Event | Reading

Presentation of "Final Judgements", Mary Ann Newman’s English translation of Consells, proverbis i insolències, by Joan Fuster


Verònica Cantó (President of the Valencia Academy of Language, AVL)

Maria José Gálvez (General Director of Books and Promotion of Reading. Ministry of Culture and Sport, Spain)

Mary Ann Newman (translator)

Kirmen Uribe (writer)

Adam Gopnik (staff writer for The New Yorker)

Moderator: Jordana Mendelson

Thursday, December 1, 6:30 pm KJCC, 53 Washington Square S, NY 10012 In English. Reception to follow.

Joan Fuster (Sueca, 1922-1992) is one of the great 20th century Iberian essayists. His work spanned everything from daily newspaper articles and political satire to travel guides or scholarly works on Renaissance and contemporary Valencian writers.

Joan Fuster’s aphorisms are the pinnacle of his oeuvre. In celebration of the centenary of his birth the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has commissioned a translation into English of Fuster’s Final Judgements (Fum d’Estampa Press, 2022, tr. Mary Ann Newman).

In Final Judgements Joan Fuster questions the conceits contained in conventional wisdom, revealing moral and philosophical truths relevant to the universal human experience. Despite the seriousness of its subject matter, this book is laugh-out-loud funny, stripping the language of its artifice and highlighting its contradictions. The cumulative effect is a quintessentially Mediterranean kind of playfulness.


As Adam Gopnik states in his prologue to Final Judgements:

“When a new aphorist appears … the world seems … to contract … as in the closing iris of a Chaplin film: a narrative of emotion and truth collapses into a single radiant point. Having never heard of the Valencian aphorist Joan Fuster before I read the book you hold, his work has had the force on me of that kind: like points of light in the night sky, he glitters rather than connects. We emerge from reading him with a handful of stars in our hands.”

As Paul Holdengraber has written:

“Recently I came across this quotation by Mario Praz, author of The Romantic Agony:

‘Aphorisms are like soap bubbles: some burst in the bud, others rise to the sky, ignite, like meteors, with iridescent colors, shine for an instant with dazzling light.’

Joan Fuster’s book of aphorisms, Final Judgements, elegantly translated by Mary Ann Newman, are just such soap bubbles, bursting, rising, and iridescent.”

~ Paul Holdengraber, Interviewer & Quotomaniac by profession.

Co-sponsored by NYU KJCC, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, and Dirección General del Libro y Fomento de la Lectura - Gobierno de España.