of the Publishers and the Published of Catalonia

Vergés, Josep, 1910-2001

(Updated 16/05/2024)

Josep Vergés (Palafrugell, 1910-Barcelona, 2001). Publisher. In 1937, in the midst of the Civil War in Burgos, in the heart nationalist Spain, Vergés had founded the magazine Destino, and in 1942 he founded the Edicions Destino publishing house in Barcelona along with Joan Teixidor and Ignasi Agustí. His writing team at the magazine included Sebastià Gasch, Néstor Luján, Xavier Montsalvatge, Josep Pla, Joan Teixidor and Jaume Vicens Vives, and they managed to turn it into a high-quality cultural publication and a beacon of liberal democratic Catalanism.

Edicions Destino initially set out to publish the most important Spanish-language authors in the post-war period, including Camilo José Cela, Miguel Delibes, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Terenci Moix, Ramon Sánchez Ferlosio and Gonzalo Torrente Ballester. Vergés was a publisher that disseminated their works and introduced them to the reading audience. Years later, he began to publish the complete works of Josep Pla and continued to publish foreign novelists, which Destino translated to make accessible to its readership. It also promoted illustrated books on different aspects of Catalonia.

In parallel to all of this notable activity as a publisher, Vergés also created two literary prizes: the Nadal Prize and the Josep Pla Prize.

Through hard times ridden with censorship and prohibitions, he nonetheless managed to profitably lead the publishing house without sacrificing the quality of its publications, with the cooperation of both authors and the audience united behind a common cause: good literature and meticulous editing. He succeeded in this tricky venture thanks to his effort and intelligence.


Josep Vergés collection at the Biblioteca de Catalunya 

“Josep Vergés, editor” exhibition at the Biblioteca de Catalunya (2010)