International explosion

Vista panoràmica de Barcelona des de la Sagrada Família © Vicente Zambrano

Barcelona is experiencing the explosion of cities worldwide. The Rosalía phenomenon and Barcelona’s invitation to be the city of honour for the Buenos Aires Book Fair are isolated but symptomatic indicators of this international boom. Nothing about any of this has been off the cuff. El mal querer is not only an extemporaneous hit, but the result of the academic efforts of the El Taller de Músics and ESMUC. And Barcelona’s literary explosion has overcome provincial enthusiasm by catapulting authors into international publishing success whether they write in Spanish or Catalan. There is also movement between these two languages: native Catalan speakers Kiko Amat and Sánchez Piñol write in Spanish as naturally as Jenn Díaz and Argentine author Silvana Vogt write in Catalan for their own work. All these little implosions echo in a greater explosion. Barcelona, the great centrifuge, is also propelled by the centripetal force of an active intramural cultural community.

The work of Marta Marín-Dòmine, the author who we interview in this issue, provides the perspective of a writer who observes and remembers Barcelona from her voluntary exile in Canada. Like a bomb, the activated memory implodes from a distance.

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