Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pompeu Fabra, the university professor

"Pompeu Fabra always used to speak without much emphasis, in an almost colloquial manner. His explanations were absolutely clear and his scientific rigour, with a touch of irony here and there, and even, at times, jokes, was perfectly adapted to his educational intentions. He did not want to be seen as brilliant, he wanted to communicate and persuade. The wise man masqueraded as the professor […]"
(Alfred Badia, to Jordi Mir (1998): Memòria de Pompeu Fabra. 50 testimonis contemporanis, Proa.) [Memory of Pompeu Fabra. 50 Contemporary Testimonies, Proa.].
As mentioned in his biography, he studied industrial engineering - to please his family- and held a professorship at the Engineering School in Bilbao, where he lived for ten years (1902-1911). However, his firm vocation was always linguistics, Catalan and languages in general.
In 1911, when called upon by Enric Prat de la Riba, then president of Barcelona county council, he moved to Barcelona, where he was appointed to the professorship of Catalan created by the county council, a post he lost under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-30).
On the demise of the dictatorship, he was directly appointed professor of the University of Barcelona (1932), without going through the normal channels, compulsory up until then, of taking public examinations for the post. Shortly afterwards, when the University became autonomous, he was made chairman of the university board (1933), and was subsequently imprisoned (1934) for a few months as a result of this post, following the so-called Fets d'Octubre [October Incidents]. Notes taken by some of his students have survived to serve as witness to his dedication to the university. Some of these notes have been published (those by Pere Galtés, Recull de les lliçons del curs de català superior 1933-1934 pel mestre En Pompeu Fabra, [Collection of Lessons from the Advanced Level Catalan Course 1933-1934 Given by Professor Pompeu Fabra], and those of Joan Miravitlles, Apunts taquigràfics del Curs superior de català (1934-1935) professat per Pompeu Fabra a la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona[Shorthand Notes of the Advanced Level Catalan Course (1934-1935) Given by Pompeu Fabra at the Autonomous University of Barcelona]); these and other unpublished notes will be published in the Obres completes [Complete Works] of Fabra, which are in the process of being published.
In 1945, at the age of 77 and in exile, Fabra was appointed doctor honoris causa by the University of Toulouse.
PortadaAUTOR: Fabra, Pompeu
TÍTOL: Apunts taquigràfics del curs superior de català, 1934-1935
PUBLICAT: Andorra la Vella : Erosa, 1971



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