno or Lázaro Santana.

Juan Jiménez received the Can de Plata de las Artes in the 2016 edition from the hands of the president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales.

Juan Jiménez is the author of 'A necessary song with María C.' (1966); 'And it is not because of the weight of the sun that it falls' (1968), 'Itinerario contra' (1980), and 'Epigramas' (1995), edited by the Government of the Canary Islands.


At the age of 20, at the beginning of the 1960s, Juan Jiménez Santana surprises the literary scene of the capital when he recites his first poems in the Society La Fraternidad de Carrizal.

To that same town, at that time one of the landscape and human symbols of penury and scarcity, of the endless work and the fatigues of the intensive crops, will dedicate the second of his poems, the demolisher And it's not because of the weight of the sun that it falls, published in self-publishing in the year 1968. With blows of mochazo the sun, burning. A few steps from the ravine the sun is burning. The road full of sun, the patio full of sun, the world full of sun, my sisters full of sun, the hands full of sun can not anymore.

Two years before he brought out his first volume Necessary song with María C in which are exposed the ways that would be a constant in his dense, although very selective work of four poems, with a lyric "of commitment and denunciation", but exquisite and "rigorous in the forms", according to Rivero, or as he left written also poet Pedro Flores, which traces the subtle difference "between the pamphlet and poetry."

Jiménez, practically a true stranger in his own town – "never better said that nobody is a prophet in his land", Luis Rivero laments – he soon settles in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to study Commerce, which did not end. In the capital he works as an administrator in Iberia, an occupation that combines with the literary creation and with the History career, graduating at the University of La Laguna.

There, in that same city, his participation in the First Canarian Poetry Congress of 1976 was resounding, with the presentation Society in the Canary Islands on April 22, the day on which Flores dates "the confirmation of Jiménez as an uncomfortable author" and in which "a gradual, and already chronic, process of anathematization of the poet that lasts until our days begins, a process that has not ended in a complete excommunication of Jimenez basically, in my opinion, to three conditions over others: the incontestable power of his poetic work, the unusual depth of his thought and a social implantation that few writers among us know ".

Four years after that congress the author launches Itinerary against, which collects all his work, "and the poems he had written until then", illustrates Rivero. And already in the 90 the Vice-Ministry of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands includes it in Epigrams, that groups the production of the Canarian poets of the time, and that is framed in its last poetic stage.

Rivero also certifies that poetry is a "cursed genre" according to the ethereal and almost transparent passage of a production that has passed over the islanders' consciousness, perhaps reminiscent of their attitude and courage in a Francoist and post-Francoist era in the that their concerns were as brave as they were unbreakable, "what caused him some other problem".

Doctor in Philology and member of the Canary Academy of the Language Juan Manuel García Ramos writes in the essay Three profiles of the Last Canary Poetry: Juan Jiménez, Ángel Sánchez and Juan Pedro Castañeda, published in the Magazine of Canary History, that the originality of his work "lies, in addition to the reconfiguration of the poetic language inherited, in having been able to give a fair version of this process from the strict personal history, in having known how to project in its individual circumstance the various rigors that the Spanish society experienced in a silence of retreat ".

In fact, Rivero points out, "Juan Jiménez has been set as an example of intellectual honesty, a man who has always fled from the institutional marketing of culture, and has not been bribed by promises or flattery nor by subsidies from palatial venues."

"Juan Jiménez", adds the narrator, "he always remained faithful to his principles and when he considered that he had nothing more to say, he kept silent and disappeared from the public scene, which has been valued by many as an example of consequence and intellectual integrity ".

In this context it is part of the well-known 1965 Generation of the Canary Islands, which includes names such as José Luis Pernas, Fernando Ramírez, José Caballero Millares, Manuel González Barrera, Baltasar Espinosa, Antonio García Ysábal, Lázaro Santana, Eugenio Padorno, Jorge Rodríguez Padrón, Alberto Pizarro and Alfonso O'Shanahan.


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