Sometimes happens. Tina Vallès told it on Twitter: on Wednesday she had to talk to Javier Aparicio Maydeu about El senyor Palomar (Anagrama), in the LiterNatura series at the Ona bookstore. But only one person showed up. So instead of giving the talk, the three of them went out for a drink. Others were added to Vallès's confession: the director of Comanegra Joan Sala replied that in a presentation of five participants, the only one in the audience excused himself saying that he would be leaving soon.
La Calders bookseller Isabel Sucunza contributed that, in 2015, Eduardo Mendoza went to explain why he had said that Kafka was not a good writer; he only gathered three attendees, but they peppered him with questions. In 1996, Manel Ollé prepared an act in the Balmes auditorium at UPF with the then writer of the month, Biel Mesquida, who had just published Excelsior; it was nobody, but they spoke the same before two hundred empty seats. In 2000, Màrius Serra was preparing to give a lecture in the library of Santa Coloma de Gramenet. When the councilor for Culture began the introduction, the dozen attendees stood up; they were not there to listen to Serra, but because the place was comfortable. And we could go on.
The motives? There are many. It is quite key that Barça play (and on Wednesday they did it at home). In my seventeen years as a reporter for book launches, I have seen how people went from being more punctual when they started at 7:30 p.m. than at 7:00 p.m. to preferring them to start at 6:30 p.m. Except for editorial parties, which are usually at eight. Platform's 15th anniversary was celebrated on Tuesday at CaixaFórum, with the participation of several authors led by Miquel Molina, who praised the label's founder, Jordi Nadal, with sincere gratitude and affection.
Ana María RuIz López started: during the pandemic, it led to those Books that save lives arriving at the Ifema field hospital. The health workers could not permanently attend to the hundreds of hospitalized patients, and a cure is not always possible. But yes, they are the company, the consolation and the care, and that is given by the books, she pointed out.
Eduard Sala, author of Va de vida, said that Platform brings you back to the essential questions. For example: how do you know that your life has been worthwhile? Or: Will your peers miss you when you retire? Then it was the turn of Laura Lechuga, who in A scientist jumping fences explains the difficulties of women in her field, and concluded: "We need technologists, engineers, mathematicians, we need everyone's talent because the future that awaits us is not nothing flattering”. She then remembered that she was at a party. Amaya de Miguel explains the importance of establishing pleasant and healthy bonds in Relax and educate; Xavier Marcet knows how to grow by growing and avoiding mediocrity. The neuropsychologist Álvaro Bilbao knows the importance of caring for the brain from childhood; his latest book is Hello, family! , whose cover illustration – the work of Susana Soto – is in the tote bags that were given at the end with the copies that the guests wanted to take, after some canapés and toasts.
More reasons why the capacity is not always filled: the overabundance of simultaneous offers. On Wednesday, while Vallès and Aparicio made the non-presentation with their one-person audience, Víctor Amela spoke at the Bernat about his novel Si yo me perdo (Destiny) with Juan Carlos Ortega and Xavier Rossell; Cuban tres player Papa Orbe played. And at the CCCB, the Norwegian author Per Petterson chatted with his Catalan translator at Club Editor, Carolina Moreno. Nothing comparable to Thursday, the day everything happened in Barcelona and everything happened at the same time: Brenda Navarro was with Xesús Fraga at Finestres. Luis García Montero spoke with David Castillo about One Year and Three Months (Tusquets) at the Jaume Fuster Library.
Marta San Miguel presented in the Laie Antes del salto with the publisher of Libros del Asteroid, Luis Solano. Amador Vega spoke with Teresa Forcades and Miquel Bassols of Tentativas about the void (Fragmenta) in La Central. Ramon Solsona fue Temps enrere (Proa) in Ona de Gràcia. And in Pau Claris, Joseba Sarrionandia presented Letters to Ainhoa (Pol·len) with the illustrator Eider Eibar. Nollegiu celebrated nine years with Yvonne Breysse, author of Pensión Doré, Xavier Vidal has already recovered from the human chain that on Sunday moved eight thousand books from the old to the new Clot headquarters.
The rest of us were recovering after the announcement that Alibri is closing, and that this year's Herralde award is void. And accompanied by Dionís Porta in the Obaga, Mercè Ibarz spoke of Rodoreda, a map (Barcino) and said that “every reader comes to the book with their baggage”. I don't know if that includes its presentation, nor do I know if there was successful attendance in all cases because I couldn't be in all of them. If it wasn't, nothing happens because sometimes it happens.