<i>Siluetes de Catalans</i>, de Rovira i Virgili
The political career of Antoni Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, 1882–Perpignan, 1949), expressed through the journalism, does not exclude its literary side. In fact, from his youth, he was known as an author of modernist drama and theater staging (Vida nova, 1905 -New life-). It needs to be said that his work as a journalist started in his period at the Federal Youth of Tarragona. We should also highlight is literary translations (done as a young man) and his essays focused in the political fight. His intellectual biography tallies with a model of intellectuals and politicians who intervene in the public affairs in order to spread the referents for the political transformation and the social change from the postulates of the liberal republican left. A great part of this intervention is conveyed in the side of the ideological literature defined in articles opinion and analysis, and in international and national news. All this is due to the detailed knowledge that Rovira had about politicians, literates and thinkers who, somehow, were related to his political and cultural activity.The collection of portraits contained in the work Siluetes de Catalans (Silhouettes of Catalans) – from which we know two editions: the first, published in 1969 (publishing house Barcino) and the second, completed and corrected, in 1999 (publishing house Proa) – is an excellent sample of political contexts of the 19th century (Els grans catalans del Vuit-cents, 1928) and of the civil and cultural relations and environments which Rovira set and visited during the central stage of his live: the twenties and the thirties. These contributions are continued in the similarities exposed in his publications during the exile, some of them part of the aforementioned referent.From the sequence of this portraits – shorter than Josep Pla’s Homenots , but more intense due to the fact that there were journalistic works derived from contemporary events – we should remark the precise characterizations of every character, that means, canonical annotations – human, psychological and cultural – which shape the personality of every character and detail the essential ideology. To sum up, the set of portraits written by the journalist, writer and historian Rovira i Virgili offers interpretative keys to analyze the meaning of the cultural environment in a Catalonia between the Noucentisme and the republican movement, which was an expression of the urban spreading and a center of new republican, socialist and pro-independency politics and culture. As for its inherent narrative formality, the work I present highlights the synthetic and situational capability of the author, at the time that it reflects about the a priori canonical classifications.