Maurici Serrahima (Barcelona, 1902-1979) was an essayist and fiction writer.
Notable in his work as a literary critic are his proposals for constructing an idea of fiction that is guided by the notion of the psychological novel. Essential references in this domain are Assaigs sobre la novel·la (Essays on the Novel, 1934) and, in the 1960s, La crisi de la ficció (The Crisis of Fiction, 1965) and also Sobre llegir i escriure (On Reading and Writing, 1966). He would eventually clash with some members of his generation over his views on Catalan writers, which he expressed in Dotze mestres (Twelve Masters, 1972), in which he particularly highlighted the figure of Narcís Oller. A good idea of Serrahima’s views on fiction is offered in one of his best essays “Marcel Proust" (1971).
His character as a plural writer and literary intellectual meant that he worked in different genres. His works of fiction are noteworthy, in particular the novels Després (Afterwards, 1951) and La frontissa (The Hinge, 1982), along with the collections of short stories Petit món enfebrat (Small and Febrile World, 1947) and Contes d'aquest temps (Stories of These Times, 1951), inter alia. Essential for understanding a whole epoch of Catalan culture are his diaries De mitja vida ençà (Half a Life Onwards, 1970) and Memòries de la Guerra Civil i de l'exili: 1936 -1940 (Memoirs of the Civil War and Exile: 1936 – 1940). His memoirs were compiled between 2003 and 2008, in seven volumes, by Josep Poca.
Also to be emphasised is his civic stance vis-à-vis the character of Catalonia itself, one of the most relevant consequences of this being his debate with Julián Marías, which is discussed in his book Realitat de Catalunya: resposta a Julián Marías (The Reality of Catalonia: Response to Julián Marías, 1969). In 1977, he was named a Senator by royal appointment.
Web page: Xulio Ricardo Trigo for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.