Rafael d'Amat, baró de Maldà (Barcelona, 1746 - 1819). Writer. Member of the Catalan aristocracy, he is considered the greatest figure of the XVIIIth century Catalan literature.
From 1769 to 1816, almost daily, he wrote an enormous diary that reached 75 hand-written preserved volumes, called Calaix de sastre [Ragbag], which is a precious source of information about the society, the culture, the habits, the economy and the politics of the period between XVIII and XIX century in Catalonia. His style is colloquial and engaging, and is influenced by popular and satirical literature. Despite the limited possibilities of the literary Catalan of the XVIIIth century, he displays a vivid narrative with great variation of levels.
The first publications of his diary were cohesive fragments such as description of trips or festivals, which were published in early XXth century. In 1954, Alexandre Galí published the first study about his life and work, Rafael d'Amat i de Cortada, Baró de Maldà: l'escriptor, l'ambient, which opened the path for more thorough studies about the Calaix de sastre. In 1987, Ramon Boixareu begun the complete revision of the diary, and made a selection of the essential material, which consisted of 11 volumes published by the editorial Curial between 1987 and 2005. New publications of other fragments of the diary also exist, with titles such as Viatge a Maldà i anada a Montserrat (1986) and Exili de Barcelona i viatge a Vic, 1808 (1991); and research works about his life or a certain aspect of his diary, such as El Baró de Maldà: materials per a una biografia (2003), by Vicenç Pascual, and Xocolata tots els dies: a taula amb el Baró de Maldà (2004), by Joan D. Domènech.
Page by Josep Miàs i Miàs for the AELC.
Pòrtic's photograph: Copy of the original hand-written cover of the Calaix de sastre, published in the A. Galí book Rafael d'Amat i de Cortada, Baró de Maldà: l'escriptor, l'ambient (1954).