Word – Literary
In a destroyed city – land of blood and of forgetfulness and of soldiers’ cries – a delicate and cutting stem is born that makes some flowers round as plates (…) – Two meters, a plate. The stem stretches. Two meters, a plate, two meters a plate…, two meters a plate, two meters a plate, two meters a plate, two meters a plate two meters a plate two meters a plate two meters a plate two meters a plate two meters a plate… You can’t tell when it’s over.
‘Flower alone’, in Viatges i flors (Trips and flowers), Mercè Rodoreda, 1980
To places overlooked by those who have gone before me The title of the session comes from a letter from Rodoreda in the spring of 1940 to Carles Pi i Sunyer, a Republican politician and mayor of Barcelona during the war: “I have a chosen path and I will make every effort not to leave it. If so much bitterness, if all the cruelty of my surroundings, if my capacity for understanding the human heart, if even my limitations lead me to places that have been overlooked by those who have gone before me – I speak as the daughter of a small country in extension, of a migrated literary tradition – if one day a work comes out of me that, because of its quality, weighs as much as my will desires, I will consider all the debts that I still claim in life to have been settled’. The word as a guide, the word that cannot lie, the word survives.