The visit of Lluís-Anton Baulenas to the Reading Club signified a change of rhythm in the dynamic of our meetings: instead of talking amongst ourselves about the text of a deceased author, for the first time we were able to share the opinions and ideas with an author who is not only still alive, but who answered our questions and enthused us with his reflections about La felicitat (Happiness).
Baulenas explained his systematic research of documentary sources about the Barcelona of 1909 (from the obituaries section of La Vanguardia, from where he took the names for his characters, to the drawings, photographs and films of the demolition and reconstruction works of the Via Laietana), his way of relating the documentation with the life of the fictional characters, or the use he made of The City of Prodigies by Eduardo Mendoza, as a counter-model for his novel (since Mendoza’s is a work that covers 40 years of history and that is therefore extensive; however, Happiness talks about a few months and is basically intensive and detailed). Generous and pertinent, the writer was a formidable guest in our monthly meeting.
Riera de Sant Joan, from the window in the artist’s studio. Pablo Picasso. 1900
This street apperas in the novel by Lluís-Anton Baulenas
On the first Thursday of March we will continue with The unknown masterpiece, by Balzac, that Pablo Picasso illustrated and represents a clear reflection about the artist and modern genius. In the session we will be accompanied by Margarida Cortadella, responsible for the library of the museum and very knowledgeable both of the bibliography about the artist and his relation with literature.
Were you shocked by the names of Happiness? Did you know they came from real names of the period?