With ‘Pedra de tartera’ Maria Barbal made her debut in the literary world in 1985 and began a career that this Wednesday she completed with the Premi d’Honor de les Lletres Catalanes in its 53rd edition, a recognition that the author of (Tremp, 1949 ), which has defined itself as “letraherida”, comes just two months after winning the Premi Pla with the novel ‘Tàndem’ (Destiny).
The jury of the award, which recognizes an entire literary career, has valued that Barbal “has created through his writing a literary space and his own voice: a contained and essential style that gives his prose a great poetic tone, always at the service of verisimilitude “.
With ‘Pedra de tartera’ he opened a novelistic cycle with his native Pallars as a reference , with ‘Mel i metzines’ and ‘Càmfora’ and which closed in 2014 with ‘A l’amic escocès’. The jury has referred to that world, “a universe that starts from a commitment with an autobiographical background in his first books, giving a critical vision of the rural world of Pallars and the decline of agrarian society, and that has been drawing a a journey through the history of Catalonia, chronicling the time that he has had to live with a personal vision.
”Through fiction, the ruling adds,“ it shows the crisis of traditional mountain society and the economic transformation that forces the migration to the cities based on characters who have a rich inner world and great psychological depth “.
“The writing itself is already compensatory,” said Barbal after being “grateful” for a prize, endowed with 20,000 euros and granted by Òmnium Cultural, which before her have received so many “admired poets, historians, scientists, essay authors and theatrical “and, above all, six other women, with a special mention for Mercè Rodoreda -” star of our literature “- and Teresa Pàmies -” great storyteller “.
“From letters and sounds I have formed words with the great richness of our tradition”, the writer from Pallars pointed out, recalling that until she arrived at the University, in 1971, she had had a training in Spanish. “But to write I used the Catalan language and I was one of the young teachers that Òmnium sent to schools in the early 70s before the Catalan language entered the classroom.”
“With words I have built sentences to express thoughts and experiences. As a narrator, the phrases have dressed fictional stories that come or not from the real world and give me experience of the great mystery of the human race ” , she commented, to also vindicate the use of Catalan in everyday life, so that“ those who don’t they know feel welcomed ”.
The Premi d’Honor was announced in an act before the press in the rehearsal room of the Orfeó Català of the Palau de la Música de Barcelona, with the presence of the vice president of Òmnium, Marcel Mauri, and with the physical absence of its president Jordi Cuixart, after this Tuesday a judge revoked the third degree of prison for the prisoners of the ‘procés’.
Yes he has been virtually, through a video recorded last night before returning to the Lledoners prison, and in the words of Barbal, whose “joy”, he pointed out, contrasts with “the concern for the time we live, full of difficulties and challenges, times of health, political, economic and social crisis,in which the amnesty has not yet reached our exiled and imprisoned politicians, nor to the president of Òmnium, which is a cultural entity ”.
Award winning track record
Before ‘Pedra de tartera’ (Premi Joaquim Ruyra), Barbal had worked in the field of education. Since then, the author of a dozen novels, short story books (‘Ulleres de sol’ or ‘La pressa del temps’), a play and three of youth narrative, she has received numerous awards, including the National Catalan Literature , the Crítica Serra d’Or, the Prudenci Bertrana (with ‘País intim’, 2005), the Jaume Fuster, the Creu de Sant Jordi and, the most recent, the Pla. The Premi d’Honor will receive it in a tribute ceremony on June 7 in a tribute ceremony.
The poet Enric Casasses, Premi d’Honor de les Lletres Catalanes
In previous editions, the Premi d’Honor de les Lletres Catalanes, which has been awarded since 1969, has recognized the careers of, among others, Marta Pessarrodona (2019) , Quim Monzó (2018) , Isabel Clara-Simó (2017), Maria Antònia Oliver (2016) or Joan Veny (2015). Last year, the winner was the poet Enric Casasses