Joan Castelló i Guasch (Eivissa, 1911 – Palma, 1984) was a folklorist and writer.
Of humble origins he began to work from an early age, doing different kinds of jobs. When he was working as a typesetter in the newspaper Diario de Ibiza he met the historian Canon Isidor Macabich, with whom he forged a close friendship that was to have a great influence in his life. He attended the classes on general culture given by Macabich in the Centre for Social Action, a religious entity of which Macabich was founder and director. Castelló i Guasch was a founder of the Typesetters Union of Eivissa, which came under the auspices of the Balearic Islands General Workers Union. He also wrote articles of critical and social content for the publication El Obrero Balear. In 1932, he published an article criticising the Guardia Civil, for which he was prosecuted. After this he was obliged to move to Mallorca. In Palma, he worked as a printer and ended up as co-proprietor of the Alfa printing works, where he was to publish thirty-five numbers of the almanac El Pitiuso. In 1953 he was a promoter and founder-member of Eivissa House in Palma.
His work as a folklorist of the Pityusic Islands was very important. He published the folktale collections Rondaies eivissenques (Eivissa Folktales, 1953); Rondaies d'Eivissa (Folktales from Eivissa, 1955) winner of the Narrative Prose Prize at the literary competition celebrating the centenary of the birth of the poets Miquel Costa i Llobera and Joan Alcover; Rondaies i contes d'Eivissa (Folktales and Stories from Eivissa, 1961); Rondaies eivissenques de quan el Bon Jesús anava pel món (Eivissa Folktales from the Times When Lord Jesus Walked the Earth, 1974); Rondaies de Formentera (Folktales from Formentera); and Rondaies i contes de sa majora (Folktales and Stories from Sa Majora, 1976). Other major contributions were his cookbook Bon profit! El libro de la cocina ibicenca (Enjoy Your Meal! The Eivissa Cookbook, 1967) and the travel guides Ibiza y Formentera, índice para el viajero (Eivissa and Formentera: An Index for Travellers, 1948), Formentera, índice para el viajero (Formentera: An Index for Travellers, 1958) and Villa de San Antonio Abad (Ibiza). Índice para el viajero (Villa de Sant Antoni Abat (Eivissa): An Index for the Traveller, 1959).
Since 1988, the Institut d'Estudis Eivissencs (Institute for Eivissa Studies) has been publishing his work, a project directed by Felip Cirer. Among the titles that have appeared are Greix vermei i altres escrits (Red Fat and Other Writings, 1988), Barruguets, fameliars i follet. Rondaies (Imps, Crowds and Elves: Stories 1993), Bon profit! El llibre de la cuina eivissenca (Enjoy Your Meal! The Eivissa Cookbook, 1993), Rondaies de Formentera (Folktales from Formentera, 1994), Rondaies eivissenques (Eivissa Folktales, 1995) and Rondaies eivissenques de quan el bon Jesús anava pel món (Eivissa Folktales from the Times when Lord Jesus Walked the Earth, 2004).
Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC.
Documentation: Felip Cirer and Toni Terrades.
Photograph: © Joan Castelló Guasch, by Felip Cirer Costa. Palma: Institut d’Estudis Baleàrics, 2009.
Translated by Julie Wark.