by Francesc Parcerisas
Francesc Parcerisas articulates his anguish at the Spanish state returning to the vicious repression of Catalonia he experienced under the Franco regime. Remembering the underground poets who gave him hope as a youth, he argues that Catalan writers now have a responsibility to delve deep into their once-forbidden language to make their culture flourish again.
I was born in Barcelona in 1944, five years after the end of the Spanish Civil War. My family had been on the Republican side; my mother, as a young girl, had to flee into exile from northern Spain into France; my father, a young teenager, fought at the River Ebro battle, the last military stronghold against Franco. We were a middle-class family: my grandfather was an interior decorator, with a liking for the arts, and owned a small carpentry factory and a shop for textiles and carpets. Business grew in the 1950s and ’60s. My brothers and I were the first generation to go to university: education, languages, travel were seen as a passport for a more prosperous and democratic future, as could be found in most countries in post-war Europe.Sign in to read more
Francesc Parcerisas is a Catalan poet, translator and critic. He is Emeritus Professor at the Translation Faculty of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His latest book is Seixanta-un poems (2014). He has also been director and Dean of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes and in 2015 received the National Cultural Award from the Generalitat de Catalunya.