In 1922 he travelled to Munich to study under Karl Vossler. He completed his classical education by travelling to Italy and Greece in the 1920s. Around this time he collaborated with Pompeu Fabra on the General Dictionary of the Catalan Language (Diccionari General de la Llengua Catalana).
Because of his association with Republicanism and Catalan nationalism, he was compelled to flee to Montpellier, France, after the victory of Francoist forces at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. In 1943 he returned to Barcelona, working on translations from classical authors for the Fundació Bernat Metge, of which he eventually became director.
He wrote poetic works including Estances (1919 and 1930), Bierville Elegies (Les Elegies de Bierville) (1943), Salvatge Cor (1952), Del joc i del foc (1947), and Esbós per a tres oratoris (1957), as well as translations of Constantine Cavafy, Friedrich Hölderlin, Edgar Allan Poe, Rainer Maria Rilke and Franz Kafka, and classical works including Homer´s Odyssey, Plutarch´s Parallel Lives, and dramas by Sophocles and Euripides into Catalan.
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- Works by Carles Riba at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Carles Riba at Internet Archive
- Carles Riba at the Association of Catalan Language Writers. (in English) (in Spanish) (in Catalan)
- Carles Riba in LletrA, Catalan Literature Online (Open University of Catalonia) (in English) (in Spanish) (in Catalan)