Capmany (Farnes), Maria Aurèlia 1918-1991

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CAPMANY (FARNES), Maria Aurèlia 1918-1991

PERSONAL: Born 1918, in Barcelona, Spain; died 1991, in Barcelona, Spain; daughter of Aureli Capmany (a Catalan folklorist). Education: Attended University of Barcelona.

CAREER: Novelist, playwright, essayist, feminist, literary critic, and cultural attaché. Founder of Adrià Gual School of Dramatic Art; university professor. Cultural counselor of the city of Barcelona.

AWARDS, HONORS: Joanot Martorell Prize for Catalan narrative, for El cel no és transparent; Sant Jordi Prize for Best Catalan Novel, 1968, for Un lloc entre els morts.


Necessitem morir (novel; title means "We Must Die"), Aymà (Barcelona, Spain), 1952.

Com una mà, Ediciones Moll (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1952.

L'altra ciutat (novel; title means "The Other City"), Selecta (Barcelona, Spain), 1955.

Betúlia, Selecta (Barcelona, Spain), 1956.

Tana o la felicitat (novel; title means "Tana, or Happiness"), Ediciones Moll (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1956.

Vés-te'n, ianqui! o, si voleu, traduit de l'americà (novel; title means "Yankee Go Home; or, If You Prefer, Translated from the American"), Laia (Barcelona, Spain), 1959.

El gust de la pols (novel; title means "The Taste of Dust"), Ediciones Destino (Barcelona, Spain), 1962.

La pluja als vidres (novel; title means "Rain on the Windowpane"), Club Editor (Barcelona, Spain), 1963.

El desert dels dies (play; title means "The Desert of Days"), Occitania (Barcelona, Spain), 1966.

La dona de Catalunya: Consienca i situacio (nonfiction), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1966.

Un lloc entre els morts (novel; title means "A Place among the Dead"), Nova Terra (Barcelona, Spain), 1967.

Dia si, dia no: Apunts sobre la nostra societat actual, Llibres de Sinera (Barcelona, Spain), 1968.

Felicment, jo soc una dona (novel; title means "Fortunately, I Am a Woman"), Nova Terra (Barcelona, Spain), 1969.

Vitrines d'Amsterdam (novel; title means "Showcases of Amsterdam"), Nova Terra (Barcelona, Spain), 1969.

Pedra de toc I (collected essays; title means "Cornerstone I"), Nova Terra (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.

(With Carmen Alcalde) El feminismo ibérico (title means "Iberian Feminism"), Oikos-Tau (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.

Anna, Bel I Carles, Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

Quim/Quimà (novel), Estela (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

Cartes impertients (title means "Impertinent Letters"), Ediciones Moll (Palma de Mallorca), 1971.

Salvador Espriu, DOPESA (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.

El jaqué de la democracia (novel; title means "The Dinner Jacket of Democracy"), Plaza & Janés (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.

Pedra de toc II (collected essays; title means "Cornerstone II"), 1973.

Carta abierta al macho ibérico (title means "Open Letter to the Iberian Macho"), Ediciones 99 (Madrid, Spain), 1973.

El feminisme a Catalunya (nonfiction; title means "Feminism in Catalonia"), Nova Terra (Barcelona, Spain), 1973.

L'alt rei en Jaume (play; title means "Old King James"), Aymá (Barcelona, Spain), 1977.

Liberación de la mujer: ano cero (title means "Women's Liberation: Zero Hour"), 1977.

Dona, doneta, donota (title means "Woman, Little Woman, Big Woman"), EDHASA (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.

Coses I noses, La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1980.

Angela I els viut mil policies, Laia (Barcelona, Spain), 1981.

Dietari de prudéncies (title means "Prudent Diaries"), Hogar de Libro, Nova Terra 20 (Barcelona, Spain), 1982.

El malefici de la reina d'Hongria, Barcanova (Barcelona, Spain), 1982.

La color mas blau (novel; title means "The Bluest Color"), Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1982.

(With Jaume Vidal Alcover) Ca, barret! (play), Ediciones Moll (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

El cap de Sant Jordi, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.

Also the author of numerous plays, including Tu i l'hipòcrita, 1960, and Vent de garbí i una mica de por, 1968. Author of radio and television scripts. Contributor to periodicals, including Serra d'Or and Presencia.

SIDELIGHTS: Maria Aurèlia Capmany was a woman of many talents. She studied philosophy at the University of Barcelona and taught at the university for a time before she founded a drama school and became an actor, director, and playwright. Her best-known contributions, however, are in the field of feminism. Capmany wrote several books on the subject that are considered foundational works for Iberian feminism, including La dona a Catalunya, El feminismo ibérico, and El feminisme a Catalunya.

Capmany also authored fictional works in support of feminism that often use irony as a weapon. In Cartes impertinents, she combined twenty-seven fictional letters written to women by women. These women come from all age groups and social classes, but their letters share a common thread of social criticism as well as a sense of irony.

Lo color més blau is also told through fictitious letters, but in this instance most of the letters are written by two women: Oliva and Delia, childhood friends who are separated by the Spanish Civil War at the age of fifteen. Delia, the child of communists, spends her life in exile in Europe and South America while Oliva, the child of wealthy parents, remains in Barcelona. Despite their parentage, by the end of the book Delia has joined the bourgeoisie and Oliva has become an activist.

Another book that uses humor to make a feminist point is Dona, doneta, donota, described by Janet Pérez in Contemporary Women Writers of Spain as "a satiric illustration of women's perennial fight to achieve their rightful place in society." In other works, including Feliçment, jo sóc una dona, El gust de la pols, and Un lloc entre els morts, Capmany directs her piercing irony to mocking hypocrisy in society, especially the hypocrisy of bourgeois and Catholic values.

In addition to her feminist treatises and her novels, Capmany also wrote plays and radio and television scripts, and, noted Pérez in Contemporary Women Writers of Spain, she was "an outstanding literary critic and essayist on sociopolitical subjects."



Pérez, Janet, Contemporary Women Writer of Spain, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1988.


Estreno, spring, 1986, L. Teresa Valdivieso, "A proposito de la version castellana de 'Tu i l'hipòcrita,'" pp. 9-10.

Explicacion de Textos Literarios, Volume 24, numbers 1-2, Genaro Pérez, "La poética feminista del género noire: Pottecher, Ortiz y Capmany," pp. 149-158.

Letras Femeninas, spring, 1986, Barbara Dale May, p. 103.

Catalan Review, Volume 7, number 2, 1993, pp. 11-18, 41-56, 57-69, 71-90, 91-103, 105-114, 215-129.

Estreno, spring, 1986, pp. 9-10.

Explicaciones de Textos Literarios, Volume 24, 1995, p. 149.*


El Poder de la Palabra, (March 21, 2002).

Fundació Maria Aurèlia Capmany, (March 21, 2002).*