Pompeu Fabra Literary Route through Badalona
Pompeu Fabra (1868 to 1948) was a Catalan linguist and grammarian, one of the most illustrious. Fabra played a leading role in the reconstruction of modern Catalan, a language that in those days had been reduced to the family and literary sphere. Pompeu Fabra, born in the Gracia neighborhood ofBarcelona, dedicated his whole life to building the foundations of the Catalan language, establishing the grammatical and orthographic bases and writing the General Dictionary of the Catalan Language (1932) to make Catalan a language open to all and for all uses.
Much of this work was done from Badalona, his host city. In fact, Master Fabra, as the people of Badalona called him, lived in Badalona for 27 years.
That is why we propose a route that runs through the spaces of Badalona where Master Fabra spent his life, from the houses where he lived and worked, the entities where he collaborated, the relationship he had with the people of Badalona or some curiosities of the life of this illustrious Catalan.
The route begins in the same place where the adventure of the Fabra family began in Badalona in 1912. The Fonda de Peret, on Calle del Mar, n úm 12, was the first place to stay, while the family waited for the transfer of the luggage that had to arrive from Bilbao, where he held a position as a professor at the School of Engineering. Fabra will live in Badalona until 1939, when he will go into exile, passing through Paris, Montpellier and Prada.
Josep Cortinas Square, "Can Balluga"
The first house where Pompeu Fabra settled was in the current Plaza de Josep Cortinas, where "Can Balluga" used to be. From this residence, the linguist wrote and worked on a large part of the "General Dictionary of the Catalan Language" (1932), a true pillar of Catalan. In the Dictionary you can see the influence of Badalona in the writing of the work, with place names and words from Badalona.
During this time he combined his work as a grammarian with trips to Barcelona, where he was appointed professor of the Catalan Department of the Barcelona Provincial Council by Enric Prat de la Riba and member of the philological section of the Institute of Catalan Studies, of which later he would be president.
The proximity to the sea was one of the main reasons that led Fabra to settle in the city. His daughter, Teresa, had delicate health and, on the recommendation of the doctors, she had to frequent baths in the sea water and walks near the beach. That is why the coast of Badalona was one of the busiest corners for Fabra, where he also took the opportunity to chat with fishermen, since he was an open and hospitable person with working people. Right in front of the sea, on calle Santa Madrona, number 33, he had one of the three residences where he lived in Badalona.
Pompeu Fabra always went to work in Barcelona by tram. He did not like to travel by train or car. I took the tram at stop no. 43, at the "Can Martri" Bar, on Francesc Layret Street, on the corner of Padre Claret. He took advantage of the journey to write or work, and if he didn't have too much work he liked to talk with the other passengers and hold long debates about politics, culture or society.
School of Arts and Crafts
During his stay in the city, Fabra is fully integrated into the social and cultural life as just another Badalona resident. He was the promoter of the Marcel·lí Antic School (1927) and president of the Catalan organization Palestra in Badalona. Fabra also launched Ediciones Proa, located at Av. Martí Pujol, number 40. In 1915 the School of Arts and Crafts of Badalona was born, which would later become the School of Work. He also participated in the Tennis Club and the Hiking Center. For all these reasons, the city wanted to give him recognition for his social and cultural involvement and in 1934 Fabra was named Badalona's adoptive son.
Calle de la Merced, 34
This is the address of the last house where the Fabra family lived. In 1939 the course of their lives would change with the arrival of exile. The residence was looted and a good part of the works and books of great value burned and disappeared. Today, approaching this point, we find a commemorative plaque on the façade that reminds us that it was the last house where the family settled.
In 1968 this emblematic space hosted the tribute on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Maestro Fabra. Intellectuals of the time participated and it was well attended by the public. The poem "My people and I" by Salvador Espriu was written for the occasion.
Pompeu Fabra Square
The central square where the L2 metro exits are located is named after Pompeu Fabra in recognition of the Catalan linguist. The initiative was achieved through entities and citizens who claimed this action as a form of tribute to the adopted son of the city.
In the Plaza de la Assembly of Catalonia number 9 stands a monolith created by Òmnium Cultural. We can read a fragment of "Homenots" that Josep Pla dedicated to Fabra, where he praises the work and work done for the normalization of Catalan.