Autors i Autores

Ventura Gassol


Ventura Gassol (la Selva del Camp, Baix Camp, 1893 — Tarragona, 1980) was a writer, politician, innovative pedagogue and skilled public speaker.

He received a thorough humanistic education at the Tarragona's Seminar, which he abandoned shortly before being ordained a priest. His poetry was published at the peak of the noucentista movement but relates to the romantic and vuitcentista aesthetics. He published the compilations Àmfora (1917), La nau (1920), Les tombes flamejants (1923) —whith his best known poems—, Mirra (1931), Mirages (1950) —a bilingual edition in Catalan and French—, and La balada del bressol (1977). His passion for poetry and music can be seen in his theatre production, in the plays La cançó del vell Cabrés (1921), La Dolorosa (1928), and La mort de l'ós (1935), which was never premiered. He also translated classics of world literature into Catalan and adapted several theatre plays.

A respected, admired public figure, and charismatic public speaker, he dedicated his life to Catalan national ideals. He was one of the founders of the Acció Catalana party and leader of Estat Català. He became the right-hand man of Francesc Macià, and was Minister of Culture of the Generalitat Government (1931-34 and 1936), where he carried out several initiatives to modernize, improve and make more genuine cultural life and education in Catalonia. He was also elected deputy at the Spanish Parliament (1932). He was imprisoned on several occasions for political motives and was forced into exile for much of his life.

In 1993, on the hundredth anniversary of Ventura Gassol's birth, his literary works were compiled into the volumes Poesia and Teatre, which contained interesting critiques. Essays and composition studying his life and work were also published at this time.

Page by Josep Miàs for AELC.
Header image: Photographer unknown (1973). Ventura Gassol's files, © Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya.
Translated by Josep Miàs.