Manuel Milà i Fontanals (Vilafranca del Penedès, Alt Penedès, 1818-1884), considered one of the key figures responsible for introducing Romanticism into Catalonia, is a major figure of the literary Renaixença. He participated in the reestablishment of the Jocs Florals, defending its catalanity.
His works on History, Literature and Philology, of a great intellectual rigour, opened a new path and set the standards for modern methods of investigation. One could higlight Observaciones sobre la poesía popular, con muestras de romances catalanes inéditos (1853), De los trovadores en España (1861), Ressenya històrica i crítica dels antics poetes catalans (1865), De la poesía heroico-popular castellana (1874) and Estudios de lengua catalana (1875), amongst many others. He also wrote poetry, such as the epic poem La cançó del pros Bernard (1867) and the song La Complanta d'En Guillem (1872).
One of his most distinguished disciples, Menéndez y Pelayo, was in charge of the publication of Obras completas del Doctor D. Manuel Milá y Fontanals (8 vol., 1888-1896), a compilation of most of his essays, articles and speeches. In 1908 apeared the volume Obres catalanes d'en Manuel Milà i Fontanals, which compiled, for the first time, his Catalan poems in one volume, as well as his speeches and articles on philology and literature. Currently, the Institut d'Estudis Catalans is preparing the revised critical edition of his Complete Works, edited by Manuel Jorba, one of the most important specialist of his work.
Page by Josep Miàs for AELC.
Documentation: Josep Miàs.
Front image: Oil portrait of Manuel Milà i Fontanals, by Josep Ll. Pellicer i Fenyé (1888). From the Galeria de Catalans Il·lustres de la Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona, © property of the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona.
Translated by Josep Miàs.