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The Catalan Nation and Identity Throughout History

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Edited By Àngels Casals Martinez and Giovanni C. Cattini

The present book is a complex approach to the elements that built the Catalan national identity, which can only be analyzed through its complexity and longue durée historical times.
Regarding medieval and early modern centuries, the territorial construction, law and state are presented, along with the complexity added by the appearance of composite monarchies in the 16th century, and taking into account the significance of constructing a literary and historiographic tradition to define national character.
Regarding modern centuries, the authors do not ignore the importance of socioeconomic dimensions in a very complex diversity which flows both in the intellectual and political world and in the dissemination of identity through the mass media in an international level as well.
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The Writing of History and of Catalan Identity: From Jeroni Pujades (1568-1635) to Antoni de Capmany (1742-1813), by Xavier Baró i Queralt

The Writing of History and of Catalan Identity: from Jeroni Pujades (1568-1635) to Antoni de Capmany (1742-1813)1

Extract

Xavier BARÓ I QUERALT

Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

In 1978, the Barcelona Faculty of Theology granted Miquel Batllori an honorary doctorate. In his speech, the Catalan historian emphasised, amongst many other opinions, two ideas. The first covered the linking of the past and the present: és ben curiós que, a mesura que passa, que ens passa, el temps, els temps passats s’apropen, en comptes d’allunyar-se [it is certainly strange that as time passes, as we in fact become older, past events become closer, instead of moving further away].

This reflection fully adheres to the subject of our study, even though Batllori also affirmed (this was, remember, 1978) that tot el que no sigui segle XVIII és pura prehistòria, reservada a especialistes no compromesos amb els problemes actuals [anything before the 18th century is strictly prehistory, in a pure form, reserved for specialists unburdened by current day issues].2

And so although history is a study of time in the past it is reviewed in the present. According to a providential expression by Benedetto Croce, ogni storia è storia contemporanea [all history is contemporary history]. And in this respect the current panorama has little to do with events in 1978.

So, current politics have revived great interest in the modern era of Catalonia, bringing this era closer to us today than it was three or four decades ago.

In any case, it is always pleasant to start a...

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