Xavier Benguerel (Barcelona, 1905 - 1990).
He lived in the Barcelona district of Poblenou until he was 33 years old. In 1929, he published his first novel in Catalan with Pàgines d'un adolescent (Pages of an Adolescent), after which he wrote more than twenty novels, a collection of poems, three plays, four collections of stories and two books of memoirs.
Before the Spanish civil war he had published the novel Suburbi (Suburb) (1936) which he set in the workers' quarter of Poblenou, which has almost disappeared following the transformation wrought by the 1992 Olympic Games. After the civil war, he went into exile in Chile until 1954. On his return to Catalonia, he again began to publish novels with an autobiographical background, for example El testament and the series of novels entitled Els vençuts (The Vanquished), about the experience of exile.
He was awarded the Planeta prize for his novel Icària, Icària about the anarchist effervescence in his childhood district, and the Serra d'Or Critics' prize for Llibre del retorn (The Book of Return).
He translated Poe, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, Neruda, and, in the final years of his literary trajectory, he translated, for the first time in Catalan, all twelve books of La Fontaine's Fables, and Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal, these versions being highly praised by the critics.
In 1988 he received the Award of Honour in Catalan Letters.
He was a member and also Honorary Member of the the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Web page: Emili Gil.
Up-date: Nausica Solà.
Translation: Julie Wark.