El post que segueix, sobre el Modernisme a La Garriga, és una còpia del comentari enviat al bloc Left side of the road, administrat per un escriptor viatger, el senyor Michael Harrison de Liverpool (UK).
If it is true that “…Modernism was definitely a style of and for the rich…”, it is not less true that Modernism, precisely because “…it was a child of its time…” expanded into other human activities in addition to architecture. For example, literature. That’s why when we talk about Modernism here, in Catalonia, we find it very convenient to refer to one of the most respected Modernist Catalan poets , Joan Maragall (Barcelona, 10-10-1860 – 20-12-1911) and his “teoria de la paraula viva” (theory of the living word).
Many people here, in Barcelona and further afield, remember nowadays the events of the “Setmana Tràgica” in 1909 (the Tragic Week). At that time only very few people dared to oppose the death penalty, during the bloody and merciless repression that followed those events. Joan Maragall was one of them and he took a clear stance, far from the ‘snobism’ of certain intellectuals of that time who were just flirting with anarchist ideas. He wrote a very courageous article in October 1909, “La ciutat del perdó” (The city of forgiveness), which was strictly censored by the Spanish Government. Maragall tried, by these means, to defend the life of Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia (Alella, Maresme, 10-01-1859 – Barcelona, 13-10-1909), who was about to be executed. In this same article he also exposed the serious responsibility of the Catalan bourgeoisie in those events… being himself a bourgeois.
Ferrer i Guàrdia was a very important Catalan educationalist, creator of the “Escola Moderna” (Modern School), a practical project of libertarian pedagogy. He was accused of having promoted rebellion during the 1909 events and was executed by firing squad, in October of the same year, in Montjuïc Castle.
“The Times” of London, after this execution wrote: “… By negligence or stupidity, the Government has confounded the freedom of education and conscience, the human right to reason and express ideas, with the right of opposition, assimilating it to a criminal unrest…”
For more information about Modernism in Catalonia, refer to a book, in Spanish, “El primer Modernismo literario catalán y sus fundamentos ideológicos”, Editorial Ariel, Barcelona 1973, by Eduard Valentí i Fiol (Pals, Baix Empordà, 1910 – 1971, Barcelona).