A homage to Catalonia

by Laura Mongiardo – Not everyone is aware that more than one language is spoken in Spain; as well as Castilian, the Spanish speak Basque, Galician and Catalan, and each language has its own literary tradition. For historical and cultural reasons – primarily because of Aragon’s colonial dominance over most of the Western Mediterranean – Catalan literature began to be recognised in Italy as early as the end of eighteenth century, thanks to an increase in comparative studies. But a barrier was created, firstly because of the Spanish Civil War, and later because of Franco’s dictatorship, not only preventing Catalan literature from being exported, but also from being diffused in Spain. A return to normal conditions led to renewed interest in Catalan literature; in Italy, small and medium-sized publishers began by publishing the classics followed by translations of contemporary authors with special focus on women’s writing.