Lost Culture


Manuel de Pedrolo

I recently attended a talk by Pedro Fernàndez Dorado, a PhD candidate at University College Cork who is currently working on a project which [1] visually bridges the gap between the work of Manuel de Pedrolo and the Catalan literary space in the second half of the 20th century.

Manuel de Pedrolo was a Catalan novel author, storyteller of many diverse genres, and a poet [2] who published as many as 72 novels during the years 1949-1985. As well as this, Pedrolo translated many other novels into the Catalan language. Although Pedrolo was born in Catalonia and wrote all of his novels and books in Catalan, there still appears to
be an issue for calling the novelist by his nationality. For
UCCSeminarexample, during Pedro Fernàndez Dorado’s talk, it was pointed out to us that on Pedrolo’s Spanish Language Wikipedia page under the nationality heading [3] it said Pedrolo was ‘Spanish’ and not ‘Catalan’. I do admit that when he first pointed this out, I did not realize the significance of not assigning the correct nationality to the novelist until Mr. Fernàndez Dorado’s compared it to someone of a foreign nationality calling Irish people “British”. Even though I have nothing against Britain and wouldn’t consider myself a nationalist, I realize that I would find this ignorance to be somewhat bothersome. In the case of a famed writer who promoted the Catalan language, his mother tongue, there is no excuse for an unintentional disregard of Pedrolo’s nationality. To disregard his nationality would prove that any attempt made to call Pedrolo ‘Spanish’ is a conscious act to suppress the Catalan people and to exert Spanish political power over Catalonia.

It was hard for me not to see a parallel between the history of Catalonia and that of Ireland. Ireland was always faced many challenges since its beginning, including; multiple invasions, the great famine, and British colonization to name a few. It wasn’t until 1921 that the Republic of Ireland was finally declared independent in the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Even though the Republic of Ireland has been an independent state, unlike Catalonia, for the past 95 years and now has been free to practise its own native language and customs, there has been a massive loss with regard to Irish Culture and the Irish language.

Catalonia Map


Even though Irish is still an official language in Ireland and Irish road signs and sign posts can be seen around the country, Irish is not spoken as a casual language outside of the academic system except for the small and scarce Gaeltacht regions. It is English that is the vastly more popular official language of Ireland that is spoken all around the country on a day to day basis. Similarly, with the Catalonian state fighting for its independence from Spain since 1922, and the Catalan language has faced various challenges and restrictions since the 1700s, and it comes as no surprise that the Catalan language has faced near extinctions. [4]As of 2013, Catalan is the habitual language of only 36% of the population of Catalonia, and Spanish is the habitual language of 51% of the population. Although global integration and immigration have been the leading reasons for the decline in a number of native languages around the world, it is still important not to lose your native language completely. Some might argue that many native languages may not seem to have a place nor may not be of much use in the modern world, language is a major part of one’s culture and identity.

Since Mr. Fernàndez Dorado’s talk about his work and the importance of cultural identity, I have thought a lot about the topic. In my digital humanities modules we are required to create a digital artefact, and base a portfolio on a research question that we choose ourselves and I have decided to base mine on the topic of ‘Lost Culture in Ireland’. On that note, I want to thank Mr. Fernàndez Dorado for coming and talking to our Digital Humanities course a few weeks ago.



[1] “Pedro Fernàndez Dorado| | Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies UCC.” University College Cork. Accessed December 5, 2016. https://www.ucc.ie/en/splas/people/peopleinfo/pedrofernandezdorado/

[2] “Manuel de Pedrolo – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia, Accessed December 5, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_de_Pedrolo#Work

[3] “Manuel de Pedrolo – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia. Accessed December 5, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_de_Pedrolo

[4] “Idescat. Demografia I Qualitat de Vida. Usos Lingüístics. Llengua Inicial, D’identificació I Habitual. Resultats.” Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Accessed December 5, 2016. http://www.idescat.cat/economia/inec?tc=3&id=da01&dt=2008.


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