Josep Vallverdú, a very modern centenarian

"¡Vallverdú, you were a centenarian and very modern!" Pema Maymó, editor of La Galera, says from the stage to the centenarian writer, who was honored in Catalan Book Week.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
16 September 2023 Saturday 10:31
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Josep Vallverdú, a very modern centenarian

Vallverdú, you were a centenarian and very modern!" Pema Maymó, editor of La Galera, says from the stage to the centenarian writer, who was honored in Catalan Book Week.

And if the first part of this recognition was more or less formal, with a conversation with some of his editors, a while later the author made it very clear when he recited his Centennial Rap. Of course, only he can do it, he has arrived in top shape and demonstrates it, and he begins by saying, “Cent, have you said? Cent només", and appeals to young people to read, because "the books have a good smell and us the author will sign them", and ends by remembering that "every day a volume to the mà to the Week of Books in Català".

Previously, the director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes (ILC), Izaskun Arretxe, had recalled that Josep Vallverdú has published 303 books, including children's books, young people's books, essays, poetry and translation. “We do not commemorate in the past but in the present, because in addition to being here you are still writing,” she said. Joaquim Carbó, another historical figure – who is already 91 – looked at him sardonically.

Carme Vidal Huguet, Vallverdú curator of the year, spoke with Maymó, Rosa Pach from Pagès Editors, Josep Gelonch from Fonoll and Josep Lluch from Proa, highlighting some of his most notable titles, emphasizing that he is much more than the father of the popular Rovelló and that He has explored the entire literary spectrum with important books that must endure, such as the Proses de Ponent that put this name into circulation and that Fonoll has republished; his last memorial book, Mosaic de tardor (Proa); the bulk of his poetry or the essay Indíbil i la boira in Pagès; Not to mention his latest children's book, El vuitè nan (La Galera). And as Maymó said: “El Rovelló is eternal, but at the age of 98 he started to do a retelling of Snow White, with adventures, various scenarios and with so much sympathy…”.

Later, modernity was clear in the cockfight in which two trap groups, 31 FAM and Bounce Twice, presented by the Vàlius, made replicas of poems by Vallverdú and the Rector of Vallfogona, which of course, after 400 years, did not was presented.

But who won? Because the public, a popular and sovereign jury, reflected a tie, which from the stage they asked Júlia Català, from the ILC, who was behind the event, to break, but she said no, no, let the Minister of Culture, Natàlia, decide. Garriga, who in the front row resolved with diplomacy, and the Vàlius proclaimed that it was a tie and that “in Catalonia everyone always wins.” And Vallverdú's rap arrived, a surprise for everyone.

And this cinco pista circus - the three adult stages and the two family ones - did not stop, between presentations such as those of Biel Mesquida and Jean Marie del Moral (Passes per Palma, ViBop), Anna Pazos (Matar el nervi, La Segona Periferia) , Joan Safont (L'estiu passat, Comanegra) or Tessa Julià, Anna Rispau and Sigrid Martínez (I like to read, Publications de l'Abadia de Montserrat). Among so many events, the presentation of the anthology of Carles Hac Mor and the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the magazine Catorze also stood out in the morning, and there was even space for a pillar erected below the Castellers de Santa Coloma.

Later came the time for the Difusió award to Roger Mas. The president of, Ilya Pérdigo, praised Mas because he “does intimate and profound readings of Catalan poets” and at the same time “is an intermediary between the past and the present.” Afterwards, the journalist Anna Guitart talked about literature with the singer-songwriter from Solsona, who was grateful that “my dealers recommend me a topic,” and how when it comes to setting poetry to music “sometimes there is magic,” because “almost effortlessly the flow flows.” song before even understanding the poem", but he also clarifies that, for that to happen, "you have to have made the effort before." And they talk about Verdaguer and Sagarra, but also about younger people like Amadeu Vidal i Bonafont and Toni Gol, and beyond the poetry of how Mas has spread the work of the philosopher Francesc Pujols, who “laughingly said the most serious things and used the sense of humor as a weapon.” Garriga and Arretxe, oblivious to the protocol, stood next to the stage listening.

And there was still time for a Mas concert to face the night and gain strength for the end of Setmana, this Sunday morning.

Catalan version, here