La Renaixença become a patriotic movement (1868-1874)

The relative freedom of the Democratic Six-Year canceled the prohibition of the theater in Catalan language and allowed the appearance of the first magazines in Catalan of long life: "La Campana de Gràcia" (1870) y "L’Esquella de la Torratxa" (1872), of republican and popular inspiration; and the literate and conservative ones, how "Lo Gay Saber" (1868) and especially "La Renaixença" (1871). More novels and plays in Catalan continued being published. A group of writers set up in 1870 the Young Catalonia -name similar to that of other societies of the same kind in Ireland, Italy, etc -, the first entity with vocation of bringing the Renaixença of the literature and the art in the civic terrain, although apolitical. They created the bimonthly magazine "La Renaixença", which a posteriori gave its name to all the movement of recovery of the Catalan as a literary language. One of the cofounders was a colleague of Gaudí at the Piarists of Reus: Antoni Aulèstia i Pijoan. However, the consolidation of the Renaixença among an intellectual and creative minority coincided in the time with the greatest and effective effort of the Spanish State and of the ruling classes of Catalonia to eradicate the Catalan language and to Hispanicize completely the society. The substitution of the Catalan language for the Spanish became compulsory, for example, in the parish books and in the notaries writings. It was also already very majority the you in the private correspondence. It was the case of Gaudí and his young friends. Catalan scripture was preserved only in reduced circles of specially literate people, like the bookseller Bocabella, who wrote his personal letters in Catalan. In the other Catalan countries the Renaixença circles grew up, especially in the Baleares, from where the poets participated frequently in the Floral Games of Barcelona. Other regular to obtain awards in the Floral Games they were two poets of Reus colleagues of Gaudí in the Piarists: Josep Martí i Folguera and Antoni Aulèstia i Pijoan. In 1872 the great painter Marià Fortuny i Carbó, natural of Reus, died in Rome, at 36 years. He was very admired for Gaudí, who commented: "Saw the color with more security that the great masterss, better than Velázquez and Rafael and almost as much as the Veronese". His heart was brought to Reus and preserved in an urn in the parish church. In 1873, Lluís Domènech i Montaner obtained the title of architect at School of Madrid. Soon he would come back to Barcelona to incorporate as a teacher into the new school of the city. Precisely the headquarters of the University, the first public building of the Eixample and the first big building of new mediaeval style, work of Elies Rogent, were being finished.

Josep Maria Tarragona, April 4, 2007

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Last update: 06/05/2016