Seixanta anys de biografisme en català (1953-2013)

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This study tries to be a first approach to the creation of biographies written in Catalan between 1950 and 2013. The origins of the modern production start from the last decades of the 19th century. However, it is from the last twenty years of the last century when the new generations of writers (especially Josep Pla) created by the Catalan cultural movement Noucentisme got in touch with the Anglophone tradition renewed by Lytton Strachey, or the French one by André Maurois and the German one by Emil Ludwig and Stefan Zweig and they started to spread their works and to practice with the technical techniques and the style in their biographical essays. In fact, the first translations of the works of these authors appeared during the 1930s decade (in Barcelona and Madrid), first in Spanish and in 1935 in Catalan (Maurois). The bases for the creation of the modern biographical genre in Catalan were set before 1936, but its present grew stronger after 1939. Before this date, Josep Pla devoted himself to the long biography (Francesc Cambó, Santiago Rusiñol, Joan Maragall…) and to the short one (Homenots and Retrats de passaport, based on the model coined by Ludwig, Genie und Charakter. 20 männliche Bildnisse, 1924). The new biographers appeared around 1950, some of them divided into historians and writers (Jaume Vicens Vives, Joan Reglà…) and some others were writers willing to specialize in their profession (Carles Soldevila, Sebastià Juan Arbó, Josep Miracle…). Sebastià Juan Arbó and Josep Miracle focused their attention in two great biographies about Verdaguer. During the first years of the fifties, the editor and bookseller Josep Maria Cruzet created AEDOS (Catalan acronym for Agència Editora i Distribuïdora d’Obres Selectes, literally, Editor and distributor agency of selected works), located in the bookstore Catalònia. It was the first publishing house which created a collection, “Biblioteca de Biografies Aedos” (Aedos library of biographies), which had a long career. During the early sixties, the publishing house Editorial Alcides published 18 works under the collection “Biografies populars”. The collection “Biografies i memòries” (Biographies and memories), from Edicions 62, dates from 1980 and it has been publishing works quite often until 2010. From 1985, we should highlight the work of the architect Josep Manel Infiesta i Monterde. Firstly, he created the collection “Gent Nostra” primer, between 1985 and 1990, under the publishing house Nou Art Thor. Between 1991 and 1993, the books were published by the publishing house Editorial Labor. From 1994 to 1999, he published with Columna Edicions and after 2000, he has started to publish as Infiesta Editor. He has published 138 books in 28 years. Yet in the 1990s, Edicions 62 launched the collection “Pere Vergés de biografies” and they published 50 books between 1990 and 1993. In fact, 1992 was the year with more biographical publications, 22 in total. From 2000 on, there have been four years close to 1992 in terms of publishing: 18 works (2000, 2003, 2005 i 2011), 17 (2009) and 19 (2008).


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