Josep Maria Castellet (Barcelona, 1926 - 2014), publisher, critic and essayist. He was one of the founders and the first President of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
He was the main theorist and champion in Catalonia of Historic realism. The 1963 anthology Poesia Catalana del segle XX (Catalan Poetry of the Twentieth Century), co-written with the critic Joaquim Molas is regarded as the "manifesto" of this tendency. After 1968, Castellet's critical direction evolved towards structuralism. It is from this eclectic and open perspective that he wrote his most incisive and brilliant essays, Iniciació a la poesia de Salvador Espriu (Initiation to the Poetry of Salvador Espriu) in 1971 and Josep Pla o la raó narrativa (Josep Pla or the Narrative Cause) in 1978. Castellet was one of the most influential critics in the technical and aesthetic renovation of the 70's generation, both in Catalonia and Spain. Amongst his fundamental works, one should highlight La hora del lector (1957), Nueve novísimos poetas españoles (1970) and the memoir books from his experience as an editor Els escenaris de la memòria (1988), Seductors, il·lustrats i visionaris (2009) or Memòries confidencials d'un editor. Tres escriptors amics (2012), amongst others.
He was chief editor of Edicions 62 between 1964 and 1996. He was also director of Ediciones Península, publishing house in Spanish dedicated to essay and philosophy. From 2000 he was President of the Board of Grup 62.
In 1983 he was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia's Saint George Cross). In 2002 he was honoured with the Medalla d'Or de la Generalitat (Gold Medal of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia), and in 20120 with the Premio Nacional de las Letras (Spanish National Literature Prize).
He was a member of honour and member of the Consultative Board of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC, Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Documentation: David Ventura.
Up-date. Xulio Ricardo Trigo and Josep Miàs.
Photographs: AELC's files and Enciclopèdia Catalana.