One summer day, invited by some friends to Tossa de Mar, the writer and journalist Jordi Solé (Sabadell, 1966), was surprised by how present the legendary actress Ava Gardner is in this corner of the Costa Brava.
The filming of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, in 1950, in this municipality and others in Girona marked a turning point for tourism. “There I thought there was a story,” says Solé. And that story has earned him the 56th Prudenci Bertrana novel prize, worth 30,000 euros, which the Fundació Prudenci Bertrana presented today at the Auditori de Girona.
Facing a love story was a challenge for me, I have left my comfort zone
In L’any que vaig esteem Ava Gardner (Column), the protagonist is a young man who was 15 years old when he met the legendary actress, thirteen years older, during that filming. In 1990, after the death of the artist, that young man, now an adult, recalled those days when Tossa became a movie set and when he loved Ava Gardner.
“Facing a love story was a challenge for me, I have left my comfort zone,” Solé acknowledged yesterday, who has imbibed the filmography and bibliography about the actress. “Reading her memoirs, she seemed like a funny character to me, with a sense of humor, tender and also a liar,” she explains.
A novel in which there is no shortage of characters linked to the Gardner universe such as the bullfighter Mario Cabré with whom it is said that he had an affair during that filming or the singer Frank Sinatra, who in a fit of jealousy appeared on the Costa Brava.
The Miquel de Palol poetry prize, worth 6,000 euros, went to Jordi Solà Coll (Barcelona, 1963) with The shadow of the hours, whose central theme is the passage of time. “A time that is fleeting and fragile and is projected like a shadow,” said its author. A work with decasyllables and hexasyllables divided into three parts, whose common link is nature.
The Carles Rahola test, also worth 6,000 euros, was collected by Josep Muñoz Redon (Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, 1957) for The Epicur Garden, an exaltation of the concept of friendship and the joy of living close to nature. A book that the author places in the “hybrid genre” since it mixes philosophy, theater, journalism, travel and characters without being a novel.
The teenage children of Sonia Guillén (Terrassa, 1969), winner of the Ramon Muntaner for young people’s novels, were a “source of inspiration” for Cicatrius, a “hard and realistic” vision of this stage of life. A work that the author herself also recommends that parents read in order to open debates that are not usually present in many homes, such as early sexuality, alcohol, social networks… “I think it is ideal to share in family and open debate,” he explains.
A “hard” and “realistic” novel about adolescence, recommended reading for parents, wins the Ramon Muntaner for youth novels
The Aurora Bertrana translation prize was awarded to Josep Maria Pinto (Barcelona, 1962) for the translation of The retrobat temps I and II, the last two volumes of ‘The recerca del temps perdut‘ written by the French author Marcel Proust between 1908 and 1922.
The winner who summarizes the work of the translator “how to know the effect that the author has on his language”, highlighted “the recognition” that this figure has in Catalonia, which appears many times on the cover along with the name of the author and the title of the construction site. Something that ensures that it happens less in other countries like France or also in Spanish literature.
Lletra and Cerverí Award for best song
An audio story project for children who spend long periods in the hospital won the Lletra award and the best song lyrics in Catalan went to ‘Les coses que no m’agraden de tu’, by Artur Viñas
The best song lyrics in Catalan went to Artur Viñas for You sew them so that they don’t like youa love story that ends badly, while the commendable project Curacontes, a proposal for audio stories by the social entrepreneur Marta Michans (Albelda, Huesca 1997) for children who spend long periods in the hospital, won the Premi Lletra, organized by the Fundació Prudenci Bertrana and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
Catalan, very present
“Living off music in Catalan is almost impossible”
At the Girona Literaris Awards ceremony, the president of the Fundació Prudenci Bertrana, Mariángela Vilallonga, recalled that today “is a great day” for the Catalan “language and identity” as Catalan is spoken for the first time in the Congress of Deputies in Catalan and the possibility of it being an official language be debated in the European Union. Vilallonga explained that another September 19, but in 1809, was also a historic date for the city of Girona, which resisted the Napoleonic army. The president of the entity also had words of remembrance for the philologist Carme Junyent, who recently died, who pointed out that “what kills Catalan is indifference.”
One of the winners, Artur Viñas, leader of the Socunbohemio musical project, which won the Cerverí award for best song lyrics, indicated during the previous press conference that “living off music in Catalan is almost impossible” and that only “four” can do it and urged to rethink the cultural proposal in Catalonia. “It seems very strong to me that the majority of artists who write in Catalan cannot dedicate themselves to it and it is almost just a hobby,” he said.