Saturday, June 16, 2007

On the exclusion of writers in Spanish from the Catalan delegation at the Frankfurt Book Fair:

Josep Bargalló, extremist Cataloony and head of the Institut Ramon Llull, in charge of this shindig which is costing all Spanish taxpayers €12 million from the Ministry of Culture, said in the regional Parliament on March 7, "The protagonists will be the writers who express themselves in Catalan; if we invite them, the authors in Spanish will come only for the dialogues and to talk about Catalan literature...We want to explain our reality as it is and, yes, we are plurilingual, but what makes us different from others is the Catalan language; without it there would be no Catalan culture in Frankfurt."

From La Vanguardia on May 6, 2007: "Until a week and a half ago, the principal Catalan authors in Spanish had not received an official invitation from the Generalitat to go to Frankfurt."

Quimera has an excellent summary of the whole kerfuffle, reminding us that on May 26, 2006, the Catalan Parliament passed a confusing resolution; "CiU and ERC were completely convinced they had agreed to the absence of Spanish at the fair. The press interpreted it that way as well. PSC and ICV understood, however, that they had agreed to give preponderance to Catalan without excluding Spanish. But from the text of the parliamentary resolution, according to which Catalan was "the unique identifying characteristic" of Catalan literature, it was difficult to deduce anything but the exclusion of authors in Spanish."

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