André Gide a Catalunya (1900-1939)

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


During the first few decades of the twentieth century André Gide, winner of the Nobel Literature Prize in 1947, was a central figure in France as a writer, both for strictly literary reasons and also for his own social prominence. His fame also became patent in other European literatures, including Catalan literature. Researching and analysing his presence in the literary field allows us to know the terms in which this reception occurred and how it influenced the shaping of some of the essential debates in the construction of literary modernity, from the turn of the century to the illegalisation of the Republic in January 1939. From the bibliography of and about the period, several periodicals (newspapers and magazines) and the study of translation of André Gide into Catalan, we analyse the cultural agents (authors, critics, editors, translators, etc.) interest in several of the questions in which the writer had a leading role and how that interest developed. Beyond specific references to the author we have tried to ensure that the bibliographical corpus used offers a parallel approach to both the French and the Catalan contexts, enabling certain phenomena to be evaluated from a comparative perspective. Setting out from the movement of regeneration that was Modernism, reflections are offered on the value of translation in this context and its presence in some of the cultural and literary magazines of the time is considered, in particular in the magazine Pèl&Ploma, which was the first to publish a text by André Gide in Catalan. Research into evidence of the impact of the Nouvelle Revue Française among the Catalan intellectuals has shown that the publication was an inevitable reference in the context of Catalan noucentisme. There is special emphasis on La Revista, edited by Josep M. López-Picó, and on the importance of certain names such as Alexandre Plana. The reading of André Gide––especially as critic and essayist––as well as other authors from his circle brings us to other literatures, for which the leading French production became a valuable platform of mediation. Gide’s ideas and the man himself were not foreign to some of the central problems in the last few years of noucentisme, such as references to art and morals or the intense debate about the novel. For some of the most prominent writers in Catalan literature, Josep Pla being one of them, Gide was a decisive reference. Besides these controversies important aspects for the shaping of new publishing projects are studied, with Edicions Proa providing one example. Miquel Llor, translator of the first of Gide’s books to be fully translated into Catalan is at the centre of this interest. Consultation of unpublished material has enabled us to sketch the model of language used in the translation and compare it with some of the features of the original. In the nineteen thirties André Gide was the subject of renewed interest, explained largely by his approach to Communism, which would soon change. This position earned him once again a significant presence in the press of the period, motivated especially by political and moral questions. In the strictly literary field, some of the elements related to the Quaderns Literaris are studied. This collection was commissioned to disseminate the four works by Gide in Catalan, all published at the height of the Civil War. The translations are by Josep Janés, Bartomeu Rosselló-Pòrcel and Simó Santainés. The contextual elements of these translation are studied and descriptive examples of the language employed are presented. The conclusions present an interpretative summary of the result obtained and signal possible paths for broadening the research, which ends with the abolition of the public existence of Catalan literature imposed by the Francoist regime during the post-war period.
Date of Award17 Nov 2017
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorMontserrat Bacardi Tomas (Director)

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