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Articles tagged "Barcelona"

An Interview with Najat El Hachmi

Words Without Borders speaks with Moroccan-Catalan writer Najat El Hachmi about language, identity, and the possibilities and limits of translation. Writer Najat El Hachmi (left) and her novel La filla estrangera (right) Najat El Hachmi was born in Morocco in 1979 and moved with her family to Catalonia at age eight. She has a degree in Arab Studies from the University of Barcelona, and has published one nonfiction book—Jo també sóc...

Holding Pattern

I’m so uneasy with reality that I find planes comfortable. I surrender myself, resigned, to movies I don’t want to see and food I don’t want to eat, as if practicing a disciplined spiritual routine. A samurai with headphones and plastic knife. Suspended, my cell phone off, I enjoy the nirvana of having nothing to decide. That’s what flying is to me: a way to postpone the numbers that get through to me. The last call I got before take-off was from Clara. I was at...

Never Any End to Hemingway

Well here we are, he wrote to Anderson, as he lay there, smoking. He liked typing letters from his bed with the black Corona on his lap. And we sit outside the Dome Café, opposite the Rotonde that’s being redecorated, he wrote to Anderson, warmed up against one of those charcoal braziers and it’s so damned cold outside and the brazier makes it so warm and we drink rum punch, hot, and the rum enters into us like the Holy Spirit. Period—new paragraph, as he weighed up...

Landscape with Strikers

At nine a.m. the few people standing around on the subway platform are watching the news on the screens provided by the Barcelona Channel. The trains comply scrupulously with the minimum-service laws. They are running half-empty and many seats are unoccupied, which would be unthinkable at this time of day any other day, when occupancy approaches that of sardines in a can. In front of the Goya Theater, at the top of Joaquín Costa, there are fewer whores than usual. Perhaps in...

The Not-So-Perfect Crime

My brother Borja's name isn't Borja. It's Pep (or Josep). And his surname isn't Masdéu Canals Sáez de Astorga. We're both Martínez on our father's side and Estivill on our mother's. Unlike Borja (I mean, Pep), I've kept the name and surnames my parents christened me with: a humble Eduard (though still a Spanish Eduardo on my ID card) Martínez Estivill. On the other hand, my brother's (or at least the one he prefers to...

Behind Iron Bars

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from Bewitched by Shanghai

Bewitched by Shanghai is narrated by an adolescent, Danny, who lives in postwar Barcelona with his widowed mother. Between school and starting working as an apprentice in a jeweler's workshop, she has arranged for him to accompany Captain Blay in his daily wanderings round the city to make sure he comes to no harm. Captain Blay was wounded in the Civil War and lost his two sons in the fighting. Now he is obsessed with collecting signatures for a petititon to protest about a gas leak...

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