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Dramaturg, poeta i narrador, milità dins l'anarquisme des d’una posició de nacionalista català; en la seva obra traspuen les seves conviccions polítiques.
(Barcelona 1871-1937)

Biographical/historical notes:

Felipe (also spelled Felip) Cortiella y Ferrer was an anarchist occupying a prominent place in Catalan literature. An anarchist militant and CNT fighter, the chief focus of his literary and cultural effort was the theatre (he founded the Agrupació Avenir company) which he sought to place in the service of the common people.

In Cortiella's view theatre has a duty to set out a libertarian project for society, so he rejected theatre as mere entertainment, which explains why so many of his characters embody the virtues of honesty, justice and integrity that he saw in anarchism. Thus, society should not turn a blind eye to society but indeed should have a didactic function to perform.

He is mistakenly regarded by some as a Catalanist; Cortiella drew a precise distinction between language and culture on the one hand and political independence movements and creation of borders on the other; he was a dyed-in-the-wool internationalist. It is a fact, though, that some of the positions he espoused caused surprise because of the zeal he displayed in championing the Catalan tongue (he refused the editorship of Solidaridad Obrera because the CNT would not accept his suggestion that it be printed in Catalan only).

He contributed to the labor press (La Revista Blanca, Solidaridad Obrera, Avenir) and a school of thought grew up around him (it included Mas Gomeri, Albert, Claudio and Bausà).

Cortiella is the author of: Els artistes de la vida (1898), Els mals pastors (1901), Dolora (1903), El Morenet (1904), El cantor de l’ideal (1901), La brava joventut (an anti-Lerrouxist piece from 1933), Flametes del gran amor-, El plor del alba, El teatro y el arte dramático, La vida que jo he viscut, La vida gloriosa 2 vols. (1918-1927). These in addition to poetry (Anarquines, published in 1908) and translations, Los malos pastores by the French anarchist critic Octave Mirbeau, for example, & others in which his enthusiasm for Ibsen was evident.

Among his many correspondents was Paul Adam (the French artist), Soledad Gustavo, Ricardo Mella, Louise Michel, Miguel de Unamuno.

Biblioteca de Catalunya maintains an extensive holding of Felip Cortiella's manusrcipts, books, periodicals & related materials.

Source: A Historical Encyclopaedia of Spanish Anarchism, by Miguel Iñiguez, with minor corrections, modifications & additions.
Online, one of 400+ entries (192 pages of extracts), at Christie Books Archives, which we encourage you to visit, at

This page created October 2003; minor edits, additions & modifications November 2006

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