2022 Edition: November 2 to 6
FANTASY IN CATALAN: FROM MYSTERY TO REVIVAL
For many, many years, borrowing from horror and beyond the exceptions ranging from the great Jaume Fuster to the group more recently formed around Edicions SECC, fantasy, and particularly its epic or heroic sub-genres, has been the great outcast in non-mimetic genres written in Catalan. Yes, there was fantasy for children and young adults, but not much more. If you don't believe me, ask the authors of Kàrvadan, Iskander or Kadingir. Little attention, few readers, few scholars... As Tolkien, Martin, and Rowling were conquering the world, here the evasive - or escapist, as it was called - genre (as if poetry wasn’t escapist, in which case of course that's not a problem) was frowned upon.
Reasons aside, though, things have started to change. New titles are appearing, new publishers are daring to step forward, awards and projects are being created, the audience is growing... It may seem insignificant, but the turning point is extraordinary. To prove this, the roundtable on this subject at Festival 42 could have had 15 or 20 authors with recently published works. The four we have chosen, who are safe bets, are well acquainted with the genre and will be able to assess its evolution. They are the active Jordi Casals, the versatile Alister Mairon, the invincible Mercè Masnou and the award-winning newcomer Selena Soro, proving that the wonderful is making inroads into Catalan literature and that the change is partly generational. The four authors, moderated by another young promising figure, the also author Edgar Cotes, will have the chance to freely assess the extent to which they agree.
Jordi Casals is a writer and secondary school teacher. Once a musician in soul and ska bands, he now co-directs a collection of fantasy genres. He has published novels for adults, such as Muerte por Funky and the fantasy mystery novel for young adults Fes picar els anells.
Alister Mairon is a writer and editor at Windumanoth magazine. She has contributed to anthologies such as Cartografia del planeta Goblin or No hay brujas buenas. She has also published novels such as Sorgina or the most recent Sabres de sal, among others.
Mercè Masnou is a writer, former athlete and current head of communications at the Autonomous University of Barcelona's Physical Activity Service. In 2006 she started publishing the Kadingir saga with Joan Llongueras, and she has continued it with Helena Sales, making it one of the longest ever written in Catalan.
Selena Soro is a writer and journalist. After six years in the Ara newsroom, she is now a writer working on the second part of Misteris de la boira, her first fantasy novel, which recently won the Carlemany award.
Edgar Cotes is a writer, proofreader and translator of, among others, Adrian Tchaikovsky's Trescafocs. His works in this genre include Cordegel, among others, and he contributes as a critic to La Lectora and El Biblionauta.