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An essay on Alexandre Deulofeu revives the theory according to which the area of Empordà is the cultural cradle of the West.

El Punt. Sunday, 27th March 2005. Culture & Spectacles. Page 43.

An essay on Alexandre Deulofeu revives the theory according to which the area of Empordà is the cultural cradle of the West.

The historian’s grandson, Juli Gutièrrez, analyses his original, prophetic thought, still ill-known.

Eva Vàzquez / Figueres.

Alexandre Deulofeu (Armentera, 1903 — Figueres, 1978) studied pharmacy and chemistry, but on the flap of some of his selfpublications he appeared as historian and violin player, a double-faced profile which explained his character, divided between science and passion. His grandson, Juli Gutièrrez, has just published with Llibres de l’Índex one of the few essays dedicated to this unique and prophetic scholar, «Alexandre Deulofeu. La matemàtica de la història» (Mathematics of history), where he reformulates the theory of historical cycles, developed by this self-taught intellectual, and his surprising predictions, in the light of the great political events of the contemporary world.

Des de la rebotiga de la farmacia on despatxava, a Figueres, Alexandre Deulofeu, va concebre moltes de les seves teories. / Familia Deulofeu.
In the back shop of his pharmacy, at Figueres, Alexandre Deulofeu worked out many of his theories. / Deulofeu family.

If the barrel vault, as Alexandre Deulofeu affirmed, is the element which singles out Romanesque architecture and, therefore, the birth of western civilization as we have inherited it, the constituent date cannot be fixed in the 11th century, as historians had been doing up to that moment, but much earlier, between the 8th and 9th centuries, and not in Lombardy, still dazzled by the flat roof and paintings without relief nor contour, but in Empordà and Roussillon, and in its most dazzling sample, the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. It is then in Catalonia, and especially in the Empordà, according to this republican ex-mayor, that is born and spreads «the new civilizing process of Europe».

With a sparkling enthusiasm, which seemed on purpose to be defined as the Nostradamus of Empordà, Alexandre Deulofeu used to submit his discoveries to the friends who called on him in the back shop of his pharmacy at Figueres, or at the family farm at Ordis, where he spent his time when he was not attending his clients, working out his fabulous theories and exploring on the spot the information he received through his intuition. But none of his researches found a response in the scientific circles of his time, frightened by a work which put previous historiography in a critical position, and which threatened to blow up the foundations on which rested the impregnable academic building. The fact is that Deulofeu’s researches, which were related with those of Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee, anticipated in great measure those which in the coming years would be defended, without ever mentioning him, by George Duby, Marcel Durliart, Pierre Riche or Pierre Bonassie.

Juli Gutièrrez has written Alexandre Deulofeu. La matemàtica de la història (The mathematics of history) with the enthusiasm of a grandson who admires the work of his grandfather, and with the seriousness demanded for the analysis of a thought which infringes any orthodoxy and, therefore, is at risk of being branded as enlightened. And so, with rigorousness and conviction, he explains the great finding of Deulofeu: that all civilizations, from the times of Sumer, follow perfect biological processes which, in short, it could be said that they last about 5,100 years, in three cycles, being the second the one which shows the greatest creative splendour, and the following phases showing demographic fragmentation, aggressive imperialism, and disintegration and decline. This mathematical law, which was developed by the historian at Figueres in 1948, demonstrated being infallible enough to venture long-term predictions, such as the re-unification of Germany, the fall of the Soviet empire, the imperialistic evolution of the United States of America, or the expansion of China and its impending collapse much before that any evidence might suggest it. Just these evaluations, according to Juli Gutièrrez, would be enough to revise the complete works of Alexandre Deulofeu, today not to be found, even if only to remember that, as the mathematics of history confirms that all the empires, the same as living bodies, «carry within them the germ of disintegration and catastrophe», it also allows to venture that «the acceptance of its cyclical laws would help the peoples to control their existence and to move forward in world peace».