To present the anthology Our classics apocryphs which has been published by Males Herbes and which brings together false texts of Catalan classics (an article by Josep Pla on Torroella that was published in The black be with Pla’s signature but that Pla did not write or an erotic sonnet by Carles Riba with anatomical details of Clementina that Riba did not compose), Javier Calvo announced to his friends that he would read an apocryphal text of mine. Calvo is a great novelist in Spanish, translator and author of science fiction in Catalan with the pseudonym Héctor Rivadeneyra. At the moment of truth he was embarrassed and played the longuis. “Go Calvo, read the apocryphal of Guillamon” –those from Males Herbes prodded him. He took out a piece of paper and began to read.
I had sweet potato pasta. I am so used to the fact that for years everyone saw me only as a critic that never crossed my mind that I would imitate or parody the texts I write about nature. It is a very funny piece about the appearance of a new variety of firefly – the brutal firefly ( Nyctophila brutalensis )–, coming from the hills of Sant Celoni, certified as a Catalan endemic pest by the Public Health Agency of the Generalitat and hard fought by the Unió de Pagesos. It feeds on the waste left on roads and recreational areas by hikers and mushroom pickers in the metropolitan area, especially cheese rinds and sausage skins. The funniest part comes when the false Guillamon laments the disappearance of the traditional fireflies, so abundant years ago. He explains that in the seventies in the La Plata neighborhood, especially in Roc Boronat and Ramon Turró streets, children hunted them with sticky paper tapes and put them in glass jars of Danone yogurts, which the factory had on La Rambla. from Poblenou. “They were the so-called lamparones de pobre.”
Javier Calvo is a great novelist in Spanish, translator and author of science fiction in Catalan
It made me laugh. But then I got a little uneasy. On a page of The Gray Quadern Josep Pla says that Rusiñol has a machine humor. It seems unfair to Rusiñol, who has great ideas and jokes, but reveals the mechanical part present in all human creations: artifice, automatic pilot, comfort, repetition which, seen from a more positive angle, are called trade and fidelity to a style For different generations of writers, before the current cult of originality (which does not prevent the appearance of many books with the same themes written in interchangeable styles), the craft was a value. “You write very easily” –people said. “It’s the trade” -replied, proudly, the author. The Apocrypha confronts you with this mechanical, automated, sleepwalking aspect of writing. It’s funny and scary at the same time.
We went in to have a beer (which ended up being quite a few) at the Canigó bar. “It is the bar that burns in my novel silver skin ” –says Calvo– happy in his role as arsonist.