El meu país - My Country

Josep Pla’s writing is, above all, the result of a man’s outlook whose adherence to the language and to the landscape makes him capable of interpreting and reorganising the world through his writing and creating forms of identity. People and landscapes fuse together, into some sort of human geography in which the local watch becomes not only a way of looking at but also a way of seeing the world, a literary requirement, a stylistic exercise, “a working method”. It consists of a voluntarily limited vision of the world reproduced to an individual, local scale, in fact, the only one which can be understood and assimilated by the human being. It is a vision of the world which determines the acceptance of the simplest things, the most commonplace, everyday, and the most trivial ones.

“Jo formo part d’una determinada tribu. Aquesta tribu ocupa una determinada àrea geogràfica, té una manera absolutament personal de veure el món, parla una llengua determinada, pobra, poc treballada, mísera constitueix el que ara es comença d’anomenar una àrea lingüística.”

Josep Pla. Notes disperses. OC XII, 575.

Homenots - Great Men

Slowly, during the fifties, Josep Pla started to ascribe morality and a collective dimension to his individual process of gathering memories. In the beginning the landscape, the cuisine or the jobs were the main elements of his writing, which were at the service of a memorialistic literature; however, since 1958, Josep Pla began the publication of a series of volumes which were named Homenots (Great Men) a real gallery of portraits of the most important Catalan people of the century: artists, writers, intellectuals and also businessmen, economists or notaries. Already, in the first books of his youth, Pla had practised the portrait as a literary genre, at that time; however, he was adding a new dimension: the fact of recovering a Catalonia which had fallen into oblivion and was at the point of disappearing forever.

“L’única manera de lluitar contra la terrible invasió de l’oblit, de crear una memòria col·lectiva, és recordar, infatigablement, el que alguns homes —és a dir, el poble— han fet una mica més enllà dels interessos particulars, immediats i petits.”

Josep Pla. Homenots. OC XVI, 7.