Humour and Identity in Catalonia: The Rule of the Satirical Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Catalonia lays claim to a rich, and yet relatively unknown, tradition for satirical publication and cartooning that was deeply imbricated in the twentieth-century social and political evolution of the region. However, with the installation of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, following the Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), all Catalan satire was driven underground or into exile. While the Spanish Civil War has received significant academic treatment, one area requiring further examination is the role played by humour during the conflict. Since communication of meaning in humour construction is reliant on the existence of shared interpretation, we can use humour produced contemporaneously with selected events to examine extant perceptions and reactions within given groups in society. This chapter will introduce readers to the satirical press in Catalonia, charting its rise to prominence from the Nineteenth century until the end of the Spanish Civil War. It will go on to discuss the cultural work performed by the Catalan tradition and its part in group identity construction and consolidation during this conflict using indicative examples taken from the two key remaining satirical publications of the time: L’Esquella de la Torratxa (1872-1939) and Papitu (1908-1937).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPleasures of the Prose
EditorsRichard L. Keeble, David Swick
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2015


  • communication
  • humour
  • journalism


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