Alfred Badia i Gabarró (Barcelona 1912-1994) was a translator, essayist, poet and playwright.
An eminent poetry translator, he was widely recognised for his versions of Rainer M. Rilke’s The Sonnets to Orpheus (Els sonets a Orfeu, 1979) and of troubadour poems (1982, 1988). He translated into Catalan from German, English, French and Occitan.
His own poetry appeared in the collections Urgències (Emergencies, 1968), Atzucac (Cul-de-Sac, 1970), Presó de cendra (Ash Prison, 1976) and Adés era l'alba (A Moment Ago It Was Dawn, 1990).
His political and philosophical ideas are reflected in numerous articles in the Catalan press, in the anthology titled Crítica, somni, projecte, recerca (Criticism, Dream, Project, Research, 1988), and in an article published in the 1994 Anuari (Yearbook) of the Societat Catalana de Filosofia (Catalan Society of Philosophy at the Institute of Catalan Studies (IEC). The history of Catalan thought and real, everyday use of language are also recurrent themes in Badia's writings, making patent his staunch position as a Catalan nationalist.
Among his plays, Calpúrnia (Calpurnia, 1961) and Cròniques desballestades (Haywire Chronicles, 1977) were awarded the 1961 Joan Santamaria Prize for Theatre and the 1971 Josep M. de Sagarra Prize, respectively.
Alfred Badia received the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross) from the Catalan Government on 27 April 1993.
Page by Anna de Lanuza for AELC.
Photographs from the personal files of Lola Badia.
Translation: Julie Wark.