Will Catalonia follow in the steps of Scotland?

on Catalan independence

A selection of the books on the topic we have recently received.

In light of the Scottish referendum on independence next week, it is worth remembering that other parts of Europe are currently faced with a similar dilemma. Catalans have long been agitating for the right to have their say in regard to independence and are observing the Scottish vote with much expectation and perhaps a little envy – considering their central government’s blocking of a discussion on the topic, let alone grant permission to the consultations scheduled for November this year.

In the last few years the Catalan publishing market has of course abounded with publications on the matter and we have recently ordered many of the most relevant ones. At the time of writing, Cambridge University Library is the only UK institution (soon to be) holding many of these titles. These books deal with various aspects of Catalan independence: to name just a few, they include titles concerning the Church’s view on the matter (Ser independentista no és cap pecat: l’Església i el nacionalisme català, 2014.8.5092), the potential economic consequences of independence (Economia de Catalunya: preguntes i respostes sobre l’impacte econòmic de la independència, 2014.9.3489) and the positions held by prominent Catalan intellectuals (¿Per què volem un estat propi? : seixanta intel·lectuals parlen de la independència de Catalunya), as well as Albert Pont’s acclaimed Delenda est Hispania : tot allò que Espanya ens amaga sobre la independència de Catalunya (584:33.c.201.13). If you are interested in any of these titles or wish to have a full list, please contact the Hispanic Specialist.

Amongst the other books in Catalan on the subject – all with pro-independence views, and already in the Library – we suggest the following:

  • Antoni Segura i Mas; Crònica del catalanisme: de l’autonomia a la independència. Barcelona: Angle Editorial, 2013. C208.c.7294
  • Hèctor López Bofill ; La trama contra Catalunya: poders catalans que frenen la independència. Barcelona: Angle Editorial, 2013. C208.c.7295
  • Salvador Cardús; El camí de la independència. Barcelona: La Campana Edicions, 2013. 2013.8.3735

Given how central Catalan language and culture are to the discourse on independence, it is interesting to note the efforts of some Catalan writers to rally the Spanish public to their cause by publishing books in Spanish. A very obvious case of this is Como amigos: la independencia de Cataluña interesa a los españoles (C203.d.7652), by Alfred Bosch. Another is Claves sobre la independencia de Cataluña (2013.8.5471), which aims to assuage the doubts of “misinformed” members of the public concerning independence – namely, how an independent Catalonia would deal with issues such as public money, government institutions, social welfare, relations with Spain and so on.

However, not all Catalans are agreed on whether they should separate from Spain. Some, such Manuel Cruz from the Federalistes d’Esquerres party, would rather opt for a multilingual and heterogeneous territory, choosing the federalist model – see his Una comunidad ensimismada: diez años de escritos sobre Cataluña (2014.8.1814). Another viewpoint is that of Francesc de Carreras, a supporter of the constitutionalist and anti-nationalist Ciutadans-Partit de la Ciutadania (Citizenship Party) – as outlined in Paciencia e independencia: la agenda oculta del nacionalismo : de cómo se fraguó la quimera nacionalista (C208.c.7296).

On the other side of the debate, there has also been a huge increase in Spanish-language material opposing Catalonia’s independence. From the unambiguous No, no y no: contra la secesión de Cataluña by Alfonso Ussía (C209.c.1373), to ¿Adónde vas, Cataluña? Cómo salir del laberinto independentista by Ramon Tamames (C208.c.8074) and España contra Cataluña: historia de un fraude by Jesús Laínz (C208.c.8073). However, in this case it is also worth mentioning two titles written in Spanish by Spanish authors openly in favour of the Catalans’ right to decide: these are En defensa de la consulta soberanista en Cataluña by the university professor Carlos Taibo (2014.8.2844) and 17 falsos mitos sobre Catalunya en España y 14 casos de catalonofobia delirante by the journalist Mariano Muniesa (2014.1780).

Clara Panozzo

*If interested, please contact the Hispanic Specialist.

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