Joan Oliver i Sallarès
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Joan Oliver i Sallarès (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈan uɫiˈβe j səʎəˈɾɛs]), who used as a poetry-writer the pseudonym Pere Quart, (Sabadell, 1899 - Barcelona, 1986) is considered one of the most important writers in Catalonia, specially because of his rebelliousness and social commitment.
Towards the political commitment
He was born in 1899, in the sinus of an outstanding family of the industrial bourgeoisie inhabitant of Sabadell. He was the fourth of eleven brothers, of whom was the only survivor. From here he toke the pseudonym with which he will sign the poetic work: Pere Quart. He studied Law. In year 1919, he formed the Group of Sabadell with the novelist Francesc Trabal and the poet and Armand Obiols. In this group the influence of the vanguardism was combined with the most local humor and the taste by the rigor and the well done work of inheritance.
The Civil War and the exile
During the Civil War he engaged politically with the republican side. He was nominated president of the Association of Catalan Writers and leader of Generalitat's Ministry of Culture publications. Moreover he was co-founder and headleader of Institution of the Catalan Letters publications, and author of the Catalan popular army hymn's letter. All this means a definite break with his bourgeois past and the birth of a strong political, ethical and social commitment. In this context he created "Ode to Barcelona" (of clear nationalistic and revolutionary trend) and the play "The Hunger" (La Fam, where the problems of the revolution are brought up). At the end of the war, the Republican Generalitat will order him the task of evacuating all the intellectuals. Finished the war will exile first in France, embark towards Buenos Aires and establish definitively in Santiago of Chile, where he will live for eight years. During the exile, he continued his task of intellectual compromised with his time and his country. He collaborated with "Catalonia" (edited in Buenos Aires) and directed "Germanor" (Brothehood) (edited in Chile). He set up the collection "The pine of the three branches" along Xavier Benguerel.
Resistance and transition
In 1948 Joan Oliver came back to Barcelona, where the Franco's regime was characterized by the authoritarianism and the repression. He was imprisoned three months in the Model prison of Barcelona. Three years later he received the Prize of the French Republic President in the floral games of Paris, for the translation into Catalan of The Misanthrope by Molière. He translated and adapted works of several authors, like for example Anton Chekhov. In 1960 his more emblematic work turned up: Vacances Pagades (Paid Holidays). It is a skeptical work, sarcastic too, where a great appointment with the social and political reality of the country is shown. Oliver makes an acid crictisim to the capitalism, the consumer society and the Franco dicatorship. With the death of the dictator and democracy entry, he was especially displeased with the dominant politicians, denouncing the betrayal that meant the transition. In year 1982 he rejected the Cross of Saint George. He became an uncomfortable character for the politicians, who was necessary to corner. Nothing of all this, however, prevented him from being considered one of the five best Catalan poets of the 20th century. In 1986 he died in Barcelona and was buried in his natal city, Sabadell.
- Joan Oliver (Pere Quart) at the Association of Catalan Language Writers. (English) (Spanish) (Catalan)
- Joan Oliver (Pere Quart) in LletrA, Catalan Literature Online (Open University of Catalonia) (English) (Spanish) (Catalan)