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What’s Inside: Joel Romero

To Mars and Back

Barcelona Uninhibited Creative Talent and Freedom

Petras Albas

The Royal Monastery of Pedralbes

Music Notes

The Baroque Guitar

Project Scheherezade

Promoting Women Throughout History

ISSN 2572-9268 Print ISSN 2572-9276 Online





CONTENTS XIV 2018 ISSN 2572-9268 Print • ISSN 2572-9276 On line Publisher’s Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 4 WINTER 2018

Illustrious Guests: Truman Capote . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 5 Joel Romero: To Mars and Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 7 Barcelona Uninhibited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 14 Petras Albas: The Royal Monastery of Pedralbes . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 17 Music Notes: The Baroque Guitar . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 25 Semproniana Restaurant-Ada Parellada . . . . . . . P. 28 Books and Roses Book Fairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 31 Project Scheherezade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 32 CATALONIA en Català . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 33

ONE THE COVER (story on p. 17) The Royal Manastery of Pedralbes, Barcelona Photos By Mayte Duarte

CATALONIA MAGAZINE is published quarterly by AICS American Institute for Catalan Studies. Contact: © 2018 CATALONIA MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Printed in the U.S. Catalonia Links FIEC / Generalitat de Catalunya / PAGE 3


Hellena Cardús AICS - President Publisher / Editor Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of CATALONIA, a quarterly publication by AICS (American Institute of Catalan Studies) which is based in the large metropolis, Houston, Texas. This is the 14th, newly revised edition, which is currently distributed over multiple English speaking countries and throughout the European continent and consists of the following principal collaborators: Hellena Cardús, AICS President, Publisher/ Editor CATALONIA Mayte Duarte, AICS Vice-President, Senior Staff Writer CATALONIA Miquel Giménez, Senior Writer, CATALONIA Fernando Gómez, Senior Writer, CATALONIA Goncal Mayos, Senior Writer, CATALONIA David Murgadas, Senior Writer, CATALONIA Judith Sherwood, Principal Designer / Technical Consultant

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Catalan communities around the world need your support to maintain the cultural institutions, which have been and continue to be the principal vehicles of dissemination of Catalonia’s rich cultural legacy. AICS (American Institute for Catalan Studies) founded in Houston, Texas in 1979, has a rich history of publishing and distributing a variety of publications ranging from quarterly bulletins, magazines, classic translations, translations of music and more. AICS has also organized a multitude of cultural events state-wide, including musical concerts, art and culinary tours and Book & Rose fairs. AICS has obtained U.S. nation-wide recognition for CATALONIA by obtaining declarations proclaiming the Diada Catalana in September as Catalonia’s Nation Day. AICS will continue its publication of CATALONIA magazine, in spite of the difficult times that the Catalan Cultural organizations struggle with due to the current lack of grants forthcoming from Catalan institutions. PAGE 4

We are excited to bring forth a newly, revised magazine with a staff of award winning writers and collaborators and will feature interesting new sections, including : Landmarks; Lifestyle; Gastronomy; Art; Music; Literature; History; Travel; Science; Sports; and Women. Please continue to support us by becoming a member of AICS and subscribing to CATALONIA Magazine or sponsoring our magazine and other cultural events. Donations are always appreciated. For additional information, please contact Hellena Cardus; AICS President and CATALONIA Publisher at: Support Catalonia’s Culture, its History and its Future! Visca Catalunya!!




About the Author To know Catalonia, is to love her and some lovers of our land and culture have been illustrious guests in love, as well, and we will be remembering them. Fernando Gómez, writer, Barcelona, 1957 In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is an indispensable book in the history of literature. Catalonia has the pride and honor of having put a grain of sand so that this novel, a journalistic monument by the genius from New Orleans, would see the light. In the beautiful village of Palamós on the Costa Brava, Truman Capote finished his immortal work. This is the story of his three summer visits in this idyllic paradise. Truman Capote arrived in Palamós on April 26th, 1960 in a Chevrolet accompanied by his partner Jack Dunphy, an old bulldog, a blind poodle, a Siamese cat and 25 suitcases as luggage. Distributed in these suitcases, he had 4,000 sheets of paper that would be part of his greatest work, In Cold Blood. The first stop was at Hotel Trias, in the suite located on the seventh floor which now shows his name, Truman Capote. The moment he set foot in this fishing town, this genius, fell in love with Palamós. Capote had chosen Palamós to flee from the excesses of his New York parties on the recommendation of The Washington Post columnist, Robert Ruark,

who was well established in the municipality of the Costa Brava since the mid-1950s. Hollywood stars had brought glamor to the Costa Brava, haunted by golden sand coves and their crystalline waters. In a letter to a friend from New York, he wrote: “This is a fishing village, the water is as clear and blue as the eye of a siren. This first visit leads up to repeat visits over the next two summers. In the second summer of this holiday trilogy, he stayed in a rented house close to the center of Palamós, which allowed him to get acquainted with the customs of the town. His stay in 1961 was focused on the particularities of the town’s people. Truman Capote ran around Palamós in a long jacket and hat, whether it was hot or cold, blending in as an everyday person. The truth is that he did not interact very much with the town’s people, only minimal interactions, always with gentility. During these days his obsession was to work from sun up to sun down on the novel he was writing. The novelist enjoyed the relaxed town PAGE 5


life; he needed to get away from the busy social scene in Manhattan. In those days, he enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in Carrer Major, especially on market days where it was not uncommon to see him buy fruit and vegetables from the peasants with whom he exchanged smiles, which half a century later, at least one of these sellers, still remembers. Another of Truman Capote’s passions was to buy fish freshly arrived from the sea and directly sold on the dock. There is evidence that the fish zarzuela was his favorite dish. The surrounding cloak in Palamós made him feel uninhibited because nobody recognized him. During this second stay, he avoided festivities and on occasions socialized with the celebrities who also vacationed in the area, focusing on giving shape to his novel, In Cold Blood. In the summer of 1962, Truman Capote spent his third vacation in Palamos. In love with the beauty of the area and its unforgettable sunsets, he proudly invited his friends to come visit him. Among these privileged guests was Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy, who, like the writer, was astonished at the enclave and promised him to convince his sister and President John F. Kennedy to spend a few days there.

Capote was so haunted by the landscape that in the summer of 1962 he contemplated buying a house next to the beautiful cove Canyers. He was willing to pay 25 million pesetas requested by the landlord, but his companion, who loved snow more than the sea, convinced him to buy a villa in the Swiss Alps. Not only did he suffer this setback, but on this day, August 7th, 1962 at the Cervantes bookshop, he lays his eyes on “La Vanguardia”. His face was transmuted when his gaze stopped on page 13 and he read in bold letters: Los Angeles: Actress Marilyn Monroe has died. Truman shouted shamelessly in the middle of the street: “My friend has died! ‘My friend has died!’ Marilyn Monroe, his friend, for whom he had written the wonderful article “A lovely baby,” had died. The summer ended, and Truman Capote returned to the United States. He never returned to Palamós again. He never stepped foot on those Mediterranean lands where perhaps he had lived the happiest summers of his life only to be stained by the death of his friend, Marilyn Monroe. © Fernando Gómez

AICS BOOK EVENTS BRAZOS BOOKSTORE APRIL 29, 2018 BARNES & NOBLE MAY 5, 2018 Visit for more information



JOEL ROMERO: To Mars and Back

By Mayte Duarte 2017

Joel Romero studies in Vilanova i la Geltrú in Catalonia and has devised a system of super architectures that can operate from a spaceship in orbit around Mars, without having to descend to the planet and thus ensure the integrity of the mission and lives of the astronauts. With the help of his Father, Antoni Romero (an engineer) and his tutor, María José Hellín, at the Institute Francesc Xavier Lluch i Rafecas, Joel Romero has developed a project for which he was awarded the XVIII Exporecerca Jove prize with his work “Design of a Telepresence System to Operate at Mars’ Surface in a Pre-Colonial Context” and also participated in the INTEL-ISEF 2017 International Fair in Los Angeles, California, becoming the first Catalan to obtain a Special Award at this fair.

MD – Which was your first contact with the Sciences? JR. - I cannot remember it. I’ve been very curious from an early age. Not as an active participant, but my parents have always encouraged me to learn more, and I was the typical child asking the question, Why? Why? Why?.. for which they always had an answer. This curiosity has been growing within me since childhood. MD. - And the interest in technology? JR. - The same thing. In fact, I wanted to be an inventor. MD – In your understanding, what is it like to be an inventor? PAGE 7


JR. - A person who creates new things that have not been thought of before. MD - You are now at a very important moment in your life, despite your young age, given the results you’ve had in a study project. Tell us how you’ve come to this point. JR. - It all began at the Institute where I study in the middle of 2016 when my father, Antoni Romero, a Technology Professor, became acquainted with a project called “Youngsters and Science” which offered students within Institutes to opt for a threeyear science scholarship program. It was a time in my life when I was very discouraged, despite the fact that everyone told me that I excelled


in science and technology, I did not think I would have a future. At home and school I was often encouraged, however, sometimes you feel that they do this out of love and to protect you. Nevertheless, I presented myself and, I made the preselection. On the day of the interview, I flipped out. I expected something similar to a court hearing, and yet, I was met by four Ph.D. students who did not examine me, they spoke to me and asked questions about all of the subjects that I liked, constantly asking for my opinion. I felt very good about the interview, with a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I returned to the Institute with a much livelier spirit and, at the end, I was one of the ten students selected for the astrophysics program. In the summer of 2016, I spent two weeks in Mont Natura Pirineus doing an internship in astrophysics. When I finished the research, the second phase began which was the development of a scientific article related to my project. But in addition to the work in the field of astrophysics, I was also passionate about the field of technology, and I wanted to join the two fields. That is why I hesitated to decide between different topics, such as space mining. It’s at about that time after I once again watched the movie “Avatar” that I envisioned how the scanner was communicating with the actual person, with the external body. And I remembered that live video with laser technology could be


I fell to the ground in the middle of the street and started crying with emotion. I called my parents, it was a shock because it was a dream that had just come true. After that, I continued working there and was presented with the opportunity to attend the EXPORECERCA JOVE de Magma Fair. They notified me when there were only three days left to close the registration period and, it was a major effort to adapt everything to the format that was requested on the website, including, history, bibliography, images, etc., all in a specific format. It was crazy. I worked until 3:00 a.m. and I sent everything in English to the section where I should have sent it in Catalan and, I could not undo it. It was a total mess to the point where I believed that there was no hope. But when I visited the CERN website, they had already taken the project off the waiting lists and, I had been selected as a fair participant. I was so happy that without thinking twice, I went to look for my teacher to celebrate. From the sixth to the eighth of April, my mentor was with me at the Fair. It was great to share all the work I had accomplished with the audience and the jury.

transmitted and that maybe I could fuse the two ideas, and that became the outline for my project. The rest of my holidays I researched the possible technologies and, in September, I started working on the development of a formal theory. In February, the article was finished with some basic and simple empirical evidence to corroborate my theory. My dream since childhood has always been to go to MIT, but I knew it was very difficult because there were fifty people who were very strong candidates and only two spots. One day on my way to music class, I received an email stating: “Congratulations” Completion of the RC selection and you have been selected!

MD - It has been said that one of the features that stands out from your project is the “low cost” aspect and that this is not necessarily true regarding the dedication in hours of work and talent. JR. - Yes. You save in material what you put in human capital. Also, I could not put aside my other daily life activities: classes, the conservatory, etc... I slept little, at most between five or six hours. At the Institute it was sometimes reflected in my exams. But PAGE 9


the end came and, I was awarded two prizes at the ExpoRecerca Jove. One of the companies that award me a prize was named Ingenios Emotion Control. I liked that they valued the final objective of the project. Just when it seemed to me to be all over, my name sounded again. I could not believe it! It was already a dream to be at the ISEF. I knew that of the eighty participants, only nineteen would be going to the ceremony in Los Angeles and was aware of its international projection and importance. One of the things that surprised me most was to feel so comfortable in an American environment. You think you have attained a certain English language skill level, but until you are in the USA, you cannot be sure of your proficiency. Luckily I communicate in English, as well as in Catalan or Spanish. MD. - One of the advantages of being polyglot. JR. - This is another one of my dreams, to learn all of the languages that I can in the future. MD. - Evidently, you master even more languages, including music, since you go to the conservatory and play the violin. Do your studies in music help you in your science education? JR. - Yes, very much! Music, like mathematics, are universal languages. Additionally, for me, music is PAGE 10

like the glue that makes my dreams stand. I also like to write and most of my stories are based on the songs that I hear. Also, it serves as a release mechanism in moments of great stress. MD. - You come back from L.A. and then what? JR. - First I tried to touch the ground. The fair in L.A. was structured over two days. One for the public and the other for the jury. It was composed of the Intel booth and a special jury formed by different associations that ranged from NASA to the American Dental Association. Due to nerves, I left all the design material back in the hotel, so that the part which corresponds to the associations was void of the public. But in the second part with the Intel jury, someone contacts the members from NASA and they show interest. What impressed them most was that a person, without much knowledge and experience, had designed this project in different phases and stages from a preliminary concept to its final achievement and, also, with “low cost” material. Although this was not a prize, it was very important to me, because it was the recognition of everything that I had done so far. During the Intel ceremony, at the Special Awards awards ceremony, NASA made their announcement: “And the second Award is for the mechanical engineering project from Vilanova i la Geltrú!.”


MD – What are the components of this multi part solution that received the award from NASA? Because it is not a single concept, nor a concrete piece, such as the robotic glove that is more widely recognized. What are the stages of this super architecture? JR. - It is a system with different super architectures and, each one is necessary so that the final objective can be carried out, that is to say:The key is that we need an astronaut who can control and perform tasks externally, without having to be in the physical location. To do this, you need to be able to send a laser signal to a humanoid robot from orbit by being 17,000 km in height above the object, because beyond this height, the laser is scattered and it is then very difficult, not to say impossible, to hit the target or achieve the objective. And here is where the Rover intervenes with a very large receptor which would be in charge of receiving this laser information and processing it. In addition, from this platform, studies could be performed on the different zones to analyze if they could be important for future colonization. But this infrastructure is already in itself important.

to my needs, to efficiently transmit the information between one point to another. MD. - Is this perhaps the phase where you were inspired by the movie Avatar?

JR. - Exactly. For the laser, however, as I have not yet studied Theory of Communication at the university, I knew that there was something known as modulation which allowed for transmission of information. The only knowledge I had was regarding the laser with five transmitters and five receivers that sent information in 0 and 1, in binary code. But that was too complicated and, I wanted to make it easier with an analog system. I did many tests until I found that you could accomplish it with the duration of laser activation. I created a table, by assigning a certain duration, in milliseconds to each letter and other signs, such as ellipses or exclamations. You could encode any message. MD. - Like Morse Code?

Joel Romero with his parents

Also, we needed to design a “glove,” a robotic system to capture people’s remote movements, which at the same time, allowed for those who manipulate it, to view what the robot is seeing. Therefore, I had to prepare a laser communication protocol which I developed from scratch because there was nothing in existence, which would adapt

JR. - But, Morse code is an established code and, I wanted open, completely analogical communication, through any computer keyboard. Obviously, Morse is much more efficient. But I did not want to create a new code, I just wanted to show that it was physically possible to put a phrase in a laser signal. Next, we had to develop what was needed for the space craft. I could not develop the prototype but could design how it needed to be equipped for people’s lives, as well as making calculations of how long it would take to go and return. I calculated PAGE 11


Joel Romero, creator of a robotic prototype to explore Mars, was awarded a prize at the XVIII Exporecerca Jove with the opportunity to participate in the Intel ISEF Fair, which took place in May 2017 in Los Angeles, California where he received a prize awarded by NASA, thus becoming the first Spaniard to earn the Special Award.

two hundred fifty-five days back and forth, in the most economical orbit possible and also the ships capacity to accommodate a crew of three or four people. I also researched landing methods for robots that are much heavier than those that have been sent so far. Curiosity is currently the largest and a specific system needed to be invented based on the new technologies, which have not yet been tested in space. It is a variation of the ion motor for space propulsion, which raises the temperature of the ionized gas, being able to be expelled at a speed of 50,000m / s. It was very important to imitate how plants work and make the hydrogen cell extract water from the planet and turn it into energy. Rover, during the Martian solar day, would be in charge of extracting water and separating it into hydrogen and oxygen, and at night, fusing it to regenerate energy. With this kind of photosynthesis, it could be dispensed with any battery-powered battery, either nuclear or solar, otherwise, becoming self-sufficient, selfmanaged, and sustainable. This would be the basis for future human colonization of space. MD - Clearly, the thing that motivated you most was the human factor. JR. - Yes. When you hear in the news that a trip to Mars is without a return, that is when my project PAGE 12

acquires more value and meaning. People should not be sent there to die. The most important premise is to expand life beyond the earth. This is the ultimate goal of my project. MD. - Obviously, you form part of a generation which holds the future in their hands. These are generations which have grown under the conviction of globalization and open knowledge. Is it possible that the “salvation” of humanity depends, in the end, on entrepreneurial and individual creativity, in a society which currently does not recognize or reward excellence and much less facilitates it? JR. - They say that the Theory of General Relativity was the last work of a single man. I think it’s a great achievement that technology enables us to work online. Collectively we are stronger than alone, as long as individuality is respected, because it is in the diversity, when we all work collectively, that we can develop and analyze different perspectives. In my opinion, technology must always be at the service of humanity, to protect it. © Mayte Duarte 2017


NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and

aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in

MAGMA is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the thirst and passion for research among young people and the exchange of experiences with other similar associations of a national and international nature. For this, various activities of a national, state and international nature are being carried out in commissions, which meet every two weeks to work on the various projects. The organization is made up of fifty people, mostly young people who collaborate in the various activities of the association. The association is part of MILSET, an international federation that promotes research among young people. It is affiliated to INTEL-ISEF, the only Spanish entity that is empowered to present projects at this fair. The winning projects are selected in each edition of Exporecerca Jove.

1958, NASA drives advances in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality and stewardship of Earth.

MAYTE DUARTE Staff writer, Catalonia Magazine. Contemporary writer, journalist, blogger and editor of books, articles and other publications. Anthropology of religions, symbolism and research in the fields of Homo Tecnològicus; Human and Dragon in Catalonia archetype. Barcelona, 1962.




By Miquel Giménez

About the Author Miquel Giménez - Barcelona 1959 - journalist and writer, leads us to some of the most outstanding characters of the Barcelona of the 1920s.

It was a time in which creative talent and freedom abounded and very much in sync with the wave of the Berlin cabarets and the Paris of the Belle Époque. It was the Golden Years of music halls, l’Eden Concert, Teatre Victoria, Arnau, the coffee shops, whores and transvestites, when the Molino was called La Pajarera Catalana (the Catalan Birdhouse). The aristocrats went underground to mingle with workers, and writers lived at night. It was a time of light, excesses and promiscuity. Barcelona vibrated full of contradictions and nightlife which surpassed other European capitals. PAGE 14

Spanish neutrality during the First World War had favored the vertiginous enrichment of a productive economy that would contribute to the birth of a true entertainment industry that had its golden moments during the frenzy in which Barcelona lived in the 1920s. Popular scenarios, along with the emergence of a radio and film industry, propelled the model of a new city which established the paradigms of mass culture which still explain our present reality. At the turn of the XIX to XX centuries, Barcelona was as Ernest Hemingway proclaimed the Paris of the


times, “A real celebration.” Intellectual gatherings, which are currently common at the Ateneu or Quatre Gats, hosted the best of artists, intellectuals and politicians of the times. It is not necessary to list all the well-known names, such as that of a young Picasso, who made his first exhibition at Els Quatre Gats, gathering of restless and enlightened characters forming the beginning of what would become the modernist movement, spearheaded by the likes of Ramon Casas and Santiago Rusiñol; a Picasso who painted “Les Mandangüeles”, ladies of the night, the brothel on Carrer Avinyó and in posterity would be known as “Les demoiselles d’Avignon”, creating amusing confusion about whether they were women from a French city.

PEIUS GENER The great talents of the Barcelona of the 1920s were a combination of the ladies of the night and the gentlemen who were members of the aristocratic and exclusive Cercle del Liceu. They would create immortal works, while still being fanciful, playful, with that Catalan touch, innocent and authentic, at the same time. We lovingly remember, in the midst of so much prodigy, the nebulous, entertaining and lying scoundrel named Pompeyo Gener. Peius, as he was known, famous for his confabulations and chimeras that made his friends and acquaintances laugh at heart. It was Peius who stated, scholarly and seriously that in Paris he lived in lofts with such low ceilings that he could only eat hake fish. The same humor which was evident in his business cards and summed up his lifestyle, in a single phrase, “Pompeu Gener, savant català, from the Anthropological Institute of Paris, Avenue of Petritxol, Barcelonne.“ It is Peius, evicted from where he lived, while passing in front of the Hotel Colon (no longer in existence), located at the corner of Plaça Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia, dragging a cart with all his earthly

belongings, wraps himself in a Catalan flag and parades proudly causing everyone to get up from their chairs and applaud warmly. He is the same dreamer whom the painter Miquel Utrillo spurs by asking him which were the most original baths he had known, and Peius answering that undoubtedly they had been those of the city of Baghdad – (he, who had only gone to Paris and Madrid), adding that Baghdad was so magnificent, that in the middle of the city there was a desert. Enormous Peius, who at the time of his death left his beloved Barcelona in a testament, both generous and false, all his goods, possessions, art collections and all kinds of imaginary inventions, demonstrating that although he was a compulsive liar, he was also a great lord. Peius himself, who was admitted shortly before transferring to the clinic of L’Aliança, thanks to the office of Don Manel Ribé, Head of Ceremony of the Barcelona City Council, and when he receives the visit of King Alfons XII, asks his majesty a quick response; “Lord, make Mr. Ribé a Count!” Peius wrote many of the verses entitled, Los Cent (the 100), advice of the Consell de Cent (the Council of a Hundred) written with natural grace, sprouted by improvisation. He will never make good speeches He who fills up with chickpeas Or.. Collecting cork stoppers will never get you out of trouble Or the classic one ... A Present full of romances, a Past full of donuts, a Future that is so tame, and a bunch of cabbages. What else do you want? This enchanting, uninhibited character was a friend of eminences and street people alike, famous painters and writers, as well as peddlers and PAGE 15


craftsmen. He was a regular at the Lyon D’Or, a once very famous club, inaugurated at the end of the 19th century. He was brave and always carried two candles and always sat next to someone who could pay his dinner. Pompeyo Gener i Babot is not well known in the history of literature – “Fet i fet” (done, done), “La mort i el dimoni” (Death and the devil) inspired by positivism, is his only work of certain importance. Let us rectify this, though! It was this “uninhibited character” who copies the great novelist, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, and states that the Almogavars carried their swords with the engraved inscription, “Fot-li, fot-li!” (f*** them), phrase which the author copies, word by word, in the first edition of “Viatge al Pais de l’Art” (Trip to the Country of Art). As the poet stated, now tell me this is not poetry. ©Miquel Giménez


POMPEU GENER I BABOT Barcelona, 1848 — Barcelona, 1920 Son of a Barcelona pharmacist, receives his Ph.D. in Natural Sciences (1875). Cosmopolitan, he travels to several European countries. Progressive, he leans toward federal republicanism during the revolution of 1868 and participates 1880, in the First Catalan Congress of Valentí Almirall. He spends long periods in Paris, where he publishes his most famous book, La Mort et le Diable (1880), with a prologue by Émile Littré. He


also travels to Paris where he gets in touch with modern ideological currents - often through Ernest Renan, a leader in Catalan culture: he disseminates evolutionism with positivist, radical and optimistic roots, and vitalism of Nietzschean roots, (author of the Castilian version El Anticristo y la moral ascetica, 1903 (The Antichrist and ascetic morality) which opposes Christian morality and illustrates theories about races and cultures, which are not always coherent and rigorous. He collaborates in numerous publications (among others, L’Avenç, Contemporània Magazine, L’Esquella de la Torratxa and, above all, Joventut) and publishes some thirty-five titles of a wide variety of genres and quality, among them doctrinal works , like Herejías (1887), Literarias Malsanas (1894), which provokes a controversy with Clarín, Amigos y Maestros (Invisible) (1801), Inducciones (1901) and Cosas de España (1903), burlesque works, such as Los Cent Consells del Consell de Cent (1891), one of the most popular, plays, Senyors de Paper! (1907), and Pasion y Muerte de Miguel Servet (1909), and La Agencia d’Informes Comercials (1905), and stories of historical subject, not exempt from thesis, as Dones de Cor. A clever journalist – highlights, more for audience, than cultural responsibility- the most controversial aspects of his ideology and personality, which he adorns with successes and illustrious cultural relations. This attitude detracts from his fame in the world of culture, which initially respects him because of his innovative nature and offers him great popularity. However, over time he is reduced to a sympathetic and innocuous figure of bohemian Barcelona which everyone recognizes as the hypocritical Peius. (Source: Great Catalan encyclopedia -


PETRAS ALBAS: The Royal Monastery of Pedralbes

By Mayte Duarte

The monastery of Pedralbes was founded by Queen Elisenda de Montcada (1292-1364) in 1327, with the support of her husband, King Jaume II (12671327), who wanted the church to be dedicated to Santa Maria. Following the spiritual currents of the time, the new monastery was inhabited, in the beginning, by a clan of nuns, the feminine branch of the order of San Francisco, who, in a virtually uninterrupted manner, resided there until1983. To better understand the symbolism that surrounds it, we should delve into the historical context of its founders. Following the guidelines of France, the order of the Temple was dissolved in 1317. It is worth mentioning that, in the Tarragona council, the Catalan Templars

were declared innocent. However, their estates and domains were distributed amongst the order of the Hospital and the new military order created by Jaume II: The Order of Montesa. Jaume II of Aragon, known as the Fair King, introduced the Gothic style to Catalonia. In Sicily, where art was used to give prestige to the Crown of Aragon, he developed a new sensitivity. Married in second nuptials with Blanca de Nรกpoles and in fourth nuptials to Elisenda de Montcada, all three would contribute through family tradition and direct participation towards the objectives of this transformation of aesthetic symbols with churches consecrated to Maria and the octagonal bell towers, as seen in the Monastery of Santes PAGE 17


glass windows of the fourteenth century, several graves of noble families and the three choirs: the high, the bass and the friars.

Creus (Tarragona), the monastery of Pedralbes (Barcelona), the churches of Cervera, Balaguer and Santa Maria del Pi (Barcelona), the Seu Vella de Lleida or the Cathedral of Barcelona. The main characteristics of the Catalan Gothic are the unitary spaces; compact and smooth outer shapes; large smooth surfaces where the bodies of the structure are only marked with moldings; use of wood decks on diaphragm arches; horizontality; towers finished on flat roofs; separate bell towers, or the apse; great formal purity; almost eliminating transepts; buttresses; chapels between the buttresses; roofs; predominance of fillings over holes; little importance of stained glass; equal height of the three naves; taste for unique crafts; great separation between pillars of the arch, in addition to the pointed and octagonal shapes for elements such as pillars, towers, domes, etc. The monastery is one of the best models of the Catalan Gothic style, both for the church and its bell tower and the three-story cloister, one of the most spacious and harmonious examples of this style. In respect to the church, it is worth highlighting the tomb of Queen Elisenda, which offers two slopes, the one that faces the church, where her image appears dressed as a sovereign, and the one that faces the cloister, where she is shown as a widow and penitent. Similarly, outstanding, are the stained PAGE 18

Inside the monastery, and around the cloister, you can see a series of day cells, where the monks withdrew for personal seclusion. The chapel of Sant Miquel, commissioned by the abbess Sor Francesca ça Portella in 1343, to the painter Ferrer Bassa, with clear influences by important artists such as Giotto, Lorenzetti and Simone Martini. The monastery includes a visit to the Chapter room, the Abbey, the Refectory, kitchen, grocer’s room, the dormitory and nursing room. It is one of the bestpreserved examples of a hospital building of the Renaissance era. The Monastery of Pedralbes, in addition to its value as an architectural complex, demonstrates, thanks to the objects and works of art within it, the monastic life within the community over time up to 1983, in which the monastery was converted into a museum. With the founding of the monastery, Elisenda, with strong spiritual restlessness, sought to redeem her sins and those of her family. The Pedralbes, in the old district of Sarrià, was chosen by the Queen for the construction of the monastery. The name of the House of Pedralbes is documented since the year 986 and comes from the name Petras Albas, in reference to the white color of the nearby quarry, at the foot of the mountain of Sant Pere Màrtir, where it was located. The place was ideal because it was near the court of Barcelona, an inhabited area, but far from the hustle and bustle of the city. In 1328, shortly after the death of James II, Elisenda moved her residence from the Royal Palace of Barcelona to the rooms of the palace that had been built next to Pedralbes and resided there until her death in 1364. In spite of her retirement, the Queen, as counselor, did not remain on the fringes of the political life of the kingdom, nor of the community of Clarisses, for which she dictated four ordinations and to whom she left most of her inheritance. The


monastery from the onset was governed by the most important lineages of Catalan nobility and bourgeoisie, such as the Montcada, the Pinós, the Cardona, the Cruïlles, the Centelles, the March, the Castellet and the Bastida. The gifts and testamentary legacy of the Queen, the exemption from payment of certain parochial taxes and the Roman Catholic Church, and the protection of the Royal House and the Consell de Cent (Council of 100 of Barcelona from 1357) granted the monastery economic independence and unique importance within the Church. The monastery came to have a significant heritage that extended throughout Catalonia, which gave it predominant political and social status throughout its long history. The 16th century represented a turning point for the history of the monastery and its property as a result of the changes brought about by the union of the Catalan-Aragonese Crowns and the Franciscan reform of strict observance, within the general reform of the Church. The abbesses of Catalan lineages were replaced by abbesses linked to important Castilian lineages, such as Teresa Enríquez (1495-1507), Sister Maria d’Aragó (1515-1519), the daughter of King Ferdinand, and Teresa de Cardona (1521) -1562), cousin of the King. The establishment of the reform of the observance during this century reinforced the closure of the

monastery with the closing of all spaces that had contact with the outside world. Towards the end of the 16th century, a progressive economic and physical decline of the monastery began. The monastery was no stranger to the sociopolitical context of the country. In the 15th century, during the Civil War between Joan II and the Generalitat (1472-1475), the nuns were forced to abandon the monastery for the first time, which meant a drastic break in the spirit of the closure. Upon the outbreak of the Reapers’ War (1640), the nuns abandoned Pedralbes again and did not return until three years later. In 1714, with the end of the War of Succession and the New Plant decree, the monastery lost the protection of the dissolved Consell de Cent. At the beginning of the 19th century, the deterioration that the monastery had suffered for two centuries was aggravated by a series of circumstances: the occupation of the monastery during the French War in 1810; the installation of the Health Board in 1821, which converted the monastery into an observance center for the yellow fever epidemic; the depreciation due to the confiscation of 18351838; various lightning strikes which damaged parts of the monastery; the revolt of 1868; the robbery of the treasure of the sacristy in 1871, and the sale of large quantities of the community’s artistic heritage objects. The cultural movement of the Renaissance entailed the recovery of the Catalan national identity based on a glorious past centered in the Middle Ages - and served to socially legitimize a ruling bourgeois class that led the industrial revolution of the country. The rediscovery of the history of Catalonia and the reassessment of the artistic and architectural heritage played a key role in the resurgence of nationalist sentiment. In 1844 the provincial commissions of historical and artistic monuments were created with the intention of restoring and protecting the heritage. In 1877, the restoration work of the church of the monastery began by popular subscription, under the direction PAGE 19


of the architect Joan Martorell and in accordance with the trends promoted by Viollet-le-Duc. The resources invested, however, did not initially cover the work, which had to be suspended until 1893, year in which they were resumed thanks to the donation provided by Sister Eulària Anzizu, niece of Eusebi Güell and Bacigalupi. The importance of Sor Eulària Anzizu in the community is reflected in the intellectual rigor of her work as an archivist, biographer, historian, musician, and translator. Also, her patronage enabled the community to become aware of the value of their historical and artistic legacy and, above all, of the need to preserve and promote it. They emphasize the historical treaties and poetic collections, in which the influence of Jacint Verdaguer is evident. In 1902, Sor Eulària created the first “Museum” in the monastery in the cellar of the skylights on the first floor of the cloister which, following the museographic tendencies of the times, welcomed all kinds of objects from the treasure of the monastery. In 1931, under the government of the Second Republic, the State declared the monastery PAGE 20

a national historical-artistic monument, along with other assets of the city of Barcelona. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the monastery was confiscated by the Generalitat de Catalunya, which took over its management, and the convent had different uses; as an artworks repository, as the Gothic Art Museum of Catalonia, and in 1938, it became the center of the General Historical Archive of Catalonia. After the Spanish Civil War ended, and with the return of the exiled community in 1946, the chapter room hosted the first collection of works of value and artistic interest that Sor Eulària Anzizu had gathered. As of 1949, a part of the monastery was opened to the public, and in 1975 a new convent was built in the old large garden in order to allocate most of the old facilities to the Pedralbes museummonastery, inaugurated in 1983 and which at the end of the 20th century became part of the City History Museum of Barcelona (MHCB). In 1993, the dormitory and the Queen’s room housed a small part of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, which in 2004 was transferred to the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC). Since 2012, the Royal


Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes has once again been included in the Register of Museums of the Generalitat as an independent entity, with its own management under the tutelage of the Institute of Culture of Barcelona (ICUB). Currently, a small community of nuns is still living in the new annexed rooms of the monastery. THE CHURCH: On March 26, 1326, the monarchs placed the first stone of the apse of the church, which was consecrated a year later, on May 3, 1327, in a solemn mass presided by the kings, accompanied by a procession with the most prominent nobles of the country. The church exhibits great architectural unit in spite of the rapidity in which it was built. It maintains the Catalan Gothic style, with great sobriety and monumentality, but also the characteristics of mendicant architecture in southern Europe. The building is a single nave, with side chapels between the buttresses and a vaulted roof. The seven sections of the nave are finished with nails that represent the bliss of the Virgin, with the coronation and the royal shield in the presbytery and, to the opposite side, a representation of the Risen Christ showing the stigmas. The plant is a large formal unit and stands out for its three conserved hearts: the tall, low and central heart of the monks. Queen Elisenda provided a money grant for each priest to be assigned a chapel, of which he was a “beneficiary.” The donation provided for the

creation of an altar and devotion to a saint. The beneficiary chaplains called mass in the chapel, administered the donations and were in charge of keeping the liturgical objects. THE TOMB; The Presbytery houses the tomb of Queen Elisenda, dressed with royal robe and attire. In the chapel are buried sarcophagi of other noble families, such as those of Elionor de Pinós and Montcada or of Constanza de Cardona, and illustrious figures such as count Eusebi Güell. At the end of the 19th century, the church underwent a profound restoration by the architect Joan Martorell. Following the trends in the restoration of the period, the walls were dropped, possibly leading to the loss of the remains of original paintings. Elisenda de Montcada, the royal daughter of Pere II de Montcada and Elisenda de Pinós, was a member of one of the most powerful and influential medieval Royal Catalan families. Following her marriage to James II, the Fair, she became the Queen of the Catalan-Aragonese Crown. Elisenda and Jaume founded the monastery of Pedralbes for the salvation of their soul. When the king died, Elisenda transferred her residence to the palace next to the monastery, a place worthy of the retirement of a widowed queen without descendants from where she could continue exercising her power and influence. In Pedralbes, she spent the last 37 years of her life, and although she never was a professed nun, she actively participated in the life of the community. The tomb, which was carved during the reign of the queen, consisted of a bifrontal marble tomb that occupied two floors of the cloister and was under an arcosoli. The face of the tomb that faces the cloister presents Elisenda as a widow and penitent with the nun habit, while the one that faces the church shows her as a queen, crowned with wreaths and royal robes. Both sides do not state the age at death. A mysteriously dual tomb. A solemn outer image, dominating the space as a monarch, claiming PAGE 21


that in spite of not having descendants, she was and would always be a queen. The interior image contemplates the cloister, the image of the Garden of Eden, a privileged place in which the heart talks with space. Secret image of the wife that appears in the Song of Songs, which in some of the verses describes it as Hortus conclusus, when the husband exclaims: “Garden, my sister, my wife” (Ct 4, 12). That is how, like lovers, they complement each other to create a new reality, so the walkway and the closed garden become two parts of the same reality. It could be said that the symbol of divine lovers recreates the temporal experience that takes place between this location and its inhabitants. THE SANT MIQUEL CHAPEL: The cellar or Chapel of Sant Miquel is decorated with a magnificent collection of murals, commissioned by painters – granted two contracts from the years 1343 and 1346 - to the painter Ferrer Bassa by French abbess ça Portella. The paintings constitute the first exposure of the Italian painting of the three hundred. The iconography is inspired by the Marian devotions and represents the passion of Christ, the bliss of the Virgin Mary and various figures of saints. The chapel was conceived as a private devotional space of the French abbess ça Portella, but over time it became the archive of the monastery. Between 1801 and 1870 it was used as a wardrobe and subsequently became an abacus cell. As a result of these different uses, the murals were hidden and protected behind the furniture, isolated for centuries of exterior light, humidity and dust. At the end of the 19th century, the paintings of the chapel were rediscovered and evaluated. In one of his panels we can find something mysterious again, a cryptic, anonymous message in gothic letters: “Tell John not to forget me.” THE CLOISTER: The Cloister is the central element on which the monastery’s space is structured. Considered as the largest gothic cloister in the world, it consists of two galleries with twenty-six columns on each side made of nummulítica stone - calcareous PAGE 22

stone with remains of fossils - from Girona, and from a third floor later erected like an attic. The capitals which hold the ogival arches are decorated with very stylized leaves and with the shields of the royal house and those of the Montcada. The roof is made of wood and originally on the slats could be seen the royal bars in red and the golden beads or bezants of the Montcada shield, as now seen in the abbey’s room. The fusion of the heraldic emblems of the royal house and the Montcada family gave rise to the shield that Queen Elisenda gave to the community for posterity. Around the cloister the main rooms of the monastery are distributed: the chapter house (from the 15th century), the abbey, the nursery (from the 16th century), the refectory, the sleeping room and the daytime cells. Medieval cloisters are symbolic sites adjoined to the churches that complement and accompany them. Its rich symbolism is understood, in part, concerning the figures of the circle and the square. The open space towards the wide sky is the vault or the symbolic circle framed or contained by the claustral square that marks the four directions of the space, the four elements and the four stations of the year; thus the cloister is a circle (annus) that is presented to us under the four prototypical aspects. In the center of the garden is a fountain, the bellybutton of the world, which like the river of the Garden of Eden, waters the garden of creation. In addition to its form, many other symbolic meanings


can be deduced from the cloister, including the Garden of Eden, the Celestial Jerusalem and the Jewish “Shekinah Glory.” The cloister of Santa Maria de Pedralbes is a Gothic cloister, which still follows the teachings of Bernat de Claravall (1090-1153), who conceived the Cistercian cloister in a different way from the Romanesque cloisters of the time, with its capitals decorated with figures of all kinds. The cloister proposed by Saint Bernat was conceived to generate intimacy, loneliness, silence, so its forms appear serene and harmonic. The cloister also recreates the heavenly Jerusalem mentioned in the Apocalypse, the new city that descends from heaven adorned as a bride for her husband. She is the wife of Him who lives in the heart of human beings, the new man created in the image and resemblance of his creator. For this reason, the walker delights in the silence and harmony of the cloister, which is the scent of the wife. Unconsciously, husband and wife are recognized. Immanence and transcendence united in one. In this sense, the cloister is a symbol that without the need of reasoning communicates directly to the heart, since in the heart of man, the MAN is hidden. In the monastery everything was organized around the central space of the cloister; That is why the

cloister became a place of circulation, personal meditation and contemplation of nature as an image of the divinity. Currently, the cloister welcomes a recreation project of a medieval medicinal garden from the writings preserved in the monastery itself and from the treaties that collect the medicinal knowledge of the time. The medicinal garden of the cloister of the monastery presents a hypothetical recreation of a fully functional medieval herbarium. Parallel to the theological concern for the cure of the soul, the medicine of the Middle Ages regained the knowledge of Greco-Roman medical science thanks to the Arab-Islamic culture, which adapted and perfected it during the 11th and 13th centuries through the Salern school. Authors such as Galè (ca. 130 BC-200 AD) or Dioscóridas Pedani (Century IDC) became the points of reference in all medieval medical treatments. The galenic medicine, which systematized the Greek heritage of Hippocrates (ca. 460 BC-370 BC), was based on the theory that all living things are composed of four elements: air, water, earth and fire. These four elements arose from the combination of four fundamental properties forming opposite pairs: cold and heat, dryness and humidity. In humans, these four elements were identified with the four substances: blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm; when these moods become unbalanced, the illness arose. It was believed that the moods were swallowed in the body from food and that is why the cure for a disease was done by recovering the balance of the humors from the diet (which maintains the balance) and pharmacology (which corrects the imbalances).

TRADITION: WHY SHOULD WE BRING EGGS TO THE CLARISSES? The Clarisses were founded in 1212 by Saint Francis of Assisi, who received Clara at the age of 18 so that she could live in the way of the holy Gospel which he had received from the Lord. In a very short time, many monasteries embraced this lifestyle initiated by Clara and her order of nuns. PAGE 23


There are several versions regarding the origin of this tradition (or superstition), but it seems that when Santa Clara’s mother, Ortolana, was pregnant, she prayed before Christ asking for help. They say she heard an inner voice (some versions say that an angel appeared before her) and said that the child would be like a great light which would illuminate the whole world. That is why she named her Clara (light). Santa Clara is the patron saint of good times. That is why it is said that bringing eggs to the Clarisa nuns would ensure good fortune for the bride and groom. An ancient Italian legend states that many years ago in an Italian village it was raining and people, as a consequence of cold, bad weather, became ill and ended up dying. Before this misfortune, the inhabitants requested help to the Clarissa nuns, and upon their request, they took eggs to the church and placed them on the altar. Surprisingly, the offerings caused the sun to shine and all the patients were cured. By Mayte Duarte Fonts: • RIQUER, Martí de /COMAS, Antoni. Història de la literatura catalana, Barcelona: Ariel, 1964 (5a ed. 1993), vol. 1, p. 170-173 • ROCA, Maria Carme. Abadesses i priores a la Catalunya medieval. 1a. ed.. Barcelona: Base, 2014. • SANJUST I LATORRE, Cristina. L’obra del Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes des de la seva fundació fins al segle XVI. Un monestir reial per a l’orde de les clarisses a Catalunya. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament d’Art, 2009. • SOBREQUÉS I CALLICÓ, Jaume; MORALES I MONTOYA, Mercè. Comtes, reis, comtesses i reines de Catalunya. 1a. ed.. Barcelona: Base, 2011.


MAYTE DUARTE Staff writer, Catalonia Magazine. Contemporary writer, journalist, blogger and editor of books, articles and other publications. Anthropology of religions, symbolism and research in the fields of Homo Tecnològicus; Human and Dragon in Catalonia archetype. Barcelona, 1962.



The Baroque Guitar About the Author David Murgadas, Barcelona 1963, is a Senior Guitar Professor at the Conservatory of Igualada (Barcelona) and has a Master’s Degree in the interpretation of ancient music. He is also the Artistic Director and Professor of Sona a Guitarra.

We can talk about fortunate coincidences in life or dragons and magical goblins... However, it has come to be; it was certainly a fortunate series of encounters. Discovering AICS, a cultural Catalan Casal in the USA and its publication, CATALONIA magazine, the interview with the magazine’s Senior Writer, Mayte Duarte Seguer and the magazine’s Publisher, Hellena Cardús, has been a pleasure which goes beyond the musical experience. As a concert guitarist specializing in ancient music, it is a great pleasure to perform music for Spanish and Catalan guitar, prevalent in the Iberian Peninsula and Barcelona during the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the three performances, in the greater Houston metropolis on the 4th, 6th and 7th of January 2018, an enthusiastic idea arose to create a new Music section in the newly reformatted magazine. I volunteered to spearhead this section and contribute by writing articles concerning my instrument, the guitar. Given that the first concert centered around the Baroque guitar, we decided to start this section by writing about the instrument and composers which contributed to its success during that period of time.

THE GUITAR OF XVII and XVIII CENTURIES We all know something about guitars, perhaps we own one or know people who play guitar. Memories linger of long afternoons in our youth around the campfire singing contemporary songs of the times. The success and fame of the guitar are not exclusive of our time period. In the 16th century, the guitar was a very important instrument (Renaissance Guitar, as it was later called.) This instrument had four courses and, it was used within popular music circles. It existed at the same time as the hand-held vihuela which had six courses and was played in courtiers’ circles where the music was more sophisticated. PAGE 25


In the middle of the 17th century, people lost interest in the hand-held vihuela and, the Spanish guitar (currently known as the Baroque Guitar) became predominant. This was for several reasons: it was more portable, it was not too expensive (price depended on the variety of ornamentation), the incorporation of a fifth course to obtain more sonority for the instrument and finally, the technique of “rasgueado” (strumming of the instrument with the right hand which accompanied the dances and songs of the time). The popular nature of the use of “rasgueado” (strumming) and the incorporation of the fifth course made it known by Italians as the Spanish guitar. The tremendous fame of the instrument caused there to be good and not so good performers. Covarrubias, in his famous Tesoro de la Lengua Castellana (1611), already tells us that “...the guitar has no more musical value than a cowbell. It is easy to play, especially if the player just strums at the instrument, that every stableman now considers himself a guitarist.“ In spite of the forcefulness of this statement, we can safely say that methods, such as that of Catalan Joan Carles i Amat (edited more than ten times between 1626 and 1819), made this instrument one of the most common among the popular class. The method of Joan Carles Amat, famous doctor and guitarist, carried the title Guitarra Española y Vandola, en dos Maneras de Guitarra Castellana y Catalana de Cinco Ordenes. A book that e n j oye d a l o n g - t e r m success and was reissued on several occasions until 1819, highlighting the most complete edition that was published in Girona in 1745 with this title: Brief Treaty and explanation of the highlights of the Guitar, in the Catalan language, modified in this last PAGE 26

printing of the work, so the commoner who would like to learn and cannot understand the Castilian explanation can satisfy their fancy with this brief and compendious style. Book of 400 Catalan aphorisms and a method for the Castillian and Catalan Guitar of five orders by Joan Carles Amat. Other important composers were Gaspar Sanz (Calanda, Aragon, April 4, 1640 - Madrid, 1710). He was a composer, guitarist and organist of the Spanish Baroque and studied music, theology and philosophy. He wrote three books on pedagogy and the baroque guitar. His contacts with musicians from the Neapolitan School are the predominant connections between two traditions, Spanish and Italian, through the Catalan channel of communication. The most important Baroque guitar treatise in history, Poema Harmonico, is due to the pen of Catalan Francesc de Guerau, Mallorcan composer born in Palma de Mallorca in 1649 who died in Madrid in 1722. He contrasts the technique of the “Punteado” (Plucking) to the one of the “Rasgueado” (Strumming) both typical of the Baroque guitar.


From Antonio de Santa Cruz there is little documentation. We only have his book: “Libro Donde se Veran Pasacalles de los Ocho Tonos y de los Transportados” dated 1699. It must be said that this material, confusing in the original writing, has been revised by me to be able to perform in concert. I had the honor of performing the Premiere of Two Pasacalles at the concerts in Houston, Texas. The work of Santiago de Murzia (Madrid, 1673 - 1739) is an excellent example of these musical repertoires. Although we have very little data, it seems that he was a pupil of Francesc de Guerau and also a musician and the guitar teacher of Queen Maria Lluïsa de Savoya, the first wife of Felipe V. Murzia, and was without a doubt, the most well-known, international guitarist of the hispanic Baroque period. The first manuscript, Codex Sáldivar n4, is a good example of the most popular music and was acquired from a bookseller in Mexico in the1940s by renowned musicologist Gabriel Saldívar, for whom the book is named. This manuscript makes it a valuable testimony of a typical musical evening centered around the guitar in the Spanish lands around the1700s. In 2008, I had the honor to record under the Catalan label: La Ma de Guido, several carefully selected works from among the Codex Saldívar, which offers a taste of the simple music of this time period, with the most famous and stereotypical base tunes of the times: Fandango, Romanesca, Folias, Jácaras, Tarantelas, which make up a rich

and diverse repertoire. In spite of being music which was popular among the masses, this does not necessarily imply a low level of execution. Some of the interventions require remarkable technical mastery of the instrument. This music has been influenced by other Catalan instruments, such as the “hurdy-gurdy,” the bagpipes, the castanets, which, along with other instruments, is considered more elitist (like the violin), that give a touch of improvisation and variety to the music. With this idea, we achieve a final result which moves us away from the most academic and frequently listened to versions of this repertoire. A fresh vision, probably less courtly, but of a much more natural musical reality still little known today. On my website: you can download the works of this composer or the entire CODEX CD. Just go to the tab in the online store: cd-david-murgadas-baroque-guitar-works-ofsantiago-de-murzia/ I would like to continue this project by providing you a venue (my email) so that you can participate by commenting on interesting aspects or compositions which you would like for me to research and develop. PAGE 27


In 1993, Santi Alegre and Ada Parellada, rented a large space in the centre of Barcelona’s Eixample district. It had previously belonged to an old and rather beautiful publishing house that had just closed shop. They substituted the books for menus and the letters for dishes, hoping to fill the place with baked sea bass, lots of black Catalan botifarra sausage and chocolate delirium. They called it Semproniana. Granollers, 1967, 1993. Ada Parellada states these are not my birthdate nor my death date. I am very much alive and kicking. But they are both birth dates, in a sense. The first is when I came into the world, and the second when I entered the world of cooking and gastronomy. From ‘67 to ’93 I was baptized, went to school and learned how to love. I also went to the movies and had many friends, and even went out for dinner. From ‘93 to now I have gone a bit less to the movies, have also studied less, and dine at Semproniana, where my friends are the umbrines (a type of fish) and black botifarra, a traditional Catalan sausage. A totally different life spent amongst pots and pans, dishes and soup ladles. A lively second life, where I love to eat, drink and laugh. And I write about it too! Eating, drinking and laughing come easy to me. Cooking and writing is something I sometimes do because I have to, although I always enjoy it. Our profession involves a real effort, day after day, bringing together flavours and people, conversations and foods, aromas and laughter, pots and pans and stolen kisses, all merging with the pulse of life. Ada Parellada and her team organize workshops around the world. Participants include kids, the not so young, adults, groups of friends, business groups, beginners, and those who love cooking. Pick the class you like best and sign up!

COOKING WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN A cooking workshop for boys and girls where they can learn and enjoy Ada’s cooking tips and advice, creating a recipe that they’ll love!

BUSINESS WORKSHOPS Food training Ada Parellada proposes an ambitious idea for businesses who believe that investing in the well-being of their workers is just as important as investing in new technologies. A practical workshop where participants put recipes together. The goal is to bring teams together through cooking. PAGE 28


CELEBRATING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS This activity brings together friends and ingredients for a wonderful celebration.

SCHOOLS We have a number of different activities we offer schools to awaken children’s curiosity for food and get them excited about it. We seek to provide schools with tools that are educational, fun and practical, reviving and transmitting our knowledge about food to youngsters. These can be done in the form of workshops, talks and even summer camps.

HANDS IN THE DOUGH. ONLY FOR GROUPS In this workshop we learn to make bread and do exotic massages, sensitizing our hands by kneading the bread dough.

SENSORIAL CHAT This is an experimental chat where the participant discovers their taste limitations, subject as they are to the senses of sight, hearing and touch.



Basic cooking workshops, anywhere in Catalonia, without the need of specialized facilities. Designed for children, with the option of adult participation to reconcile cooking and family life.

MEDITERRANEAN COOKING WORKSHOP Practical workshop in English for all foreign visitors interested in finding out more about the foundations of Mediterranean cooking.





AICS BOOKS AND ROSES FEATURED AUTHORS JOSEP LLUÍS MARTÍN BERBOIS • Doctor in Contemporary History at the Autonomus University of Barcelona, Catalonia. • Director of Content at the Democratic Memorial Institute, Generalitat of Catalonia. • Area of expertise late XIX and XX century History of Catalonia, particularly in matters of Catalan politics and culture. • Author of thirteen books, having published more than 150 publications ranging from articles in specialized magazines to book chapters and reviews.

MAYTE DUARTE SEGUER • Bachelor in Humanities Open University of Catalonia (UOC) • Community Manager, liason and cultural manager • Area of specialization: Anthropology of religions, symbolism and research in the fields of Homo Tecnològicus. What is Human? TIC’s 4.0 and Dragon in Catalonia archetype. • Contemporary writer, journalist, blogger and editor of books, articles and other publications. Staff writer, Catalonia Magazine.

ORIOL DUEÑAS ITURBE • Doctor in Contemporary History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. • Associate Professor, Department of History & Archeology, Autonomous University of Barcelona. • Content Manager of the Democratic Memorial Institute, Generalitat of Catalonia. • Area of specialization is Spanish Civil War, Exile and Franco’s Dictatorship. • Published several articles in State Journals and renown author of multiple books. HISTORICAL LANDMARK

Mas Blanc Mas Blanc, (the Historic Farmhouse), is located to the south of the municipal district of Sant Martí de Centelles, before Racó de la Font, east of C-1413b road that follows the route from the old medieval and modern city of Centelles to Sant Feliu de Codines. The modernized farmhouse is located on the outskirts of the Cerro de la Antigua (859 m) which, as a continuation of the ridge of Puig Fabregar (933 m), encloses the Racó de la Font, also known as, Sant Martí del Racó. For more information and reservations:



the role of modern age women. The exhibition’s narrative is complemented by other works of art from private collections and museums, many shown for the first time to the public.

PROJECT SCHEHEREZADE, created with an international, multidisciplinary vision, is a nonprofit entity whose mission is to document, divulge and promote female ingenuity, knowledge and creativity throughout history by utilizing traditional methodologies, as well as new technologies to project the dissemination of this information. We are at a unique moment in our history given that four generations are simultaneously coexisting with the capabilities to interconnect without the limitations of time and space. We can redefine the cultural platform through new technologies and create innovative cultural networks without biases of race, gender, politics and religions. In order to accomplish this, we delve into all aspects of culture defined as information that is not genetically obtained. Research, knowledge and education will be coupled with the creation of spaces, methodologies, and broadcast channels utilizing multiple platforms, including; presentations, seminars, conferences, workshops, courses, round tables, interviews, documentaries, exhibitions, debates, literary meetings, poetry recitals, cultural capsules and publications.


We reflect on what society was expecting from women, as well as their occupations and obligations, both inside and outside the cloisters. Similarly, there are female spaces in the domestic sphere, from the semi-private ,“estrado” reception room, to the bedroom, as well as aspects related to the dowry. The exhibition is designed with the chair as the focal point which, according to its shape and height, helped to indicate the place a person held in society. The title, Seated Women, refers to the symbolic role that seating has played throughout history and in the modern age, as it pertained to women. It is inferred that women were subject to men and often seated in chairs which were lower than men’s chairs, so they would have to raise their gaze to address their male partners. The exhibition, however, suggests that they also had important family roles and social responsibilities; such as education, health, food and hygiene which they knew how to carry out with great wisdom. It reminds us that monastic spaces led by women were the places where they could have more freedom to create and for personal growth. The monastery was a place where the abbess made her authority clear; a role which was marked symbolically with the armchair she used, even when visited by authorities from outside the monastic community.


Women are the protagonists of this exhibition, whose basic source of information is furniture, as well as, other everyday objects that allow us to configure the imaginary female and highlight




Medieval Romànic fresc Cap a 1123 Ubicació: Sala 07 MNAC Col·lecció Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona Artista Mestre de Taüll 620 x 360 x 180 cm Imatge by Mayte Duarte



En Joel Romero estudia a Vilanova i la Geltrú i ha ideat un sistema de superarquitectures per què des d’una nau en òrbita al voltant de Mart és pugui operar sense necessitat de baixar al planeta i poder així vetllar per la integritat i la vida dels astronautes. Amb l’ajut del seu pare -Antoni Romero- enginyer, i de la seva tutora de l’Institut Francesc Xavier Lluch i Rafecas -María José Hellín-, en Joel Romero ha desenvolupat el projecte pel qual va ser guardonat a la XVIII Exporecerca Jove i amb el seu treball “Design of a Telepresence System to Operate at Mars Surface in a Pre-Colonial Context”; participant a la Fira INTELISEF 2017, a Los Angeles, EUA i convertint-se així en el primer català en obtenir un Special Adward. MD. - Quin va ser el teu primer contacte amb la ciència? JR. - No puc recordar-ho. Des de molt petit hi he estat ficat. No com a participant actiu però, els meus pares sempre m’han transmès el voler saber més, i jo era el típic nen de per què? per què? per què?... I ells mai em van deixar una pregunta sense resposta. Això ha anat creixent amb mi. MD. - I amb la tecnologia? JR. - El mateix. De fet, de petit volia ser inventor. MD. - Què entenies tu per ser inventor? JR. - Una persona que creava coses noves que no havien estat pensades abans. MD. - Ara estàs en un punt molt important de la teva vida, fruit del treball realitzat en un projecte d’estudi, tot i la teva joventut. Explica’ns com has arribat fins aquí. JR. - Comença a mitjans de l’any 2016. El meu pare, Antoni Romero, treballava com a professor de Tecnologia al meu Institut. I va conèixer un projecte anomenat “Joves i Ciència” que oferia als alumnes dels Instituts optar a un programa de tres anys de beca científica. Era un moment en que estava molt desanimat que, malgrat que tothom em deia que servia per això, jo PAGE 34

no creia que pogués tenir un futur. Tan a casa com a l’escola m’animaven però de vegades sents que, com t’estimen, el que volen és protegir-te. Vaig presentarme i vaig passar la preselecció. Va arribar l’entrevista i és on vaig “flipar”, m’esperava quelcom semblant a un tribunal i em vaig trobar amb quatre estudiants de doctorat que no ho van enfocar pas com un examen. Era enraonar de tot allò que m’agradava mentre em demanaven la meva opinió. Vaig sentir-me molt bé, amb una sensació meravellosa i vaig tornar a l’Institut ja amb l’ànim molt més recarregat. I al final vaig ser un dels deu alumnes seleccionats en el programa d’astrofísica. L’estiu del 2016 vaig fer les estades de dues setmanes a MontNatura Pirineus fent investigació d’astrofísica amb pràctiques. En acabar-les va començar la segona fase: Desnvolupar un artícle científic relacionat amb el meu projecte. Però com malgrat ser un treball en l’ambit de l’astrofísica, com també m’apassiona la tecnologia vaig voler ajuntar-les. Per això vaig dubtar per decidirme entre diferents temes com la mineria espacial. És aleshres quan vaig tornara veure la pel·licula “Avatar” per segon cop i em vaig quedar romiant en com es comunicava l’escanner amb la persona, amb el cos extern. I vaig recordar que es pot transmetre video en directe amb lasser i que potser podia fussionar les dues idees quedant esboçat així el meu projecte. La resta de les meves vacancesnvaig plantejar-me quines eren les tecnologies a emprar i al setembre ja vaig començar a treballar en l’elaboració d’una teoria formal. Al febrer, l’article ja estava enllestit fins i tot amb algunes proves empíriques bàsiques i senzilles per corroborar la teoria. En entregar-lo va esdevenir una pausa. El meu somni des de petit sempre ha estat anar al MIT, però sabia que era molt difícil, per que hi havia cinquanta persones molt ben preparades optant tan sols a dues places. Un dia anant a classe de música vaig veure que habia rebut un e-mail que deia: “Congratulations” Finalització de la sel·lecció RC, has estat seleccionat.


Vaig caure a terra enmig del carrer i em vaig possar a plorar d’emoció. Vaig trucar als meus pares, va ser un shock, per que va ser un somni realitzat en aquell moment. Després d’això vaig seguir treballanthi i va presentar-se l’oportunitat d’assitir a la fira EXPORECERCA JOVE de Magma. Van avisar-me quan només quedaven tres dies per tancar el termini d’inscripció. I era una feinada molt gran adaptar-ho tott al format que es demanava a la pàgina web: fer una memòria, afegir bibliografia, imatges, etc i tot en un format concret. Va ser una bogeria, vaig treballar fins les 03:00 de la matinada i vaig enviar-ho tot en anglès a l’apartat on havia de ser en català i no podia desfer-ho, va ser un embolic total fins el punt que creia que ja no hi havia res a fer. I a l’estada que vàrem fer per visitar el CERN vaig tornar a consultar el web i ja l’havien tret de les llistes d’espera i havia estat sel·leccionat com a participant a la fira. Em vaig possar tant content que sense pensar-m´ho dues vegades vaig anar a buscar a la meva professora per celebrar-ho, era la una de la matinada.

JR. - Sí. El que economitzes materialment ho poses en capital humà. A més, jo no podia deixar de banda la meva vida diària: les classes, el conservatori i viure... Dormia poc, entre cinc o sis hores com a molt. A l’Institut de vegades es notava a l’hora dels exàmens. Però va arribar la clausura de l’ExpoRecerca Jove i em van donar dos premis. Un d’una empresa nomenada Ingenies Emotion Control que a mi em va agradar molt per què valoraven l’objectiu final el projecte. I quan ja em semblava que s’havia acabat tot, va tornar a sonar el meu nom. No m’ho podia creure! Ja era tot un somni ser allà a l’ISEF. Sabia que dels vuitanta participants només dinou serien a la cerimònia allà a Los Angeles i quin era la projecció internacional així com la importància que això tenia. Una de les coses que més em va sorprendre i agradar va ser estar envoltat d’un entorn anglosaxó i sentirme còmode. Aquí creus que pots tenir un nivell de la llengua però fins que no t’hi trobes no pots estar segur. La sort és que en anglès em comunico igual que en català o castellà. No tradueixo.

Del sis a vuit d’abril la meva tutora va estar amb mi a la Fira. Va ser genial poder compartir amb el públic assistent i el jurat tot el treball que havia fet i les hores que havia invertit.

MD. - Un dels avantatges de ser poliglota.

MD. - S’ha dit que una de les característiques que destaquen del teu projecte és el “low cost” i això no és realment cert, pel que fa a la dedicació en hores de feina i talent.

MD. - Evidentment domines més llegües de les que sembla donat que vas al conservatori i toques el violí. T’ha ajudat la música en la teca educació científica?

JR. - Aquest és un altre dels meus somnis, aprendre totes les llengües que pugui en el futur.

Joel Romero, creator of a robotic prototype to explore Mars, was awarded a prize at the XVIII Exporecerca Jove with the opportunity to participate in the Intel ISEF Fair, which took place in May 2017 in Los Angeles, California where he received a prize awarded by NASA, thus becoming the first Spaniard to earn the Special Award. PAGE 35


JR. - I tant! La música com les matemàtiques són llenguatges universals. A més, per a mi, la música és com el pegament que fa que els somnis s’aguantin. També m’agrada escriure i la majoria de les històries tenen el seu origen en les cançons que escolto. A banda de l’alliberament que em proporciona tocar en moments de gran estres. MD. - Aleshores tornes de L.A. i què fas? JR. - El primer intentar tocar de peus a terra. La fira de L.A. estava estructurada en dos dies. Un d’exposició al públic i l’altre per al jurat. Es composava de l’estand vinculat amb Intel i després el jurat especial conformat per diferents associacions que anaven des e la NASA fins a l’associació americana de dentistes. Amb els nervis, jo em vaig deixar tots els abstracts a l’hotel, per lo que la part corresponen a les associacions vaig tenir un buit total de públic. Però a la segona part amb el jurat d’Intel algú devia contactar amb els membres de la NASA i es varen a interessar. El que més els va impressionar va ser que una sola persona, sense gaires coneixements i experiència, hagués dissenyat el projecte en diferents fases i etapes per a dur-lo a terme com una concepció que havia sorgit des de zero fins a la seva consecució final i fer-ho a més amb material “low cost”. Si bé això no era un premi, per a mi va ser molt important, per què era el reconeixement a tot el que havia fet fins el moment. I mentre estava a la cerimònia d’Intel, a la cerimònia dels premis Special Adwards quan la NASA va atorgar el seu van anunciar: ...the second Adward mechanical engineering from Vilanova i la Geltrú!


MD. - Com és aquesta visió de conjunt que va premiar la NASA. Per que no es tracta d’una sola concepció, ni una peça concreta com és el guant que és el que més difusió ha tingut. Quines són les fases i etapes que la conformen i en les que encara hi esteu treballant. JR. - És un sistema amb diferents superarquitectures situades a l’interior i cadascuna és necessària per què es pugui porta a terme l’objectiu final, és a dir: La clau és que necessitem un astronauta amb un cos extern que pugui controlar i realitzar les seves tasques sense haver d’estar físicament in situ. Per fer-ho necessites, en primer lloc -si vols enviar un senyal làser a un robot humanoide des de l’òrbita- estar sempre per sobre de l’objecte a 17.000 Km d’altura, per què a partir d’aquesta altura el làser es dispersa i és molt difícil per no dir impossible encertar l’objectiu. I aquí és on intervé el Rover, que tindria un concentrador molt gran que s’encarregaria de rebre aquesta informació làser i processar-la. A més des d’aquesta plataforma podrien realitzar-se estudis sobre les diferents zones per poder decidir si són importants per a la colonització. Però ja és important per si mateixa aquesta infraestructura, aquesta nova unitat. També s’ha de desenvolupar el que seria el guant, pròpiament dit, un sistema per captar els moviments de les persones i, que alhora, qui manipula el guant pugui veure el que està veient el robot. Per tant, s’ha de preparar un protocol de comunicació làser que vaig haver de treballar des de zero, per què no hi havia res que s’adaptés al que jo volia, per poder transmetre de manera eficient la informació entre un punt i l’altre.


MD. - Aquesta és potser la fase que et va inspirar la pel·lícula Avatar? JR. - Exacte. Pel làser però, com jo no he arribat encara a la universitat per aprendre Teoria de comunicacions, sabia que hi havia quelcom conegut com a modulació que permetia enviar informació. Com no tenia prous coneixements, l’únic que sabia era envers al làser amb cinc emissors i cinc receptors que enviaven informació en 0 i 1, en codi binari. Però això m’era massa complicat i jo volia fer-ho més fàcil amb un sistema analògic. Vaig fer moltes proves fins que vaig trobar que ho podies fer amb la durada de l’activació del làser. Vaig crear una taula assignant una durada determinada en mil·lísegons a cada lletra i d’altres signes com punts suspensius o exclamacions. Podies codificar qualsevol missatge. MD. - Com un codi morse? JR. - Però el morse és un codi establert i jo volia una comunicació en obert, completament analògica, mitjançant qualsevol teclat d’ordinador. Evidentment el morse és molt més eficient. Però jo no volia crear un codi nou, només volia demostrar que era físicament possible posar una frase en un senyal làser, i això va funcionar. A continuació es va haver de desenvolupar el que són les naus espacials. No podia desenvolupar el prototip, però si dissenyar com estarien equipades per a la vida de les persones. Així com fer càlculs de quan es trigaria n anar i tornar: van sortir dos-cents cinquanta cinc dies d’anada i tornada, en l’òrbita més econòmica possible i calcular si això quadrava amb la capacitat de la nau per acollir una tripulació de tres o quatre persones, treballant en un model perfecte per què tot quadrés. Alhora que havia de cercar mètodes d’aterratge per a robots que siguin molt més pesats dels que s’han enviat fins ara, per què el Curiosity que és el més gran i ha es va haver d’inventar un sistema específic, basat en les noves tecnologies i que encara no s’ha pogut provar mai a l’espai. És una variació del motor d’ions per a la propulsió espacial, que eleva la temperatura del gas ionitzat podent ser expulsat a una velocitat de 50.000m/s.

Molt important ha estat poder treballar la cèl·lula d’hidrogen per extreure l’aigua del planeta i convertir-la en energia per intentar imitar com funcionen les plantes: El Rover durant el dia solar marcià s’encarregaria d’extreure l’aigua i dissociar-la en hidrogen i oxigen, i a la nit, fusionant-la per tornar a generar energia. Amb aquesta mena de fotosíntesi es podria prescindir de qualsevol font d’energia basada en bateries, tan nuclears com solars o d’altra mena, esdevenint en autosuficient, autogestionat i sostenible. Essent la base per a futures terraformacions de cara a la colonització a l’espai. MD. - Queda clar doncs, el que més t’ha motivat a tu com objectiu, és el factor humà. JR. - Sí. Quan escoltes a les noticies que el viatge a Mart és sense retorn, és quan el meu projecte cobra més valor i sentit. No s’ha d’enviar gent a morir. La premissa màxima per a mi és expandir la vida més enllà de la terra. Aquest és l’objectiu final del meu projecte. MD. - El futur evidentment és a les mans d’algunes generacions de les que en formes part. Són generacions que han crescut sota el convenciment de la bonança de la globalització i el coneixement en obert. És possible que la “salvació” de la humanitat depengui al final de la individualitat emprenedora i creativa, en una societat que no reconeix ni premia gaire l’excel·lència i molt menys la facilita? JR. - Diuen que la Teoria de la relativitat General va ser la última obra d’un sol home. Crec que és una gran conquesta que la tecnologia ens permeti treballar en xarxa. Junts som més forts que sols, això si, sempre i quan es respecti la singularitat, per què és en la diversitat quan treballem tots alhora on es pot desenvolupar i analitzar múltiples perspectives. Per a mi la tecnologia sempre ha d’estar al servei de la humanitat per protegir-la. ©Mayte Duarte 2017 PAGE 37


MAGMA és una organització sense ànim de lucre que té com a raó de ser promoure el gust i la passió per la investigació i la recerca entre els joves i l’intercanvi d’experiències amb altres associacions similars de caire nacional i internacional. Per això es duen a terme diverses activitats de caràcter nacional, estatal

i internacional que es treballen en comissions, les

quals es reuneixen quinzenalment per treballar en els


diversos projectes. La organització està formada per

una cinquantena de persones, en la seva majoria joves


que col·laboren en les diverses activitats de l’associació.

L’associació està integrada dins del MILSET, federació


internacional que promou la recerca entre el jovent. També, en estar afiliada a INTEL-ISEF, és l’única entitat espanyola que està facultada per presentar projectes a aquesta fira. Els projectes premiats se seleccionen en cada edició d’Exporecerca Jove.


L’Administració Nacional de l’Aeronàutica i l’Espai (NASA) és l’agència del govern dels Estats Units


responsable del programa espacial civil de la nació

Staff writer, Catalonia Magazine. Contemporary writer, journalist, blogger and editor of books, articles and other publications. Anthropology of religions, symbolism and research in the fields of Homo Tecnològicus; Human and Dragon in Catalonia archetype. Barcelona, 1962.

i de la investigació aeronàutica i aeroespacial. Fundada el 1958, la NASA impulsa avenços en ciència, tecnologia, aeronàutica i exploració espacial per millorar el coneixement, l’educació, la innovació, la vitalitat econòmica i l’administració de la Terra.




By Miquel Giménez

En Miquel Giménez Gómez - Barcelona 1959, periodísta i escriptor, ens farà endinsar-nos de la mà d’alguns dels personatges més destacats en aquesta Barcelona descordada. Va ser una època que sobreeixia de talent i llibertat creativa i que estava en la mateixa línia d’onda que el Berlín dels cabarets i el París de la belle époque. Són els anys daurats del music-hall, de l’Edèn Concert, el teatre Victòria, l’Arnau, els cafès, les pepes i la coco. Quan el Molino es deia La Pajarera Catalana, els aristòcrates s’endinsaven en els baixos fons per barrejar-se amb els obrers, i els escriptors vivien de nit. Era un temps de llum, excessos i promiscuïtat. Barcelona vibrava plena de contradiccions i la vida nocturna superava la de les grans capitals europees. La neutralitat espanyola durant la Primer Guerra Mundial havia afavorit l’enriquiment vertiginós d’una economia productiva que contribuiria al naixement d’una autèntica indústria de l’espectacle que va tenir els seus moments daurats durant el frenesí en què vivia la Barcelona dels anys 20. Els escenaris populars, juntament amb l’aparició d’una indústria radiofònica i cinematogràfica, van participar en la definició d’un nou model de ciutat amb el qual s’establirien els recents paradigmes d’una

cultura de masses que encara explica la nostra realitat més immediata. En el tombar del segle XIX al XX Barcelona fou, com digué Ernest Hemingway de París en el seu moment, una autèntica festa. Les tertúlies com ara la de l’Ateneu o la dels Quatre Gats acollien el bo i millor dels artistes, àdhuc intel·lectuals i polítics, del moment. No cal esmentar noms prou coneguts com ara el d’un jove Picasso, que feu la seva primera exposició al local de Els Quatre Gats, gresol d’inquietuds i llumenera del que havia de ser el moviment modernista encapçalat per homenots com Ramon Casas i Santiago Rusiñol; un Picasso que pintà a les mandangüeles, senyores de la nit, vaja, al bordell del carrer Avinyó i que passaria a la posteritat com “Les demoiselles d’Avignon”, creant divertides confusions vers si eren dones de la vila francesa.

PEIUS GENER Els grans talents d’aquella Barcelona es feien igual amb les dones de la vida que amb els senyors de l’aristocràtic i exclusiu Cercle del Liceu i, de la mateixa manera que creaven obres immortals, eren faceciosos, juganers, amb aquell PAGE 39


punt de sal tant català però, a la vegada, tant innocent i casolà. Ens plau recordar, en mig de tant prodigi, la figura nebulosa, mefistofèlica i divertidíssima d’aquell mentider de mena anomenat Pompeyo Gener, en Peius, famós per les seves fabulacions i quimeres que feien riure a cor que vols als seus amics i coneguts. Fou en Peius qui sentencià, doctoral i seriós, que a Paris vivia en unes golfes tant i tant baixes de sostre que sols podia menjar llenguados. És el mateix que es va fer imprimir unes targetes de visita a on podia llegir-se “Pompeu Gener, savant català. De l’Institut Antropologique de Paris. Avenue de Petritxol. Barcelonne”, resumit en una sola frase tot un estil de vida. És en Peius que, desnonat d’on vivia, en passar pel davant de la penya de l’Hotel Colon, avui desaparegut i que s’ubicava a la cantonada de la Plaça Catalunya amb el Passeig de Gràcia, arrossegant una carretel·la a on hi cabien totes les seves minses pertinences, s’embolicà amb una senyera que hi duia, desfilant orgullós i provocant que tothom s’aixequés de les cadires i aplaudís a cor que vols. PAGE 40

És el mateix somiador a qui el pintor Miquel Utrillo li feia esperonar l’enginy amb coses com ara demanar-li quins eren els banys més originals que havia conegut, responent aquell tros de pa que, sens dubte, havien estat els de la ciutat de Bagdad – ell, que sols havia anat a Paris i Madrid, i encara! -, reblant el clau dient que Bagdad era tant gran que al mig de la ciutat hi havia un desert. Entranyable Peius, que en arribar l’hora de la seva mort deixà a la seva estimada Barcelona en un testament tant generós com fals, tots els seus bens, possessions, col·leccions d’art i tota mena d’invencions a quina més imaginària, demostrant així que si bé era un mentider compulsiu, també era un gran senyor; el mateix Peius que, ingressat ja poc abans de traspassar en la clínica de L’Aliança, gràcies als oficis d’aquella institució barcelonina que fou Don Manel Ribé, Cap de Cerimonial de l’Ajuntament barceloní, i en rebre la visita del rei Alfons XII, en demanar-li sa majestat que volia li respongué ràpid “Senyor, feu comte al senyor Ribé!”


A en Peius son deguts no pocs dels versos de Els Cent consells del Consell de Cent, escrits amb una gràcia natural, que li brollava improvisant-los a cremadent. Mai farà discursos bons qui s’atipi de cigrons O... L’arreplegar taps de suro no et traurà de cap apuro O el ja clàssic... Un present ple de romanços, un passat ple de bunyols, un futur d’aquells tan mansos i una escudella de cols. Que més vols? Fou amic aquest personatge descordat i simpàtic de eminències i de gent del carrer, de pintors i escriptors de fama així com de pidolaires i menestrals. Puntal al aleshores famosíssim local El Lyon D’Or, inaugurat el darrer decenni del segle XIX, endrapava de valent i, com sempre anà a dues veles, mirava d’entaforar-se al costat de qui li pogués pagar el sopar. Pompeyo Gener i Babot no haurà passat massa a la història de la literatura – fet i fet, “La mort i el dimoni” es quasi bé la seva única obra d’un cert pes, inspirada en el positivisme-. Rectifiquem, però! Va ser aquest personatge descordat qui li engiponà res més que al gran novel·lista Vicente Blasco Ibáñez que els almogàvers portaven en les seves espasses, gravada a foc, la inscripció “Fot-li, fot-li!”, cosa que l’escriptor va recollir fil per randa a la seva primera edició del “Viatge al país de l’art”. Com digué el poeta, ara mireu si no és poesia, ara mireu.

POMPEU GENER I BABOT Barcelona, 1848 — Barcelona, 1920 Fill d’un farmacèutic barceloní, tingué una formació científica —sembla que es doctorà en ciències naturals (1875)— , cosmopolita —viatjà sovint per diversos països d’Europa, una vegada amb Apel·les Mestres (1874)— i progressista —es vinculà al republicanisme federal durant la revolució del 1868 i participà, encara el 1880, en el Primer Congrés Catalanista de Valentí Almirall—. Residí llargues temporades a París, on publicà el seu

llibre més famós, La Mort et le Diable (1880), amb pròleg d’Émile Littré. Fou també a París on es posà en contacte amb els corrents ideològics moderns —molt sovint a través d’Ernest Renan—, dels quals fou en part capdavanter dins la cultura catalana: difongué sobretot un evolucionisme d’arrel positivista, radical i optimista, i un vitalisme, d’arrel nietzscheana (autor de la versió castellana El Anticristo y la moral ascética, 1903), que es definia en oposició a la moral cristiana i que il·lustrava amb teories sobre les races i les cultures, no sempre coherents i rigoroses. Col·laborà en nombroses publicacions (entre altres, L’Avenç, Revista Contemporània, L’Esquella de la Torratxa i, sobretot, Joventut) i publicà uns trenta-cinc títols de molt divers gènere i qualitat, entre els quals es destaquen obres doctrinals, com Herejías (1887), Literaturas Malsanas (1894), que suscità una polèmica amb Clarín, Amigos y Maestros (1898), Inducciones (1901) i Cosas de España (1903), obres burlesques, com Los cent consells del Consell de Cent (1891), una de les més populars, obres de teatre, com Senyors de Paper! (1901-02) i L’agència d’Informes Comercials (1905), i narracions de tema històric, no exemptes de tesi, com Dones de Cor (1907) i Pasión y Muerte de Miguel Servet (1909). Hàbil periodista, subratllà —amb més voluntat d’audiència que responsabilitat cultural— els aspectes més controvertits de la seva ideologia i de la seva personalitat, que volgué ornar amb èxits i relacions culturals molt il·lustres, però sovint gratuïtes. Aquesta actitud li restà credibilitat en el món de la cultura, que el respectà inicialment pel seu caràcter renovador i li proporcionà una gran popularitat; amb el temps l’anà reduint, però, a la figura simpàtica i innòcua de la bohèmia barcelonina que tothom reconegué amb l’hipocorístic de Peius. (Font: Gran enciclopèdia catalana - enciclopè PAGE 41


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EXPOSICIÓ AL MONESTIR DE PEDRALBES PROJECT SCHEHEREZADE és (des de el 4 de setembre del 2014) una entitat sense ànim de lucre, amb NIF G66360215, l’objectiu de la qual és el rescabalament del coneixement femení que al llarg de la història ha esdevingut majoritàriament de trasmisió oral i poder fixar-lo tant de manera tradicional com mitjançant les noves tecnologies (TIC’S) i així donar-li visibilitat. Estem en un moment singular de la nostra història: mai s’havien trobat quatre generacions a peu del carrer convivint i molt menys tant aïlladament però amb la possibilitat i capacitat d’estar tots connectats sense limitacions de temps o espai. Podem restablir la xarxa que la cultura occidental i l’Estat del benestar, amb les seves combatives renuncies, ha deixat malmesa en aïllades individualitats competitives. No ens podem permetre, un cop restablerts els canals de transmissió, no compartir-ho sense distincions de raça, gènere o religió... I per fer-ho ens endinsarem en tots els àmbits de la Cultura entenent aquesta com a tota informació que no es transmet genèticament. La recerca, la formació i la capacitació aniran parelles amb la creació d’espais, mitjans i metodologies així com a canals de difusió. Recitals de poesia, trobades literàries, entrevistes, presentacions, debats, exposicions, càpsules culturals, publicacions, seminaris, tallers, cursos, congressos, col·loquis, taules rodones, recerca, documentals... La pertinença a l’entitat no està adscrita a cap quota, només caldrà omplir formulari de sol-licitud PAGE 42

LES DONES TAMBÉ SEUEN. MOBLES I ESPAIS FEMENINS DELS SEGLES XVI I XVII Les dones també seuen. Mobles i espais femenins dels segles XVI i XVII és el títol de l’exposició que tindrà lloc al Monestir de Pedralbes del 10 d’octubre de 2017 al 18 de febrer 2018. Les dones són les protagonistes d’aquesta exposició que es desenvolupa en sis àmbits i té com a primera font d’informació el mobiliari, així com d’altres objectes d’ús quotidià que ens permeten configurar l’imaginari femení i remarcar el paper de la dona a l’Època Moderna. A més dels objectes propis del monestir de Pedralbes, s’han seleccionat obres artístiques procedents de colleccions privades i museus que complementen el discurs expositiu. Entre les peces exposades destaquen diferents d’inèdites: un oli de Francisco de Zurbaran, una sèrie de set Amazones, que és un dels pocs conjunts pictòrics no religiosos catalans del segle XVI, així com una selecció de joies i objectes d’orfebreria renaixentistes i barroques. Del monestir, es mostren al públic obres que fins ara s’han conservat a clausura i no havien estat exposades amb anterioritat. L’exposició reflexiona sobre el que la societat esperava de la dona, així com les seves ocupacions i obligacions, tant dintre com fora de clausura. CONTACTE:




Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of CATALONIA, a quarterly publication by AICS (American Institute of Catalan Studies) which is based in t...


Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of CATALONIA, a quarterly publication by AICS (American Institute of Catalan Studies) which is based in t...