Lluís Ferran de Pol (Arenys de Mar, Maresme 1911-1995) was a short story writer and novelist and is considered to be one of the most notable fiction writers of twentieth-century Catalan literature.
From a very early age, under the tutelage of the writer Joaquim Ruyra, he took part in different literary competitions where he was awarded prizes for his work. He fought in the Civil War as a volunteer in the Republican army until, with the defeat of the Republic, he was obliged to go into exile, first in France and later in Mexico where he wrote for the newspaper El Nacional. In 1943, along with other Catalan writers, he founded one of the most influential magazines published by the exiled community, Quaderns de l'exili. In his journalistic work he became increasingly interested in pre-Columbian cultures while continually working at honing his sober and elegant style.
At the end of 1948 he returned to Catalonia to settle in his home town of Arenys de Mar, where he had a major influence on young people as a teacher. His first published works are clearly influenced by his years in the Americas, in particular the novel Abans de l'alba (Before Dawn – 1954) and the short-story collection La ciutat i el tròpic (The City and the Tropic), winner of the Víctor Català Fiction Prize, in which he reveals his interest in myth while also bringing about a shift in the usual logic of events by adopting literary lines that diverge from the testimonial style of narration of exile. In 1966, he published a novel entitled Miralls tèrbols (Murky Mirrors – 1966) in which he evokes his home town at the time of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship in a pessimistic reflection on human existence. The same year, 1966, also saw the publication of his translation (El vell i la mar) of The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, one of the writers he most admired.
From the 1960s onwards he frequently wrote in the Catalan-language press, both newspapers and reviews. His collection of children's stories Entre tots ho farem tot (All Together We'll Do It All) was published later, in 1982.
In 1986, he received the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross) from the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia.
Web page: Francesc Viñas for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs: P. Fidel Fita Library of Arenys de Mar.