Comma Press and Fum d’Estampa Press present Barcelona in Translation – Three Books
On Wednesday 27th October, we’ll bring together four authors and translators from three new books to be translated from Catalan into English, to discuss how each book depicts the rich and diverse history of Barcelona, and how this manifests in the city today.
The three books are The Book of Barcelona, edited by Manel Olle and Zoe Turner (Comma Press, October 2021), Forty Lost Years by Rosa Maria Arquimbau, translated by Peter Bush (Fum d’Estampa Press, July 2021), and The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig, translated by Tiago Miller (Fum d’Estampa Press, September 2021).
The speakers are Peter Bush (The Book of Barcelona & Forty Lost Years), Tiago Miller (The Song of Youth), Jordi Punti (The Book of Barcelona) and Jennifer Arnold (The Book of Barcelona).
About the books:
The Book of Barcelona
Barcelona is historically a city of anarchy and resistance; a focal point for Catalan identity, as well as a symbol of democracy. Nestled between the Mediterranean coast and mountains, this growing city has also been home to some of the greatest names in modern art and architecture, and attracts visitors and migrants from all over the world.As a result, the city is a melting-pot of cultures, and the stories gathered here offer a mishmash of form and genre, fittingly reminiscent of one of Gaudi’s mosaics. From the boy-giant outgrowing his cramped flat on Barcelona’s outskirts, to the love affair that begins in a launderette, we meet characters who are reclaiming the independence of their city by challenging common misconceptions and telling its myriad truths.
Forty Lost Years
Published for the first time in 1971, Forty Lost Years tells the captivating story of Laura Vidal, a working-class woman who becomes a high-fashion dressmaker to the bourgeois ladies of Barcelona during Franco’s dictatorship. Beginning in 1931, with the proclamation of the Republic, and ending in the 1970s, Rosa Maria Arquimbau’s masterpiece paints a vivid picture of forty years in Catalan history. Weaving the personal and the political, Forty Lost Years is a bitter tale that immerses readers into the frivolous atmosphere of a sexually liberal republican Barcelona, and the despair of a country defeated by the Fascists.
The Song of Youth
In The Song of Youth, Montserrat Roig boldly presents eight remarkable stories that use language as a weapon against political and social “dismemory”. Her powerful and striking prose allows the important stories of those silenced by the brutal Franco regime to, at last, come to the fore. The Song of Youth is undoubtedly feminist and deeply critical but, as always, Roig’s lyrical writing gives shape, depth, and significance to the human experience.