Manuel Balasch i Recort (Cornellà de Llobregat, 1928 - 2009), who was born into a family of artisans, was a priest, Hellenist, translator, and poet. He studied Classical Philology in Barcelona, was ordained as a priest, and continued his studies in Munich. He obtained a PhD with a thesis about Juvenal. This would be the beginning of a lifetime’s work in which he translated many works from Latin, and especially Greek, into Catalan and Spanish. He is particularly well known for his two translations of The Iliad. He also translated some works from German, including Rilke’s The Duino Elegies. In this area, he worked closely with the Bernat Metge Foundation of which he was to become a member of the Board of Directors.
He also wrote poetry and published the prize-winning collection Poemes (1971) as well as writing many studies about the poet Carles Riba and editing Felip de Malla’s Memorial del pecador remut.
He died at the age of eighty in 2009, in the town of his birth, Cornellà de Llobregat.
Web page: Oriol Valls for AELC.
Photograph: Fundació Manuel Balasch.
Translation: Julie Wark.