Occitan poetry  980-2008

by Joan-Frederic Brun


XX th century (1965-1981): "un país que vòl viure" (a country that just wants to live)

Medieval poetry: the kingdom of love
XVI-XVIII century: tasty baroque antiliteratures
XIX th century: toward a renaissance
XIX th century (1854-1914):  spreading and sclerosis of the Provençal miracle
XX th century (1920-1965): the anguish of no future
XX th century (1965-1981): "un país que vòl viure" (a country that just wants to live)
XX th century (1981-2000): postoccitanisme
XXI th century: just a living literature among many other ones? 


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We have seen that after the Second World War there is really no longer hope. The language has stopped being spoken, yet it is still potentially known by most people. 

A very little group of writers, however, still believes. And produces exquisite poetry and narratives...

And, suddenly, at the end of the 60's there's again a revival of Occitan culture, while everybody thinks it's at last dead. This time, that's, quite unexpectedly, under the colours of Mondial Revolution and Marxism-Leninism... Two leaders put Occitan over the public French scene: Robert Lafont and Yves Rouquette. Meanwhile, Ismael Girard, Bernard Manciet, René Nelli, Felix Castan and Max Rouquette re-fund once again the phoenix-like journal "OC", with the aim of still developping its culture at the highest level beside the too simplistic politically driven literature.

This was the time of the "Poètas de la descolonizacion" (poets of the decolonization) who screamed their anguish of seeing their culture and their identity totally denied. "Occitania", they said, "un país que vòl viure" (Occitania, a country that wants to live!).


This was a period of dream. Politically minded Occitan singers had a huge success. But all was apparently underlied by the hope of a success of the Socialist leader François Mitterrand and when he was so lucky to be elected, in 1981, as the new French President, political occitanism disappeared almost immediately.

Yves Rouquette                                                                     Roland Pécout



Philippe Gardy                                                                                                Robèrt Lafont


Joan-Maria Petit

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