The political instability which Spain has been through from the late twenties until the beginning of the thirties (the fall of the monarchy, the proclamation of the Second Republic and the Statute of Autonomy of 1932) has probably been the reason for the Catalan PEN centre’s brief period of crisis, which prevented it from attending the association’s annual congresses between 1929 and 1932. Now, with the Statute of Autonomy, the tide has turned and J.V. Foix will attend the historic Congress of Dubrovnik in 1933, as the Catalan delegate. On the way, the poet from Sarrià wrote a couple of poems in Trieste and Ljubljana, which he would later on include in his volume On he deixat les claus… (Where have I left my keys…). The debate in Dubrovnik is more intense than ever, PEN’s strategy on the defence of freedom and human rights is being defined. For the first time, an international association denounces and condemns Nazism, an ideology that starts to inspire more fear than joy.

Foix sends the “The Foreign Men of Literature Union’s” telegram to the Magazine “Mirador” that expresses a strong opposition to Nazism. “The German men of literature, worthy of such a title, are condemned to remain silent: some of them are in concentration camps, and the others don’t have the chance to live and express themselves “freely” in Germany (…)[1]

Towards the Congress’ last meeting, on the 24th May, Foix sends a postcard to Carles Riba to inform him that Barcelona has been accepted to host the 1935 Congress: “Riba, my friend, our proposition has just been approved: PEN’s 35th Congress will be in Barcelona. Unanimity. Lately, the Serbs have nearly over stepped the mark. The Congress is official for both the State and the Municipality. Regards. Foix.” [2]

[1] J.V. Foix in the international congress of 1978. Josep S. Cid, The Catalan PEN Centre. Seventy years of History. Barcelona, 1992 (p. 13).

[2] J. V. Foix in the International Congress of 1878. The written section of the postcard was reproduced, thanks to Carles-Jordi Guardiola, in PEN Català’s bulletin (II Època. Juliol 1993, núm. 4).