There is a widespread feeling that authors who write in Catalan and those who write in Spanish have relatively little contact with one another. We have asked them whether they share this perception. They lead us to believe that when we are looking for the sea we descend from north to south. The literature that has portrayed Barcelona is often a vertical path, hence between a north and a south that are misleading, but which have taken on this symbolic role. Barcelona, Writer, translator, columnist and external editor for large publishing companies.
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There is a widespread feeling that authors who write in Catalan and those who write in Spanish have relatively little contact with one another. We have asked them whether they share this perception. They lead us to believe that when we are looking for the sea we descend from north to south.
The literature that has portrayed Barcelona is often a vertical path, hence between a north and a south that are misleading, but which have taken on this symbolic role. Barcelona, Writer, translator, columnist and external editor for large publishing companies. He is the author of four novels. The choice of language, the location on the literary map writing about Barcelona if you are a local is not the same as if you come from Reus , how one interacts with colleagues in the other language, the feelings of inferiority or superiority, grudges, mutual incomprehension All in all, it would prove really interesting.
And also if tensions surrounding class, education, purchasing power Yes, I get the impression that there is little contact between them. Choosing what to read is something of an enigma, a haphazard affair.
In my case, an emotional interest guides me: I read people with whom I share some connection sometimes very distant or that I like, people who broaden the spectrum of your reading with their own interests. Rosario, Argentina, Writer, essayist and literary critic who has lived in Barcelona since It is not only novelists who build the space of the city.
After Baudelaire, mostly poets and journalists do it. Another thing is if, in a bilingual context, the language we choose, in any genre, bears an influence.
The big question is: how can you be a writer and choose just one language when the subject is a city where the two language overlap? Writing exclusively in one of the two languages is a necessary artifice; I would say vital for Catalan, which can rarely be eliminated. Some new-generation writers wish to mix registers. We'll see what the outcome is. It would be interesting for there to be more cross-criticism, especially on the part of Spanish literature, which tends not to take care of Catalan literature, while the latter is much more receptive.
But this hinges on the leverage of the national languages themselves, which in the peninsula have an asymmetrical relationship, since Spanish shifts the scales. Writer and columnist. The language influences me when I write, because I somehow write for the language. For the words. For the sentence. I listen to it, I hear its sound and I hear it breathe, and I make it my core working material.
It is not a language that sets the novels of Barcelona apart. There is only one Barcelona, the one belonging to each individual, and everyone experiences and describes it in their own way.
And, combined, they make up Barcelona. From Carmen Laforet to Najat el Hachmi. Perhaps in the past, when publishers and newspapers only published in one language or the other, hermetic compartments could be created, but now writers of both languages exist side by side within a publishing house, a magazine, a daily newspaper, awards, events and festivals, and that ends up uniting them.
Then there are small groups and literary circles, but that is literary life. It holds no other importance and just ends up defining a literature. Writer, literary critic and director of the Cultural Gender Observatory. A local language, in this case Catalan, should provide a closer look at the local reality, that is, Barcelona.
I fear the reality contradicts the theory. The difference does not reside in the language, but in the place that each writer or writer grants it. It has more to do with the sense of belonging to a place, which is personal and non-transferable, than with the choice of language. Works in both languages seem to exist in two parallel worlds that rarely intertwine.
It has always astounded and concerned me: I think it is unhealthy. It is not a reality that has emerged spontaneously — after all, they are neighbours, university classmates, even friends — nor is it the result of mutual distrust, but the outcome of a cultural world that divides them and puts them on two sides. On the one hand, the publishing world with teams differentiated by language encourages segregation; and, on the other hand, institutions with public aid, the organisation of festivals, etc.
If the two traditions intertwined more often, our literary ecosystem would be intellectually much richer and industrially more powerful. Writer and deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia. She is the author of novels in Spanish and Catalan. At any rate, I live my life and my writing in a fully bilingual manner, so I cannot say whether it affects me or not in literature: in any event, just like in life.
For a long time the Catalan literary circuit was in the minority and circulated as minority languages and cultures do. I also think that there are few spaces that force us to mingle. In Barcelona La Calders bookshop organises all sorts of events, and you can often find people from both circuits there. It is the best image of the city we can offer: Catalan and Spanish flowing naturally, with no hang-ups. Sant Boi de Llobregat, Writer, journalist and music critic.
I do think it is indeed different. I think that most authors who write in Catalan are inclined not to delve into certain landscapes and settings the periphery and dodgy neighbourhoods like some authors do in Spanish, albeit in dribs and drabs. A notable exception would be Maria Guasch, who speaks of the Llobregat delta and the waterfront suburbs. Generally speaking, to me, these areas seem to be unexplored by Barcelona novelists, especially those who write in Catalan.
I imagine the language can also bear an influence when it comes to portraying them. I admit that all my characters speak in Spanish, which is also contrived. Work-related contact is almost non-existent between the two worlds. Novelist and journalist. Spanish-language authors have read more Barcelona authors in Spanish than in Catalan, though the opposite does not hold true. Catalan-language authors have also read Spanish-language authors. Nevertheless, the Barcelona I perceive is the same one.
The language does not influence the manner in which the city is portrayed, but the way reality is perceived. My mother tongue is Spanish. My father who was Catalan passed away when I was very young, and I was raised in a Spanish-speaking environment.
As a grown-up, I felt that not having experienced Catalan culture as a child was a hole in my life. I imagine that, in a way I cannot put into words, this wholly influences my entire vision of Barcelona.
A couple of years ago, when politics tainted everything, I was very concerned that literature would be affected by the political climate and that Spanish-language writers were somewhat shunned. Fortunately, this did not happen. And it is clear to me that the contempt shown by the Government of Catalonia towards Spanish culture in Catalonia could have been an issue if the writers of both languages had not turned their backs on this mindset.
In this regard, I am very proud of the authors and very disillusioned with the Government of Catalonia. Writer, literary critic and translator. Curator of the Barcelona City of Literature. Writer and journalist, she has lived in Barcelona since She has published narratives and essays. Writing does not determine the description of the city or any other habitat or landscape.
The working language is an internal music that the author seeks to convey to the reader: why should it condition more than the vision that shapes and constitutes the work? The language is also a document that informs, and that poeticises the styles, the nuances of each period and of the authors themselves, of the literary and cultural environment. It is up to researchers to ascertain whether the two linguistic-literary communities do so.
Writer and literary critic. He received the Ciutat de Barcelona essay award in There are points of contact, related to theme or style, between Catalan-Catalan, Spanish-Catalan, Spanish-Spanish books, as well as differences.
In my youth some authors in Catalan and Spanish mingled at a number of bars. The issue of independence is indeed a boundary. Scriptwriter, writer and language promoter. He has published a book reflecting on language Control de plagues.
In contemporary authors, Barcelona is the same city, but the social settings portrayed according to the neighbourhood, economic, cultural, social class, and so on, are often different. Now, literature is a contrivance and the language — stylised and stretched out of shape at the same time — is at its service. Authors broach the city based on their experiences, and the living language used in family, social, and cultural circles differentiates them to an extent.
There are those who feel they have inherited the Bruguera comics and others the homoerotic friendship of the comic Jep i Fidel. The conditioning factors are the experiences of each author the language is only one element thereof and their knowledge of the city because many authors write about past times that they have not lived. A few decades ago it was said that some social classes with no prospects could only be captured in Spanish. Relations between authors in Catalan and Spanish do not follow a single model; they depend on personalities, criteria, likes, the domain where they coincide, etc.
Broadly speaking, the former aspire to participate in the instruments of prestige that favour the latter — although such mechanisms are dwindling day by day —, while the latter aspire to be more appreciated by the Government of Catalonia and to be applauded when they stroll through Ripoll. N - Apr 19 Index.
Be the first to ask a question about Guardianes de la memoria. Recorriendo las cicatrices de la Vieja Europa. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.