stop to listen, write and breathe | Entertainment | The USA Print

stop to listen, write and breathe

“I haven’t published for ten years. Living may not be important. Things move little by little.” Three sentences that condense some of the ideas behind the latest novel by Iolanda Batallé (Barcelona, ​​1971), Massa deutes amb les flors (Columna, in Spanish in Destino), and it actually arrives ten years after the previous work of fiction. On the 16th he will present it at La Setmana del Llibre in Català.

It is a novel with little action and a lot of reflection, whether around the writing itself or the various ways of facing life, claiming tenderness and smile without losing the culture of effort, but also questioning it, and taking the condition of “to be a link to these women who decided to do what they considered they had to do and not what was expected of them, and who were always branded as whores, witches or crazy people. Thanks to them, many of us do.”

“The things that are worth writing are those that are difficult to write, are those that are difficult to explain”

In the book, a woman goes up to a mountain town to recover from a crisis through writing. There, she stops time, talks with the family that houses her and also writes her stories, marked by a wound that is explained little by little with mental illness as a background.

It also talks about the hardness of life in high mountain towns, their abandonment and, in some cases, recovery. “About 12 years ago I went to some valleys that I didn’t know and discovered that between the sixties and nineties the town was abandoned due to the closure of the school, which is killing the town. The patriarch of the house began to tell me the history of the town, how he alone and with his hands reopened the roads and rebuilt the houses,” explains the author, who returned to write it and took eight months, between leaving as director of the Institut Ramon Llull and taking over the management of the Ona bookstore.

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Batallé sets his novel in a town in the Pyrenees

Ana Jimenez

Its narrator, La Solitaria, gives voice to the characters, in a process of listening and conversation that allows her to stop time: “It starts with orality, and confessions end up coming out. Instead of literature of the I, it is literature of you, listening to others and making it yours. The things that are surely worth writing are those that are difficult to write, those that are difficult to explain. Furthermore, by listening to others you end up listening to yourself,” he says, while claiming to have taken so much time to publish the book: “I don’t believe in this speed with which we all live, this fierce thing generates anguish in me.”

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Version in Catalan, here