Definitions

Joan

Joan

[john]
Maragall i Gorina, Joan, 1860-1911, Catalonian poet and essayist. For many years he wrote articles and essays for the influential newspaper Diario de Barcelona [Barcelona daily]. Maragall i Gorina is noted for the serenity and spontaneity of his poetry. Because of his emphasis on external reality, he is regarded by many critics as the first Catalonian modernist. His volumes of poetry include Visions i Cants [visions and songs] (1900), which makes much use of Catalonian legend; and Següencies (1911), which contains "Cant espíritual," his most famous poem.
Didion, Joan, 1934-, American writer, b. Sacramento, Calif., grad. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1956. Her works often explore the despair of contemporary American life, a condition she views as produced by the disintegration of morality and values. She is known for a cool and almost brittle style that emphasizes the concrete. Her novels include Run River (1963), A Book of Common Prayer (1977), Salvador (1983), Democracy (1984), and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Among her books of essays are Slouching toward Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979), groundbreaking analyses of then-contemporary life and culture that combine the personal with the topical, and later collections such as After Henry (1992) and Political Fictions (2001). Didion has written screenplays (with her late husband John Gregory Dunne) as well as journalistic and critical pieces for such magazines as the New Yorker and New York Review of Books. She is also the author of Where I Was From (2003), part memoir, part disenchanted revisionist portrait of California, and of the memoir The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), an account of the grief-filled year that followed the death of her husband.

See studies by K. U. Henderson (1981), E. G. Friedman, ed. (1984), M. R. Winchell (rev. ed. 1989), and S. Felton, ed. (1994).

Miró, Joan, 1893-1983, Spanish surrealist painter. After studying in Barcelona, Miró went to Paris in 1919. In the 1920s he came into contact with cubism and surrealism. His work has been characterized as psychic automatism, an expression of the subconscious in free form. By 1930, Miró had developed a lyrical style that remained fairly consistent. It is distinguished by the use of brilliant pure color and the playful juxtaposition of delicate lines with abstract, often amebic shapes (e.g., Dog Barking at the Moon, 1926; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). In some of his works there is a distinct undertone of nightmare and horror. After 1941, Miró lived mainly in Majorca. He painted murals for hotels in New York City and Cincinnati and for the Graduate Center at Harvard. In 1958 he completed ceramic decorations for the UNESCO buildings in Paris. Many of his canvases are in the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum.

See studies by J. T. Soby (1959), U. Apolonio (tr. 1969), and R. Penrose (1971).

Crawford, Joan, 1908-77, American movie star, b. San Antonio, Tex., as Lucille le Sueur. After working as a Broadway chorus dancer, Crawford began making films in 1926, eventually moving from musicals to drama. In 1945, she won an Academy Award for her performance in Mildred Pierce. Her best-known films include Grand Hotel (1932), The Women (1939), and Johnny Guitar (1955). Her later films, many in the horror genre, include a memorable teaming with Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). When her fourth husband died (1959), she succeeded him as a director of the Pepsi-Cola Co.

See her autobiographies (1962 and 1972) and study by L. J. Quirk (1970).

Mitchell, Joan, 1926-92, American abstract painter, b. Chicago, studied Smith College, Art Institute of Chicago (B.F.A., 1947; M.F.A., 1950). A vibrant colorist, she was one of the finest painters of the second generation of abstract expressionism. In Manhattan during the 1950s Mitchell encountered action painting, developing friendships with such artists as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline and becoming part of a male-dominated art world. Her emotionally intense paintings of the 1950s feature slashing strokes of vivid color. From the next decade on she moved to equally intense canvases in which linear elements are joined by large gestural blocks, skeins, or cascades in lush colors. In 1959, Mitchell settled in France where, rejecting the movements that dominated art from the 1960s on, she continued to paint in an abstract expressionist style. Usually very large, sometimes in multipanel format, her often radiantly lyrical paintings incorporate both turbulence and control and are frequently inspired by landscapes and poetry.

See K. Kertess, Joan Mitchell (1997); J. Livingston et al., The Paintings of Joan Mitchell (2002).

Baez, Joan, 1941-, American folk singer and political activist, b. New York City. Baez began singing traditional folk ballads, blues, and spirituals in Cambridge, Mass., coffeehouses in a clear soprano voice with a three-octave range. She made folk music, which had been largely ignored, popular. Baez's records were the first folk albums to become best-sellers. Her later albums include several of her own compositions, e.g., "Song for David" and "Blessed Are." Among the first performers to urge social protest, she sang and marched for civil and student rights and peace. Since the late 1960s she has devoted time to her school for nonviolence in California and has performed at concerts supporting a variety of humanitarian causes.

See her autobiography, Daybreak (1968), and her memoir, And a Voice to Sing With (1987).

Joan of Châtillon (d. 1292), was countess of Blois from 1280 to 1292, and lady of Avesnes.

She was the daughter of John I and Alix of Brittany. Her maternal grandparents were John I, Duke of Brittany and Blanche of Navarre.

In 1263, Joanne married Pierre of Alençon, son of Louis IX of France and Marguerite of Provence. They had 2 children who died young. Pierre died in 1283.

Joan received the County of Chartres from her father during his life; she later sold these lands to Philip IV of France in 1291. She ceded the lordship of Avesnes to her cousin Hugh before her death. When she died in 1292 the other titles were left to him, too.

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