Sagarra’s “Private Life” to be published in English

Archipelago Press will publish Josep Maria de Sagarra’s (Barcelona, 1894-1961; poet, novelist, drama author, journalist, translator) classic Private Life by August 2015, in a translation by Mary Ann Newman.

The Catalan Wikipedia has got this summary of the novel:

Vida privada is a novel written by Josep Maria de Sagarra. It’s a classic of Catalan literature, it was published in October 1932 and received the Joan Crexells prize for narrative. Sagarra offers a portrait of both, the higher and the lower classes of Barcelona of that time, and he provoked a scandal in his time for the topics he addressed and because he based the novel mostly on real people that his contemporaries could recognize. Vida privada has been considered the most representative novel of Barcelona.

The novel is about the Lloberola family, belonging to Barcelona’s bourgeosie of the 1930s, that goes through dire straits as it faces financial and social ruin. The novel presents three generations of the Lloberola family and through them the changes of the Barcelona of that epoch. The author reveals the conventionalisms that hide the humans’ real self, and Segarra condemns the new social values of the time: the desire to appear [more, better, richer, …], the external appearance, and material possessions. He states the change of values that is taking place in this society and describes, with a tone between elegy and nostalgia, the vanishing of a certain Barcelona. One of the novel’s characters, Pilar de Romaní, represents this world about to disappear.

The readers of the time responded massively, some of them angrily. Sagarra, who knew well the society he recreated, did not hesitate to implicate himself directly in the narration (e.g.: “Mr. de Llinàs played [cards] every afternoon with Mr. Josep Rocafiguera, with an Aragonese called Ceballos and with the grandfather of this book’s author.”) Of this, and the fact that a lot of people saw themselves portrayed in this work, he was hardly ever pardoned.

This blogger liked the novel very much.

SOURCE: Archipelago, Wikipedia

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One thought on “Sagarra’s “Private Life” to be published in English

  1. Pingback: Snippet: “Yes, we read Catalan writers” | literary rambles

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