J. Antonio Garriga Vela: “I have not stopped writing even when I had memory loss”

When José Antonio Garriga Vela (Barcelona, ​​1954) was asked to compile some of the more than 1,400 stories he wrote for the back page of the newspaper Sur, he turned a deaf ear.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 17:03
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J. Antonio Garriga Vela: “I have not stopped writing even when I had memory loss”

When José Antonio Garriga Vela (Barcelona, ​​1954) was asked to compile some of the more than 1,400 stories he wrote for the back page of the newspaper Sur, he turned a deaf ear. “I didn't quite see that about rereading myself,” he admits to La Vanguardia. Finally, Candaya and many of his readers convinced him and the result is Crossroads, which has just arrived in bookstores.

“The then director, Joaquín Marín, proposed a weekly collaboration and asked me what I would like to write. I was very clear about it: stories from everyday life. And I feel very lucky to have been able to do it. I published the first one when I was 39 years old and the last one, which came out in December 2022, when I was 68. I have been around for a lifetime.”

Over almost 30 years, the writer offered the reader all kinds of chronicles that mixed reality and fiction, outlines of novels and even short essays. Also, he invited him to delve into his travels around the globe: Mexico, Ecuador, Vietnam, the United States...

“It took me a lot to make a selection. But I have realized that, without having proposed it, there are several topics that I repeatedly turn to, such as cinema, travel, the writing process itself or my childhood and Barcelona." In fact, the Catalan capital, where he lived his early years, has always accompanied him in his literary adventures, including his first novel, Muntaner 38 (1996), which stirred up the Barcelona literary scene in its day, and which is still popular today. keep doing.

In the last ten years, the texts, which “were many times testing grounds for my novels,” were accompanied by an illustration of the mysterious Mr. García, whom “I do not have the pleasure of meeting in person. And we have had a creative relationship for a decade. We have always communicated via email. He lives in Madrid and I in Malaga. He may sound surprising, and he truly is, but he has the magic to him, although I hope we get face to face soon.”

He never missed his weekly literary appointment. Not even when he was hospitalized for a month after a fall more than thirteen years ago. “I hit my head and lost consciousness. I had memory loss for a while. He had memories of the past, but not of the immediate past. But I kept writing. Of course, I didn't remember anything he had published until then. Not even the stories I had written the day before. My passion for counting was much stronger.” And he will continue to do it, even if it is from a desert island. “A fortune teller predicted that I would end my days there. I don't question it, but I'm sure my pen won't be missing.”