If in life they already starred in the occasional run-in with politics and heated discussions about whether or not they belong to Catalan culture for the simple fact of being Catalan and writing in Spanish, their death has only fueled the debate. Thus, half a year after orphaning his readers, Carlos Ruiz Zafon Y Juan Marsé,Indispensable names of the Spanish letters who died during 2020, have returned this week to the first political line after the Culture Committee of the Parliament rejected on Thursday a resolution proposal to honor the two authors. The votes against JpC and ERC and the abstention of the Comuns were enough to overturn the initiative.
In the text, presented by Cs, the Ministry of Culture and the Institution of Catalan Letters (ILC) were urged to recognize Marsé and Zafón as «Illustrious authors of Catalan letters» as well as to organize commemoration events and cycles “to take his literature where it is not usual to search.” Specifically, the orange party asked to include the authors of “La sombra del viento” and “Últimas tardes con Teresa” in programs promoting reading such as “Calaix de Lletres”, “El meu clàssic”, “Qui es qui de les lletres catalanes ”and“ Lletres als Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat ”.
The measure, however, has not been successful since both ERC and JpC consider that, in addition to being unnecessary due to its popularity and recognition, a tribute to two Catalan authors who wrote in Spanish is not something that corresponds to the ILC. «To consider that it has no recognition is to skate a little. It’s like asking the Generalitat to promote »El Mal Querer« de la Rosalía », said the ERC deputy and writer Jenn Diaz.
She herself, she recalled, is a Catalan author who writes in Spanish, a circumstance that she has taken advantage of to accuse Cs of “doing politics with names and surnames.” «Why don’t we have this proposal from Ana María Matute? Cs is wrong once again. He is wrong when they speak only of two writers », Diaz settled. «Using them for partisan struggle is something that we should save ourselves. Your memory should not be used for this. These writers have more than proven prestige and do not deserve this motion for a resolution, ”added Xavier Quinquillà, from JpC.
The same position, although his vote was abstention, defended the deputy of the Comuns. Concepción Abellán, for whom the resolution of Cs, “Mixes things that are irrelevant.” “They are Catalan heritage, but they write in Spanish,” he said, arguing that the role of the ILC is to defend Catalan. “They are part of the wealth and plurality with which we live in Catalonia and must be recognized, but it is not the right way,” he added.
Only the PSC voted in favor of the Cs proposal, considering it “appropriate” for the Generalitat to recognize the work of Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Juan Marsé.