|Gaudi architecture in Barcelona (Casa Mila)|
As some may know, I will be spending my next university year in Spain, as part of my year abroad. I have chosen to work in Barcelona, for reasons of location, the Catalan language and, primarily, culture. The city’s cultural attractions include Gaudi’s architecture, the Sagrada Família, and the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. There are so many other examples, and I look forward to writing about them (and, of course, taking lots of photos to share) on my trip to Barcelona.
In this brief post, I’d like to discuss Barcelona’s literary influence.
Fiction Set in Barcelona
Firstly, I have to mention The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This is a fantastic book, particularly when read in the original Spanish. The novel is set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and, as an ultimately gothic literary thriller, it deals with mystery, murder, madness and doomed love. This spans all corners of the city, and often uses the famous café Els Quatre Gats on Carrer Montsió for orientation: one of the main centres of Modernisme in Barcelona. The narrator writes,
“Els Quatre Gats was just a five-minute walk from our house and one of my favourite haunts … Inside, voices seemed to echo with shadows of other times. Accountants, dreamers, and would-be geniuses shared tables with the spectres of Pablo Picasso, Isaac Albéniz, Federico García Lorca and Salvador Dalí.”