Snippet: Enzensberger on Buenaventura Durruti (1972/2019)

Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Anarchy’s Brief Summer: The Life and Death of Buenaventura Durruti, 1972 (German original), 2019 (translation by Mike Mitchell), 264 p.

There is more information on this novel available at the U of Chicago Press.

The Wikipedia offers the following articles on Durruti and Enzensberger.

If one googles for Enzensberger’s title, one finds an “alternative” English translation by an anonymous translator for from the Spanish version of Enzensberger’s book, i.e. an indirect translation, available in three different formats for e-reading.

Snippet: Ferrater’s “master class” on Catalan literature

Gabriel Ferrater, Curs de literatura catalana contemporània [Contemporary Catalan  literature course], ed. by Jordi Cornudella, 2019, 416 p.

publisher’s summary:

The most lucid, intelligent and still today polemic vision of the central currents of Catalan literature.

In 1965-1966 and in 1967, in two series, Gabriel Ferrater taught this course of contemporary Catalan literature at Universitat de Barcelona [University of BCN]. Most of the lectures were recorded and afterwards transcribed; of some of them there were only left the class notes of the transcriber. The complete course is now gathered for the first time in one volume that offers the most lucid, intelligent and still today polemic vision of the central currents of Catalan literature of the 20th century. Ferrater talks in them in detail about four poets (Josep Carner, Guerau de Liost, Carles Riba, and J.V. Foix) and three novelists (Joaquim Ruyra, Víctor Català, and Josep Pla). The total is enriched by a panoramic double lecture that Ferrater gave shortly before his suicide, and by an unpublished interview of March 1963 on Riba’s poetry.

An op-ed article series on these lectures by Jordi Amat in La Vanguardia newspaper during July 2019 has kindled this blogger’s interest in the book.

The Wikipedia has got the following articles in English on the Catalan authors Josep Carner, Guerau de Liost, Carles Riba, J.V. Foix, Víctor Català, Josep Pla and Gabriel Ferrater. The “Catalan writer’s association” on Joaquim Ruyra.

SOURCE: Empúries [Grup62, Planeta; publisher]

Snippet: Xavier Moret’s “Formentera blues”

Xavier Moret, Formentera blues, 2019, 304 p.

publisher’s summary:

Max Riera, known by his old friends of the plaça Reial [Barcelona] as the “alternative detective”, is commissioned with an investigation in Formentera. A new-rich is having a house restored, and the construction workers have found a woman’s bones buried in the courtyard. Together with Roc Duran, a journalist who lost his job recently, Max returns to the island where as a young man he lived, had fun and dreamed of a different world. After interviewing all kinds of characters (a farmer from Ibiza, a snobbish painter, a German who dealt with drugs, …), Max will be able to reconstruct the story of the young hippy woman who 40 years earlier had a bad end in the Formentera of the early 1970s. Nothing’s perfect, not even on the island where Pau Riba, Jimi Hendrix and Max Riera were young.

some excerpts from an article by Magí Camps:

This is the fifth case Max Riera series, written by Xavier Moret (Barcelona, 1952). “Nostalgia of his generation, humor and the diversity of Formentera are some of the ingredients that make up this crime novel,” according to the author.

Moret takes the opportunity to charge against the current journalism that dispenses with good professionals for economic reasons. The novel is full of social criticism, both of Barcelona and of Formentera: “The crime novel, apart from the intrigue, has to include a critique of the social environment…”

Tourism is presented as one of the big culprits, but Moret, who has written a number of travel books, specifies: “Rather mass tourism. I am in favour of tourism, that the people travel wherever they want, but mass tourism makes the cities change to offer the tourists the image that they expect; and that makes them giving up their personality and offering a cheap copy of it.”

This blogger thinks that the title is quite appropiate for the summer season, and he likes the inclusion of social criticism, following the example of the classic Swedish crime novels, starting with Sjöwall and Wahlöö, followed by Mankell and Stieg Larrsson.

You can find out more about tourism in Formentera (Balearic Islands) on their official website. And more about mass tourism to the Iberian peninsula in these blog posts from July 2017, September 2017, October 2017, 2018 and 2019.

SOURCE: Empúries (Grup62, Planeta; publisher); La Vanguardia, 2 July 2019

Snippet: Publisher anniversaries (2019)

Quite a number of Spanish publishing houses celebrate their anniversaries in 2019, some with commemorative editions of the most important books of their catalogues, e.g.

Planeta group, 70th anniversary, Wikipedia

Tusquets, 50th anniversary; though since 2012 part of the Planeta group (Wikipedia [Catalan])

Anagrama, 50th anniversary: special edition; today part of Feltrinelli group (Wikipedia)

Minúscula, 20th anniversary: homepage [Spanish]

Duomo, 10th anniversary: special edition of Spanish and translated works


This blogger considers Anagrama and Minúscula the most important of the list…

SOURCE: Antonio Iturbe in his weekly column in “Cultura/s,” La Vanguardia, June 29, 2019, p. 10 [printed edition]