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Josep Massot i Muntaner | Tarragona Newspaper

Josep Ferrater i Mora, in Les forms de la vida catalana, places continuïtat as the first of the trets of Catalan fesomy, followed by seny, measure and irony. For the Catalan culture, continuity is not just a vocation, a necessity, an objective. What is surprising about Catalan culture is not that it tends to have continuity. What is surprising is that it did not work and that it did not, in very unfavorable circumstances. To have continuïtat vol dir saber –i voler– evolve i change at the mateix ritme that a món canviant. Vol dir semper del seu temps. And it is because of this that Josep Massot i Muntaner, his successor, Prize d’Honor de les Lletres Catalanes, has followed an example that explains the reason for this continuation. Because he has incarnated tot, because he ho has fet tot. Sense of the list, gairebé impossible, of works and actions, Father Massot’s contribution to the continuation of Catalan culture could be summed up in two essential lines: Josep Massot has produced an enormous work and has offered to the mateix temps the essential ones why molts d’altres poguessin build, divulge and during the week.

The intellectual biography of Father Massot could be that of a scholar, and just like that, it would be extraordinary. The seve recerques and publications of him are very numerous –the volume as well as his seve bibliography occupies more than a hundred pages!– the most varied. They range from key aspects of church history (among others, the figure of Cardinal Vidal i Barraquer) to essential questions of language, society and the history of literature, from the great edition of the Work of the Cançoner Popular de Catalunya ends a whole list of essential contributions for the study of the civil war. Tot això, fet –com subratlla Damià Pons– with a “us of first-class information, certification of the materials including an extensive bibliography and numerous notes at the bottom of the page, a precise and synthetic account, expressing both a well-constructed prose and clear, an attitude of descriptive neutrality, a contrasted and equidistant interpretation of the fets and of human works». Només amb això ja pare Massot would have an lloc d’honor in this history of continuity.

It has been an enormous work and has offered to the mateix temps the essential ones because there are many other things without building, disseminating and during the week

But, in addition to what he has written and personally researched, Father Massot has created and offered eines, structures of those that structure a culture and donate new opportunities to creators and researchers. Eines of tota mena. One of them, the most classic, the most beautiful that he has been as an editor, especially from the Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat. And at his cost you also cover them that he has directed, with Serra d’Or, Randa or Studia Monastica. In his role in the secretariat, the direction or the assessment of entities and institutions with the Institute of Catalan Studies, the International Association of Catalan Language and Literature (since I promoted that the seventh Col loqui International was celebrated in Tarragona and Salou, l’any 1985), the Royal Academy of Bones Lletres, l’Institut Ramon Llull, between moltíssimes d’altres. Em deixo moltes coses, moltíssimes, also in this area of ​​the construction of eines. But what I would like to underline is that, parallel to the construction of his own scholarly work, Father Massot has participated in a constant, active and multiplied way in the creation and management of those things that allow a culture is still alive and full.

In molts àmbits, in these darreres decades, all the roads pass by for Massot. Albert Manent said of him that he was «one of the great communication nusos of Catalan culture». Between people, between territories, between genres, between sensibilities. Par Massot, from Montserrat estant, has followed one of the great connectors of contemporary Catalan culture. Essential for the seva continuïtat and for the seva vitalitat of him. It is not gens estrany that ho hagi fet des de Montserrat. Not so lonely because of his religious vocation and his monastic commitment. Also because, as the material has been subtitled on more than one occasion, Montserrat is one of the oldest publishing houses in the world, if not the oldest. If it is disputed with some honor, it is with Oxford or Cambridge. Since the end of the fifteenth century until now, the Montserrat Abbey has been a publishing house, and together with the Massot parent, the Publications of the Montserrat Abbey have developed into a great, modern and very active publishing house. This is the clearest symbol that Ferrater Mora attributed to the Catalan personality, especially the cultural one: the vocation and the effort to continue. But this continuation is not fa solo. It demands in each generation some people, sovint no gaires, but essentials, that make them work and build them. Our generation has gaudit the immensa sort of having a figure like Father Massot, creator of nusos i connexions, of texts and of eines, who –carregant-se damunt de les espatlles una tasca ingent– have reinforced the continuïtat d’ a Catalan culture open to all the vents, sense sectarianisms, situating it in a universal context and, therefore, have posat the fonament of seva vitalitat in the present and of seva ambition for the future.

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