Breaking with established social and artistic values and transforming them into a modern and national culture with new ideas. These were the objectives of modernism from the late 19th century to the first decade of the 20th century and applied to all the arts, including literature.
The first steps of this movement in Catalonia were linked to the appearance of L'Avens (The Advance), the cultural magazine from Valentí Almirall, with the collaboration of Àngel Guimerà, Narcís Oller, Jaume Brossa, Joaquim Casas-Carbó and Jaume Massó. The disagreements within the publication led to the emergence of two distinct tendencies: the Regenerationist, concerned with changing society and headed by Jaume Brossa, and the Aesthetic, driven by Santiago Rusiñol and Raimon Casellas, defenders of Art for Art’s sake.
With the turn of the century the differences were overcome with the emergence of new organs of modernist expression (the magazine, Catalonia and the weekly, Joventut), which encouraged a more moderate and participatory discourse.
This was the stage that gave rise to the most diverse and highest quality literary work: Els sots feréstecs (Raimon Casellas), Solitud (Víctor Català), L’auca del senyor Esteve (Santiago Rusiñol) and Josafat (Prudenci Bertrana). Among the poets, the leading figure of the Catalan modernism was Joan Maragall, responsible for renewing the genre, making the language more colloquial and less grandiloquent.