Antoni Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, 1882 - Perpignan, 1949), writer, journalist, historian, translator and politician. His whole public career and his literary and intellectual works, which were deeply interwoven, deal with the defense and promotion of the Catalan national identity through the ideals of democracy, republicanism and freedom.
Antoni Rovira i Virgili is the author of near fifty works that span from essays on nationalism, biographies of significant figures of Catalan politics, books of memoirs, compilations of articles, short narrative, children's and teenager's history books, orthography and grammar handbooks, a theatre play and a book of poems. One could highlight Història dels moviments nacionalistes (3 vol., 1912-1914), Nacionalisme i Federalisme (1917), Pau Claris: estudi biogràfic i històric (1922), Història nacional de Catalunya (7 vol., 1922-1934), Teatre de la natura (1928), Els polítics catalans: Enric Prat de la Riba, Ildefons Sunyol, Jaume Carner, Joaquim Lluhí i Rissech, Francesc Cambó (1929), El principi de les nacionalitats (1932), Els darrers dies de la Catalunya republicana. Memòries sobre l'èxode català (1940) and La collita tardana (1947), among many others. As a journalist, he predominantly wrote about international politics and national Catalan history. He collaborated regularly in several newspapers and magazines —El Poble Català, La Veu de Catalunya, La Publicitat, La Humanitat, La Nació, Meridià, Mirador, L'Esquella de la Torratxa, La Mainada—, and he was the founder and chief editor of the review Revista de Catalunya (1924) and the newspaper La Nau (1927). His prose is considered among the best of the XXth Century Catalan literature.
The most relevant moments of his political career were the foundation of the parties Acció Catalana (1922) and Acció Republicana de Catalunya (1930). In 1932 he joined Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, led by Francesc Macià, and he was elected deputy for Tarragona at the Catalan parliament. In 1936 he was elected First Vice President of the parliament, and in 1940 Acting President. He was a member of the Catalan government in exile (1945-1948).
Page by Josep Miàs for AELC.
Cover photograph from ROVIRA, A.: El nacionalisme. Barcelona: La Revista, 1916.
Translated by Josep Miàs.