Jacobe & Fineta

Joaquín Ruyra


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23 April 2022
ISBN: 9781913744366
54 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Alan Yates 

Lyrical, devastating prose and an eye for beauty in the everyday, Joaquim Ruyra is one of early 20th Century Catalan literature’s most important writers. Here, in this short introduction to his work, we present two of his most acclaimed short stories - Jacobé & Fineta. Jacobé - Ruyra’s story of the relationship between a young boy and his ‘Sissy’, the girl charged with taking care of him while his parents are at work, is as tender and beautifully written as it is devastating. Jacobé’s mental illness turns both of their lives upside down and brings tragedy to their small fishing village. Fineta - While Fineta is waiting for her father and brothers to come back in from their time out fishing on the Mediterranean, she is accosted by The Woodsman, a mysterious stranger from out of town.

‘When describing an old cork oak, with the sick trees as if they were spectres, Ruyra is unsurpassable. When speaking of a field of beans creeping up a structure of canes and he says that they seem like Chinese pagodas, Ruyra is unsurpassable. Also, when he describes the transparency of the water across rocks and tells us of the wonder that is onion dressed with a little sea salt, Ruyra is unsurpassable. He is the writer of paradisiacal visions, of purity, of innocence. And, at the same time, the author of apocalyptic stories, of mysterious warnings, of obscure premonitions, a distant relative of Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Machen.’ — From Julià Guillamon’s introduction.