Artur Quintana (Barcelona, 1936), a philologist, Germanist and translator, studied Romance and German Philology at the universities of Barcelona and Cologne (Germany). In 1973 he was awarded the Nicolau d'Olwer Prize of the Institute for Catalan Studies for his thesis El parlar de la Codonyera. He has been a lector in Spanish and Catalan at universities in Cardiff, Freiburg im Breisgau and Basle, professor of German at the La Laguna secondary school, librarian in the Palatinate Library in Speyer (Spira) and lecturer in Catalan Language and Literature at the University of Heidelberg. He retired from the two latter posts in 2001 and 2003 respectively. He presently lives between La Codonyera, Barcelona and Speyer.
His work as a translator from German is especially important, in particular his Catalan versions of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s La promesa (The Pledge) and El jutge i el seu botxí (The Judge and His Hangman) in 1964, and Bertolt Brecht's Els afers del senyor Juli Cèsar (The Business Affairs of Mr Julius Caesar, 1965) and La novela de tres rals (Threepenny Novel, 1966). Together with Feliu Formosa, he also translated poems in the collection A la paret escrit amb guix. Poesia alemanya de combat (On the Wall Written in Chalk: German Combat Poetry, 1966). Among other authors he has translated from German are Freud, Lukács, Schiller and Joseph Roth.
Artur Quintana has written numerous studies on German linguistics and literature, Aragonese, Catalan and Occitan. Notable among his titles are La nostra llengua. Gramàtica de llengua catalana (1984), El català a l'Aragó (1989), El aragonés residual del Alto Valle del Mezquín (2004), El aragonés nuclear de Nerín y Sercué (2007) and El català de la Codonyera (2012). He has also edited the jointly-authored works Lo Molinar. Literatura popular catalana del Matarranya i Mequinensa (1995), Bllat colrat! Literatura popular catalana del Baix Cinca, la Llitera i la Ribagorça (1997), El Carxe: recull de literatura popular valenciana de Múrcia (1998), Roda la mola. Poesia del Baix Aragó de llengua catalana dels orígens als nostres dies (2010) and Desideri Lombarte i Arrufat: epistolari (1981-1989) (2002). Moreover, his book of memoirs La Vall de Balat: memòria de l'Aragó 1948-2003 was published in 2003.
He is a Corresponding Member of the Philological Section of the Institute for Catalan Studies, a member of the Comité d'Honor del Rolde de Estudios Aragoneses (Committee of Honour for the Aragonese Studies Circle), a member of the Consello d'a Fabla Aragonesa (Council for the Aragonese Language) of the Aragonese Academy of Language, and president of the La Franja Cultural Initiative. In 2016 he was honoured a Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George's Cross) from the Catalan Generalitat Government.
He is a member of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers – AELC).
Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC.
Photographs: Author's personal files.
Translated by Julie Wark.