Follow the Sap Through the Branches:
The Role of the Writer after the Catalan Referendum

From Planet 229

by Francesc Parcerisas

Francesc Parcerisas articulates his anguish at the Spanish state returning to the vicious repression of Catalonia he experienced under the Franco regime. Remembering the underground poets who gave him hope as a youth, he argues that Catalan writers now have a responsibility to delve deep into their once-forbidden language to make their culture flourish again.

I was born in Barcelona in 1944, five years after the end of the Spanish Civil War. My family had been on the Republican side; my mother, as a young girl, had to flee into exile from northern Spain into France; my father, a young teenager, fought at the River Ebro battle, the last military stronghold against Franco. We were a middle-class family: my grandfather was an interior decorator, with a liking for the arts, and owned a small carpentry factory and a shop for textiles and carpets. Business grew in the 1950s and ’60s. My brothers and I were the first generation to go to university: education, languages, travel were seen as a passport for a more prosperous and democratic future, as could be found in most countries in post-war Europe.

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