Spanish (Europe)

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

 Part I (1605) and Part II (1615) of Don Quixote de la Mancha (Biblioteca Nacional de España)

If you walk down the street in many parts of the world and ask a stranger who fought the windmills, they would most probably answer Don Quixote. But they would not necessarily know the name of its author, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616). This not-so-prolific dramaturge, poet and novelist has nonetheless had a major impact on the development of Western literature, influencing his English contemporary William Shakespeare, 19th-century French author Gustave Flaubert, and 20th-century Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, just to name a few. 

Cervantes did not come to prominence until much later in his life. His experiences as a soldier, a captive and a witness to the struggles of the Spanish empire shaped his distinctive oeuvre: a literary world of experimentation, as can be seen in his Exemplary Novels (1613), a world in which possibilities of reconciliation between conflictive individuals, ideals and desires remained hollow, inconclusive and, in many cases, without avail. Among other factors, what distinguishes Cervantes’ literary production is its unclassifiable nature, making it hard to try and fit the works in their presumed corresponding genre. One good example is his posthumous work The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda (1616), where the Byzantine novel is mutilated to such an extent that, at points, it becomes almost unrecognizable. 

Yet this unfittedness is most evident in Don Quixote (Part I published in 1605; Part II in 1615). The confusion between reality and fiction, the untrustworthiness of the multiple narrators, the intentional errors and misnomers, the three-dimensionalism of Don Quixote’s squire, Sancho, who has a love-hate relationship with his master, the utter destruction of the chivalric world, and the encounter with oppressed minorities are but some of the factors that have undoubtedly contributed to the sustained appeal of Don Quixote. The protagonist, an old man who “loses his mind” reading novels of chivalry, was, in Western literature, a pioneering self-proclaimed “hero.” He offers and imposes his help unto people who rarely take him seriously. Moreover, he only becomes popular, within his diegetic world, when in Part II he is defined by others as a caricature. This caricature remains dominant in the collective imaginary of readers, as can be seen, for example, in Picasso’s well-known depiction of the character. 

Although most masterpieces ultimately attempt to challenge a comfortable experience of reading where we readily identify with fictitious characters; Don Quixote still manages to attract the empathy of its readers who may or may not closely identify with the knight-errant. Don Quixote is beaten up, both physically and metaphorically, yet his innocent, albeit selfish at times, intentions have ultimately won the hearts of a diverse audience over the centuries.

Today, the Spanish language, or Castilian as it is referred to in Europe, has grown from around 14 million speakers at the time of Cervantes to 477 million native speakers worldwide. It is now the second most used language for international communication and the most studied languages on the planet.[1] At Berkeley, Spanish is one of the most widely used languages for scholarship after English, particularly in departments such as Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Ethnic Studies, Film & Media, Gender & Women’s Studies, History, Linguistics, Political Science, and Rhetoric. Interdisciplinary graduate programs in Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, Romance Languages and Literature, and Medieval and Early Modern Studies also require reading of original texts in Spanish.

 Nasser Meerkhan, Assistant Professor
 Department of Near Eastern Studies & Department of Spanish & Portuguese


Source consulted:

  1. Elias, D. José Antonio. Atlas historico, geográfico y estadístico de España y sus posesiones de ultramar. Barcelona : Imprenta Hispana, 1848; Hernández Sánchez Barbara, Mario. “La población hispanoamericana y su distribución social en el siglo XVIII,” Revista de estudios políticos, no.78 (1954); López, Morales H, and El español: una lengua viva. Informe 2017. Madrid : Arco Libros, S.L. : El Instituto, 2017.

El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha
Author: Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616.
Imprint: En Madrid : por Iuan de la Cuesta, 1605, 1615.
Edition:  1st
Language: Spanish (Europe)
Language Family: Indo-European
Source: Biblioteca Nacional de España
URL: (requires Flash)

Other online editions:

Print editions at Berkeley:

Considered to be the most translated work every written, the Library has editions in French, German, Hebrew, Armenian, Quechua, and more. The earliest and best illustrated editions reside in The Bancroft Library.

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Romance Language Collections Newsletter no.4 (Fall 2019)

Welcome back to campus everyone! This newsletter provides an overview of library services and new scholarly resources added in the past year with a focus on the Romance languages and southern European studies in particular.

 New Electronic Resources
A New Building at NRLF
Melvyl Moves to a New Platform
Library Exhibits
New Journals
Workshops, Instruction & Library Tours
Library Research Guides
Keeping Informed of New books


Universitas Linguarum

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

The Languages of Berkeley

Linguarum enim inscitia disciplinas universas aut exstinxit, aut depravavit…

For ignorance of languages either marred or abolished the world of learning….

—Erasmus, 1529, De pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis. Opera I, 377

Berkeley’s celebration of languages in the Library could not come at a better moment. We are living in a time when many Americans are smugly self-satisfied about speaking English Only, when our government has waged an ugly war against immigrants, when linguistic and cultural otherness is too often construed as a threat, and when the world of learning is narrowing to a point where it may again be falling on unfortunate times.

The national trends are clear. A recent report from the Modern Language Association shows that 651 foreign language programs in American colleges and universities were lost between 2013 and 2016. And these are not all “less commonly taught” languages: according to the MLA report, during the 2013-16 period, net losses included 129 French programs, 118 Spanish programs, 86 German programs, and 56 Italian programs. Since 2009, overall foreign language enrollments have declined by 15.3 percent nationally. A recent Pew Research Center study showed that only 20% of American K-12 students study a foreign language (as compared to 92% in Europe).

Berkeley is not immune to decreases in language enrollments, but our programs remain unusually strong and have been staunchly supported by the Berkeley administration. In any given year, between 50 and 60 languages are taught on campus, and this remarkable breadth reflects the diversity of the State of California and the backgrounds and research interests of our students and faculty. California leads the nation in linguistic diversity: 42% of Californians speak a language other than English in their homes (as of 2016), and California has more than a hundred indigenous languages. Not surprisingly, this year’s incoming students speak more than 20 languages.

Globalization is ostensibly a strong impetus for language study — and it is in most parts of the world, where knowledge of English and other major languages is viewed as a fundamental necessity for participation in the global economy. However, in the U.S., it seems that globalization has had the opposite effect, leading many Americans to adopt a complacent attitude: why study other languages when so much of the world revolves around English?

Berkeley resists such complacency. We recognize that knowing other languages opens up fresh perspectives on the world, on our relationships with others, on our own language and culture, on the various disciplines we study, and on the problems we strive to solve. Indeed, so many of the challenges we face today are global in nature and can only be approached through the multiplicity of perspectives that come with international cooperation and collaboration. While English may allow for broad sharing of information, the reality is that we will never fully understand the nuances of other peoples’ perspectives if we don’t speak their language. Furthermore, because language, thought, and identity are so intimately intertwined, acquiring languages other than our mother tongue enriches our very being, allowing us to take on new identities, adopt new attitudes and beliefs, develop greater cognitive flexibility, and understand ourselves and our culture in a new light. Seeing the world through the lens of another language and culture also fosters empathy, which is essential to counter increasingly pervasive waves of ethno-nationalism.

Our university library reflects this awareness that languages nourish our imagination, enhance our creativity, and broaden and deepen our understanding of worlds past and present. More than half of the 13 million volumes in UC Berkeley’s collection are in languages other than English. Remembering that the word university derives from the Latin universitas, signifying both universality and community, let us celebrate together the rich diversity of the Library’s holdings and of languages on the Berkeley campus.

Rick Kern,
Professor, Department of French
Director, Berkeley Language Center

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Portuguese (Brazil)

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Cover page of first edition and portrait of author in 1890 by Marc Ferrez (Wikimedia Commons)

“A imaginação foi a companheira de toda a minha existência, viva, rápida, inquieta, alguma vez tímida e amiga de empacar, as mais delas capaz de engolir campanhas e campanhas, correndo.”

“Imagination has been the companion of my whole existence — lively, swift, restless, at times timid and balky, most often ready to devour plain upon plain in its course.” (trans.  Helen Caldwell  p. 41, Dom Casmurro)

The novel Dom Casmurro is considered a masterpiece of literary realism and one of the most significant works of fiction in all of Latin American literature. The late Brazilian literary critic Afrânio Coutinho called it possibly one of the best works written in the Portuguese language, and it has been required reading in Brazilian schools for more than a century.[1] At UC Berkeley, generations of students in literature courses have been enjoying the rich complexity of this work of prose since the 1950s when the author began receiving recognition worldwide. Indelibly influenced by French social realists such as Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert and Émile Zola, Dom Casmurro is a sardonic social critique of Rio de Janeiro’s bourgeoisie. The satirical novel takes the reader on a terrifying journey into a mind haunted by jealousy via an unreliable first-person narrative told by Bento Santiago (Bentinho) who suspects his wife Capitú of adultery.

Dom Casmurro was written by multiracial and multilingual Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1864-1908) who was an essayist, literary critic, reporter, translator, government bureaucrat. He was most venerated for his short stories, plays, novellas, and novels which were all set in his milieu of Rio de Janeiro. The son of a freed slave who had become a housepainter and a Portuguese mother from the Azores, he grew up in an affluent household under a generous patroness where his parents were agregados (domestic servants).[2] A prodigy of sorts, he began writing at an early age, and quickly ascended the socio-cultural ladder in a country that did not abolish slavery until 1888 with the Lei Áurea (Golden Act).[3] At the center of a group of well-known poets and writers, Machado founded the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters) in 1896, became its first president, and was perpetually reelected until his death in 1908.[4] “Even more remarkable than Machado’s absence from world literature,” wrote Susan Sontag, “is that he has been very little known and read in Latin America outside Brazil — as if it were still hard to digest the fact that the greatest author ever produced in Latin America wrote in the Portuguese, rather than the Spanish, language.”[5]

With a population of over 210 million, Brazil has eclipsed Portugal and its former colonies in Africa and Asia and now constitutes more than 80 percent of the world’s Portuguese speakers. Portuguese is the sixth most natively spoken language globally.[6] While European Portuguese (EP) is considered a less commonly taught language in American universities, this is not the case for Brazilian Portuguese (BP) where it has become increasingly popular. The Modern Language Association’s recently released study on languages taught in U.S. institutions, ranked Portuguese as the eleventh most taught language.[7] BP and EP are the same language but have been evolving independently, much like American and British English, since the 17th century. Today, the linguistic variations (phonetics, phonology, syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics) are so stark that a non-fluent observer might mistake the two for entirely different languages. In 1990, all Portuguese-language countries signed the Acordo Ortográfico da Língua Portuguesa — a treaty to standardize spelling rules across the Lusophone world — which went into effect in Brazil in 2009 and in Portugal in 2016.[8]

At Berkeley, Brazilian literature is offered for all periods and levels of study through the Department of Spanish and Portuguese’s Luso-Brazilian Program directed by Professor Candace Slater.[9] Her research centers on traditional narrative and cordel ballads, and she was awarded the Ordem de Rio Branco in 1996 — the highest honor the Brazilian government accords a foreigner — and in 2002, the Ordem de Merito Cultural. Other Brazilianists in the department include professors Natalia Brizuela and Nathaniel Wolfson. Graduate students with an interest in Brazil who are part of the Hispanic Language and Literatures (HLL), Romance Language and Literatures (RLL), and Latin American Studies programs delve into all aspects of the nation’s history, culture, and language.[10]

Contribution by Claude Potts
Librarian for Romance Language Collections, Doe Library

Sources consulted

  1. Coutinho Afrânio. Machado de Assis na literatura brasileira. Academia Brasileira de Letras, 1990.
  2.  “More on Machado,” Brown University Library’s Brasiliana Collection. (accessed 7/19/19)
  3. Rodriguez, Junius P. Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2007.
  4. Preface to Dom Casmurro: A Novel by Machado de Assis. Translated by Helen Caldwell. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966, c1953.
  5. Sontag, Susan. “Afterlives: the Case of Machado de Assis,” New Yorker (April 29, 1990).
  6. CIA World Factbook (accessed 7/19/19)
  7. Modern Language Association of America. Enrollments in Languages Other Than English  in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016: Final Report (June 2019).  (accessed 7/19/19)
  8. Vocabulário Ortográfico da língua portuguesa. 5a ed. São Paulo, SP : Global Editora ; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil : Academia Brasileira de Letras, 2009; and Academia das Ciências de Lisboa. Vocabulário ortográfico atualizado da língua portuguesa. Lisboa : Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2012.
  9. Portuguese (PORTUG) – Berkeley Academic Guide (accessed 7/26/19)
  10. Hispanic Languages & Literatures, Romance Languages and Literatures, Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley (accessed 7/25/19)

Dom Casmurro
Title in English: Dom Casmurro : novel
Author: Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria, 1839-1908.
Imprint: Rio de Janeiro; Paris: Garnier, 1899.
Edition: 1st edition
Language: Portuguese
Language Family: Indo-European, Romance
Source: Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil

Print editions at Berkeley:


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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Changes to MLA Bibliography & LION Databases

If you use Literature Online (LION) or the MLA International Bibliography, you may have noticed some changes recently.

The MLA International Bibliography and the MLA Directory of Periodicals will now be found solely on the EBSCO platform. Although the interface looks different, the functionality has not changed. The Bibliography indexes journal articles and other critical scholarship in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore.

MLA Bibliography

Continue reading “Changes to MLA Bibliography & LION Databases”

A Shopping Guide to Paris

Shopping Guide to Paris (1929)
Bonney, Thérèse, and Louise Bonney. A Shopping Guide to Paris. New York: R.M. McBride & Company, 1929.

Here’s a midsummer post to divert your attention to a fun travel guide written by an extraordinary Cal alumna (Class of 1916) and her sister Louise. In case you haven’t heard, the Thérèse Bonney papers and photographic archive have been processed and are available for use in The Bancroft Library:

Other books by Bonney can be found in the Main Stacks, or online through the HathiTrust Digital Library:


The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

The 1949 Loeb edition of Cicero’s De inventione (and other works)

The “golden age” of Latin comprises works produced between the first century BCE and the first century CE. The canon of Latin literature includes the works of such authors as Caesar, Cicero, Vergil, Horace, Livy, and Ovid, which frequently make up the core curriculum of any Classics department today.[1] Linguistically speaking, the Latin language became a predominantly literary and administrative language, learned by elite members of society who had an educational or professional need for it.[2] This does not mean that Latin was not spoken anymore, it just means that it ceased being anyone’s first language, and that, eventually, educated inhabitants of the broader Roman empire were bilingual, fluent in both Latin and in their own dialects (which became the Romance languages). The adoption of Latin as the unifying administrative language of the Roman empire — and later as the unifying administrative and liturgical language of the Roman Catholic Church — ensured Latin’s place as a global language through the 18th century. 

The most influential ancient Roman author was Marcus Tullius Cicero. When students read Cicero today, they are likely to be assigned his famous speeches, such as the Catiline Orations or the Pro Caelio; one of his philosophical treatises, such as De re publica; or even his letters. What students may not know is that it was one of Cicero’s so-called juvenile works, written before he was 21 years old, that had the most outsized impact on the history of education in the West. Cicero wrote De inventione when he was studying rhetoric as a young man. The title topic “invention” (meaning “discovery”) refers to the first, and most important, task of the orator, which is to develop effective arguments that will persuade a judge. Because De inventione was written as a series of notes, it was easily adaptable to the classroom as a handbook for teaching rhetoric. De Inventione became such a foundational text in the medieval and Renaissance classroom that 322 complete manuscripts survive today.[3] As a result, Ciceronian rhetoric thoroughly permeated medieval and Renaissance intellectual culture and greatly influenced the literature, historiography and political theory of those periods, the fruits of which students continue to learn in humanities courses today.[4] 

That Renaissance artists and architects looked to ancient sculptures, paintings, and architecture to inform their designs is well known. Renaissance Latin authors similarly looked to Classical authors as models for writing the “best Latin.” These humanists, as they are called, were reacting against what they saw as idiosyncratic Latin that evolved from the 11th to the 13th centuries to accommodate the highly technical and abstract concepts of theology and philosophy, and they desired a return to what they deemed the best models from antiquity: Cicero for prose and Vergil for poetry.[5] The Italian humanists Pietro Bembo and Jacopo Sadoleto of Italy, and the Belgian humanist Christophe de Longueil, went so far as to declare Cicero the only model for good Latin. The eclectic thinker and scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) found this idea so ridiculous — because slavish imitation of a single model does not account for individual ability or changing times — that he penned a satirical dialogue titled Ciceronianus that mocked this idea of a single model. In his satire, the character Nosoponus is paralyzed by writer’s block, afraid to write a single word that is not found in Cicero; while Bulephorus endeavors to convince Nosoponus to seek out a greater array of authors as models and to internalize what he learns in order to develop his own style.[6] These arguments for some stylistic flexibility aside, the Renaissance marked the period during which the Latin language became well and truly fixed; by this time, the national vernacular languages had come into their own and Latin had become the domain of an elite educational curriculum.[7] The advantage to us of this fixing is that Latinists today are able to read, with relative ease, a wealth of texts that span more than a millennium.

The study of Latin has many applications and is an important tool for research and study in a variety of fields. Besides Classics, Berkeley students use Latin in courses within the department of Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology,[8] as well as PhD programs in Medieval Studies,[9] Romance Languages and Literatures,[10] and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.[11]

Contribution by Jennifer Nelson
Reference Librarian, The Robbins Collection, UC Berkeley School of Law


  1. Department of Classics, UC Berkeley
  2. Leonhardt 2013: 56-74.
  3. Two examples of manuscripts of De inventione are in the British Library (Arundel MS 348) and in the Kongelige Bibliotek in Denmark (GKS 1998 4°)
  4. Ward 2013: 167. (accessed 6/24/19)
  5. The notion that medieval Latin was fundamentally different from Classical Latin was a humanist construct. While, in some cases, there did exist identifiable regional flavors, evidence of certain non-“standard” constructions, or writing conventions developed for specific genres (frequently in the technocratic, bureaucratic, or legal realms), in general Latin did not change in any fundamental way in the period known as the Middle Ages.
  6. Nosoponus means “suffering from illness”; Bulephorus means “one who gives counsel.”
  7. Leonhardt 2013: 184-219.
  8. Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology (AHMA), UC Berkeley
  9. Program in Medieval Studies Program, UC Berkeley
  10. Romance Languages and Literatures, UC Berkeley
  11. Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS), UC Berkeley

Sources consulted:

  • Erasmus, Desiderius. Dialogus cui titulus Ciceronianus, sive De optimo genere dicendi (Ciceronianus, or, A Dialogue on the Best Style of Speaking). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976.
  • Hubbell, H. M. Introduction to Cicero’s De inventione (On Invention), with an English translation by H. M. Hubbell. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968, xi-xviii.
  • Leonhardt, Jürgen (trans. Kenneth Kronenberg). Latin: Story of a World Language. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013.
  • Ward, John O. “Ciceronian Rhetoric and Oratory from St. Augustine to Guarino da Verona.” In van Deusen, Nancy, Cicero Refused to Die: Ciceronian Influence Through the Centuries. Leiden: Brill, 2013, 163-196.


Title: De inventione ; De optimo genere oratorum ; Topica, with an English translation by H. M. Hubbell
Title in English: On Invention (and other works)
Author: Marcus Tullius Cicero
Imprint: Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949.
Edition: 1st edition
Language:  Latin
Language Family: Indo-European, Italic
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (University of Michigan)

Other online editions:

  • Erasmus, Desiderius. Dialogus cui titulus Ciceronianus, sive De optimo genere dicendi (Ciceronianus, or, A Dialogue on the Best Style of Speaking). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949.
    Loeb Classical Library (UCB only), DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-de_inventione.1949

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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More French ebooks through OpenEdition

The Library has recently added 731 titles mostly in French but also Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English to its ebook holdings through OpenEdition — an interdisciplinary open access initiative in France. Now, more than 4,700 academic ebooks in the humanities and social sciences are discoverable through the portal or through the Library’s catalogs permitting researchers to benefit from a range of DRM-free formats, some optimized specifically for e-readers, tablets, and smart phones (ePub, PDF, etc.). OpenEdition’s Freemium program makes it possible for UC Berkeley to participate in an acquisitions policy that supports openness and sustainable development of scholarly resources such as these.

Visit OpenEdition to read even more open access ebooks.


The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Solitut by Víctor Català
Title page for 3rd edition (HathiTrust) and portrait of author (Institut Municipal de Cultura d’Olot) 

“I don’t want you to confine my thinking to facts and agreed formulas; I do want, like birds, the liberated wings to fly at any time, now to the right, now to the left, through the space full of infinite and invisible routes; I do not want extraneous nuisances, harmful limits that impose me a path beforehand. I want to be entirely master of myself and not a slave of alien forces, insofar as human, are miserable and failing.” – Víctor Català (Caterina Albert), Insubmissió (1947)

(Trans. A. B. Redondo-Campillos)

Víctor Català was a Catalan modernist literature novelist, storyteller, playwright, and poet. But Víctor Català was also Caterina Albert i Paradís (L’Escala, Girona, 1869–1966), an extraordinary talented woman writer forced to write under a male pen name. Caterina Albert decided to make herself known as Víctor Català after the publication of the monologue La infanticida (The Infanticide), for which Albert not only received the first prize in the 1898 Jocs Florals literary contest, but also an enormous backlash after the jury knew that the author was a woman. Amid the Catalan intellectual and bourgeois society of the late 19th century, Caterina Albert questions maternity as the main purpose of womanhood in the most dramatic and violent way. Víctor Català/Caterina Albert was probably the first unconscious feminist of Catalan literature.

In her magnum opus, Solitut (1905) or Solitud, first a serialized novel in the literary magazine Joventut and published later as a book, the writer follows the spiritual and life journey of Mila, a woman that moves to a remote rural environment, with a practically absent husband. In an extremely rough landscape — where the mountain becomes another character in the novel and part of Mila herself — she encounters her own sensuality, the guilt provoked by her sexual desire towards a shepherd, the unspeakable brutality of the few people living around her, and the absolute solitude. Far from being weakened because of all of these factors, Mila finds the necessary strength to get by and, finally, makes a life-changing decision.

It is 1905 and Caterina Albert depicts through Mila in Solitud the overly harsh women’s situation in a male rural society. Its novelty lies in that the writer provides the main character with the determination to overcome her disgrace. Mila transgresses the patriarchy system and takes control of her own life, and Caterina Albert transgresses the rules of a male literary society and writes whatever she wants to write. With Solitud the recognition of Víctor Català as a brilliant writer was unanimous: “the most sensational event ever seen in modern Catalan literature” in the words of critic Manuel de Montoliu (introduction to Víctor Català’s Obres Completes, Barcelona: Selecta, 1951).

Despite her success, Caterina Albert was considered a threat to the Noucentisme literary movement, due to her opposition to the group’s ideological agenda. After the publication of Solitud, Víctor Català published her second and last novel, Un film (3.000 metres) in 1926 and rather sporadically, some collections of short stories up to 1944. The author retired from the literary activity and died in her hometown, L’Escala, after having decided to spend the last 10 years of her life in bed.

Contribution by Ana-Belén Redondo-Campillos
Lecturer, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Title: Solitut
Title in English: Solitude
Author: Víctor Català (pseudonym for Caterina Albert i Paradís), 1869-1966
Imprint: Barcelona : Biblioteca Joventut, 1909.
Edition: 3rd edition
Language: Catalan
Language Family: Indo-European, Romance
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (University of Michigan)

Print editions at Berkeley: 

  • Serialized edition published across eight issues in April 2015 in Joventut: periódich catalanista: literatura, arts, ciencias. Barcelona : [publisher not identified], 1900-1906.
  • Solitud. Barcelona : Edicions 62, 1979.
  • Solitud. 1oth ed. Barcelona: Edicions de la Magrana, 1996.
  • Solitud. 20th ed. Barcelona : Selecta, 1980. valoració crítica per Manuel de Montoliu.
  • Solitude: A Novel. Columbia, La: Readers International, 1992. translated from the Catalan with a preface by David H. Rosenthal.

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Joventut: periódich catalanista: literatura, arts, ciencias

Joventut (Barcelona: Janer-Febrer, 1900) from HathiTrust

Few books and journals in the Library stay in the same place forever. Berkeley’s copy of the renowned Art Nouveau periodical, Joventut published between 1900 and 1906 and directed by Alexandre de Riquer and Lluís Vía under the auspices of the “Unio Catalanista” has recently migrated from the Art History/Classics Library to The Bancroft Library for safekeeping. Antiquarian bookdealer Peter Bernett describes the journal as “a major forum for the presentation and reviews of ‘modernista’ literature, criticism, theater, music, and visual art in Barcelona and greater Catalonia, as well as discussing current aesthetic trends in Europe.” An extension of the Renaixença cultural and literary movement with inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelites, it featured cutting edge art, architecture and literature. In its first year of publication it was the first review to reproduce a work by Picasso. The ornamental golden binding was inspired by Aubrey Beardsley’s The Yellow Book. Catalan poets, novelists and playwrights such as Jacint Verdaguer, Joaquim Ruyra, and Victor Català — who will soon be featured in The Languages of Berkeley online exhibition —were among the regular contributors.

Joventut has been digitized separately by the Biblioteca de Catalunya and the Getty Research Institute, available through the HathiTrust Digital Library and The Internet Archive.

Drawing by [Pablo] Ruiz Picasso in Joventut from HathiTrust