In the dining room of the Ritz Hotel the foundational dinner of the Catalan branch of the PEN Club is taking place. The group of people is so small that it doesn’t even make up half a dozen. Josep M. López-Picó, who reported the foundational act in his diary, is present, as well as Joan Crexells, the young humanist, that according to Josep Pla, is one of those people that inspires envy and excitement among others (“he is possibly the nicest, the most cultivated, the most complete, one of nature’s young (very young) creations; truly a breath of fresh air”)[1]. Also present, is Josep M. Batista i Roca and Josep Millàs-Raurell, who in the future would be the secretary until 1939 of the organisation that was about to be created. Finally, the poet and English Professor John Langdon-Davis, who had arrived a year earlier in Catalonia and who is preparing an anthology of Catalan poets to translate to English, is also present.

During dinner there are a few important absences; one of them, the Riba couple, Carles Riba and Clementina Arderiu, are not present for reasons of unforeseeable circumstances. They have been in Germany for the last few weeks, where they will remain for the whole year. Having received an internship from the Pedagogy Council of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya (Commonwealth of Catalonia), Riba wants to visit Karl Vossler’s faculty and inadvertently also discovers Hölderlin’s poetry. A year later, in April 1923 the Catalan PEN holds a meeting with all of its members, there are already twenty-two people, including Carles Riba and Clementina Arderiu, as well as other important names such as Josep M. de Sagarra, Joan Puig i Ferrater, Carles Soldevila and Pompeu Fabra, who is chosen as the president of the organisation.

[1] Josep Pla, Homenots. Primera sèrie. Dins Obra Completa de Josep Pla. Volum XI. Editorial Destino. Barcelona, 1969 (p. 435-471).