Robèrt Lafont

Robèrt Lafont (Occitan pronunciation: [ruˈβɛrt laˈfun]) (March 16, 1923, Nîmes - June 24, 2009, Florence) was an Occitan intellectual from Provence. He was a linguist, an author, an historian, an expert in literature and a political theoretician. His name in French reads Robert Lafont.


Robèrt Lafont was professor emeritus at the Paul-Valéry University of Montpellier. A professional linguist, he was a polyglot, novelist, poet, playwright, essayist and a medievalist. A versatile writer, Lafont wrote nearly a hundred books in Occitan, French, Catalan and Italian. The wide scope of themes he explores includes the history of literature and of society, linguistics and sociolinguistics and the social-economic imbalance in France and Europe.

In the essays he wrote in French, Robèrt Lafont tackles the problems encountered not only by the people of Occitania but also the various minorities struggling for official recognition under French rule, such as Bretons, Catalans, Basques, Corsicans or Alsatians among others. Lafont is a key figure in the analysis of internal colonialism, as far as lo País is concerned. On the other hand, the Occitan side of his works stands out as a revolutionary change in the literary production in la lenga nòstra, inasmuch as it completely breaks off with the more usual tradition of folklore and tales.

Robèrt Lafont founded the Occitan Committee for Study and Action (COEA) and ran a number of reviews, most notably L'Ase negre (The Black Donkey) in 1946 and Viure (Live) in 1962. He also produced and sponsored social theatre. He became the chairman of the Institut d'Estudis Occitans but left in 1981 following internal disagreements with Ives Roqueta in particular. In 1974, he claimed to be interested in running for French presidency but never managed to meet the legal prerequisites.





Essays in French

External links

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